Business in Calgary


Years ago I rode France’s excellent fast train, the TGV,
from Lyon to Paris. It was an amazing ride – fast,
smooth, comfortable and competitively priced. This
is a train that actually does 300 kilometres per hour. What
is remarkable is that when you go into a curve, you can still
walk down the aisle of the train without feeling like you are
being thrown against the side. I think this has something to
do with the suspension system and track design.
It would be my fervent wish that we could duplicate
something like that in Alberta. If we did, I would even take
a trip to Edmonton just for the ride.

March 2014 $3.50

The Hectic

but Gung-ho Life of a

Dynamic Calgary



Spring 2014 • Page 79


+ +Calgary’s Commercial

Real Estate Market







page 101

Calgary Chamber

Who has

Canada’s best


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& main floor den. Ascend the

grand staircase to the upper level where there are 3 bedrooms (all ensuite) and

the master suite retreat with his & her walk-in closets & ensuite w/ steam shower.

Lower level offers a family room, wet bar, glass front wine room, powder room


& 2 bedrooms with Jack & Jill ensuite.

One key to SAM’s success is his belief in quality advertising. His ad

budget is high. If you list your home with him, you’ll be pleased to

find its full colour image shining in some of the best-read, highestquality

ASPEN publications. | $2,495,000 SAM does not believe in cutting corners

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to superior and far-reaching marketing has brought success for

buyers and sellers of Calgary homes across ALL price ranges.


SAM is committed to giving WOW service to all of his clients during

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Exclusive location overlooking ravine! 5600+ SF with 4 bedrooms (all ensuite),

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New home in ideal inner city location, walking distance to the university, Foothills

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bungalow with a total of 3592 SF of developed living space. Set on a huge lot

(62-ft frontage) steps away from the ridge. Very open plan with dining room open

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PATTERSON | | $1,150,000 $1,195,000

366 214


On the ravine with pool, hot tub & outdoor fireplace! Extensively updated, beautifully

appointed 2-storey with developed walkout basement. Features travertine

& granite in kitchen & bathrooms, hardwood floors, California shutters, updated

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SPRINGBANK HILL | $2,900,000


216 24


Inner city townhome in pedestrian friendly Garrison Woods, walking distance

to local shops & services. This unit offers a rare & much sought after feature: a

private, fenced, west backyard, perfect for dog lovers and for entertaining. The

open concept main floor has a living room & dining room with 2 sided fireplace,

kitchen with granite counters & stainless steel appliances. Upstairs there is a family

room with built-ins & fireplace, a full bathroom and a bedroom with walk-in

closet. The top floor dedicated to the master suite, complete with spa inspired

ensuite & private balcony with downtown views. The basement is fully finished

with an open games/media room with bar.


volume 24 • number 3


Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann


John Hardy


Lisa Johnston & Nikki Mullett


Cher Compton

On our cover…

Barry Ehlert, owner and managing partner of golf courses in

Calgary, Edmonton, and Montana.


Jessi Evetts


Nancy Bielecki

Kim Hogan

Melissa Arthur

March 2014 $3.50


Richard Bronstein

Frank Atkins

David Parker

Lonnie Tate

Mary Savage


Heather Ramsay

Stewart McDonough

Andrea Mendizabal

Parker Grant

Nerissa McNaughton


Cover photo courtesy of

Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc.


Renee Neil

Ari McCurdy

Bobbi Joan O’Neil

Evelyn Dehner



Bernie Cooke

Tiffany-Sarah Smith



1025, 101 6th Ave. SW

Calgary, AB T2P 3P4

Tel: (403) 264-3270/Fax: (403) 264-3276



Online at

Annual rates: $31.50; $45 USA;

$85 International

Single Copy $3.50

Business in Calgary is delivered to over 33,500

business people every month including all

registered business owners in Calgary, Banff,

and Canmore, and the Calgary Chamber

of Commerce members.

The publisher does not assume any responsibility

for the contents of any advertisement, and all representations

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are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher.

No portion of this publication may be reproduced,

in all or in part, without the written permission

of the publisher. Canadian publications mail sales

product agreement No. 41126516

The Hectic

but Gung-ho Life of a

Dynamic Calgary





Spring 2014 • Page 79

+ 2014


+Calgary’s Commercial

Real Estate Market








page 101

Calgary Chamber




44 • the Hectic but Gung-ho Life of a Dynamic Calgary Entrepreneur

Golf courses are an asset-based business, and they’re not making any more land

By John Hardy

Find us online!

Return undeliverable Canadian

addresses to circulation dept.

1025 101 6th Ave. SW

Calgary, AB T2P 3P4


6 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |






What is different about




Alberta’s only Grades 1 – 12 full IB independent school.


volume 24 • number 3



53 • alberta: Upgraded

Everything you wanted to know about the North West

Redwater Partnership’s refinery in Sturgeon County

By Nerissa McNaughton

57 • sOLiD: Calgary’s Commercial real Estate


Calgary is well on its way to earning the ranking of an

international market

By Parker Grant

62 • Condominiums are on the rise

Real estate in our city continues to be robust and tightening

inventory in the single-family resale market is good

news for condominium owners and developers

By Heather Ramsay


66 • renos as a solid investment

From dazzling kitchens and hardwood to energy-efficient

plumbing and lighting, renos have a solid ROI

By John Hardy

74 • 2014 Calgary international auto and

Truck Show


79 • spring 2014



10 • train à Grande Vitesse

By Richard Bronstein

12 • How Mainstream Became Extreme

By Frank Atkins

14 • Looking Back on (and Forward to) retirement

By Lonnie Tate

101 • Leading Business

105 • the Calgary report

Current developments for Calgary Telus Convention Centre,

Tourism Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, and

Innovate Calgary

110 • Marketing Matters

By David Parker

89 • Pinnacle Group

Drawing on three decades of experience

93 • sunik roofing Continues Legacy of

Leadership at 25 th Anniversary

97 • kahane Law

Not Your Average Law Firm…


8 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

0% financing

for 48 months on all case ce skid

steers and compact track loaders.

Rocky Mountain Equipment is traded on the

TSX under the symbol, and on the

OTCQX under the symbol rckXf.


Rocky Mountain Equipment

dependable is what we do.

train à grande vitesse • Richard Bronstein


train à Grande


Years ago I rode France’s excellent fast train, the TGV,

from Lyon to Paris. It was an amazing ride – fast,

smooth, comfortable and competitively priced. This

is a train that actually does 300 kilometres per hour. What

is remarkable is that when you go into a curve, you can still

walk down the aisle of the train without feeling like you are

being thrown against the side. I think this has something to

do with the suspension system and track design.

It would be my fervent wish that we could duplicate

something like that in Alberta. If we did, I would even take

a trip to Edmonton just for the ride.

But…the current discussion we are having about the costs

and benefits of a fast train in Alberta seem more about

smoke and mirrors than hard-headed analysis.

The TGV is very successful and profitable in France

because it serves a population of 60 million people in a

country that is 100,000 square kilometres smaller than

Alberta, with a population of four million. There are about

12 cities in France with a population between 500,000 and

200,000 in addition to Paris (three million) and Marseille

(one million). There are another 20 cities with populations

between 100,000 and 200,000.

Bless the Van Horne Institute at the University of Calgary

for doing its part to keep hammering for an Alberta bullet

train. I think the institute should be commended for trying

to make us think big and there may be merit in its argument

that a high-speed train link between Edmonton and Calgary

would open new and creative development synergies in the


Unfortunately, given our lack of critical mass, such a project

could also be a huge train wreck. I don’t know. Let one

thousand consultants rule, as Chairman Mao might have

said if he were a capitalist.

The real thing that is wrong about this discussion is that it

is too closed. We should not be talking about whether Alberta

needs a bullet train or not. What we should be asking is for

public input to develop an Alberta transportation plan for

the future. The bullet train guys can come and talk. The city

mayors can pitch the need for urban transit. The municipality

of Crowsnest Pass can argue to relocate Highway 3. Cyclists

can talk about bike paths. Ranchers can vent about hikers

not closing fences. And we still haven’t finished with Highway

63 yet.

Instead we get a government committee responding to a

particular interest group that wants to refloat the fast train


This really shows the lack of wit and leadership in the

Alberta government.

There is absolutely no point in considering rapid rail as

a single item in Alberta’s transportation mix. This is dull


What the Alberta government should have done when it

came under pressure to revive the idea of a bullet train is

to say, “OK. Let’s talk about the train and everything else at

the same time.”

By having a broad public hearing process about future

transportation needs in general, it would have given the fast

train people a fair opportunity to make their case. It also

would have given others the opportunity to make their case.

At the end of the day the government would not have to

make a commitment to anything. It can say, “There are some

wonderful ideas here but sorry, we don’t have the money for

any of this now.”

That might disappoint some people, but at least the government

would have a better baseline of knowledge about

Alberta’s future transportation needs.

What are the estimated vehicular volumes on the QE2 in

five, 10 and 20 years from now? What is the impact of technological

change such as the driverless car? What is a fair

way to finance urban transit needs? The list goes on and on.

To hold government hearings only on the bullet train,

without considering the whole field of transportation needs,

is rather shabby.

If Richard Branson happens to go to an Oilers game and

bumps into an Alberta cabinet minister, are we going to

have government hearings about building a spaceport in

Red Deer?

That’s what this bullet train hearing is like. Completely

irrelevant to the lives of most Albertans.

C’mon government. Surely you can do better than this? BiC

10 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |





Wood Automotive Group:

All Makes Collision Centre

When accidents happen, Woodridge All Makes Collision Centre is the team you want working with you

No one ever wants to be involved in

an automotive accident, but unfortunately

they do happen. Especially on

snowy and icy roads in and around Calgary.

Unexpected and unintentional vehicle

incidents are a reality for drivers and the

team at Woodridge All Makes Collision

Centre has seen the damage, and are thankfully able to

make the repairs.

For over 30 years, the Wood Automotive Group has been

providing quality products and services to Calgarians. Part

of that service includes auto body repairs for all makes

and models of vehicles, completed at their location just

off of Barlow Trail and 46 th Street SE. “This state-of-theart

facility enables us to deliver even more services to our

customers. Our passions are people and vehicles, and sometimes

those vehicles need repairs. We have the team, talent

and logistical aptitude that helps make that process smooth

and convenient for every customer we see,” explains Gerry

Wood, president of Wood Automotive Group.

The Collision Centre offers some of the most advanced

technologies, techniques and experienced trades in the

industry. It is the responsibility of the technicians and the

shop to provide quality repairs, and to bring the vehicle

back to same condition as prior to the collision. This is no

small feat when a vehicle has experienced varying degrees

of impact and decimation.

As changes in the industry continue and new processes

and standards are introduced, the Woodridge Collision

Centre prides itself on being ahead of the curve. Their

dedication to customer compassion, finite detail and environmental

stewardship, sets them apart from the rest. The

28,000-square-foot shop features numerous computers and

diagnostic tools, leading-edge equipment, on-site paint

Cailean Wood, manager at All Makes Collision Centre, and Gerry Wood, president of Wood Automotive Group.

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” ~ Henry Ford

calibration centre with advanced colour matching, and a

great team. In fact the team includes dedicated estimators,

administrative staff, body technicians, preppers, painters,

detailers and porters.

Safety and environmental consciousness are always top

priority and that’s why all staff are adequately trained,

water-based paints have replaced toxic solvents, and proper

ventilation and breathing apparatus are standard in the

shop. Furthermore, the Wood Group is always reassuring

employee development and training. Licensed body technicians

and painters are encouraged to mentor apprentices,

and some, due to the RAP (registered apprenticeship program),

can start as early as high school, giving the students

an opportunity to understudy in the auto body industry.

“Auto body repairs and painting are an art all unto

themselves. The training, hands-on experience and problem-solving

approach of our entire team is what makes the

customer experience something positive after an oftentimes

catastrophic event. We always aim to put ourselves in our

customer’s position and offer empathy for their situation.

Our dedication is to help customers through every step

of the process, from dealing with the towing, insurance

agency, rental car company and beyond. We’re here and

we’ll do everything we can to complete a quality repair in a

timely fashion, to put your vehicle back on the road as soon

as we can,” says Cailean Wood, collision centre manager

with All Makes Collision Centre.

For more information, please visit

and, or call 403.536.0518




How Mainstream Became Extreme • Frank Atkins

By Frank atkins

How Mainstream

Became Extreme


consider myself to be a moderate

conservative economist. I advocate

market solutions where viable, I

do not like chronic deficits and debt

and I believe that smaller government

allows the private sector to flourish.

Ten years ago these were considered to

be mainstream ideas. I do not have any

solid evidence of this, but I am willing

to bet that if someone had polled

the economics profession 10 years ago

and asked, what do you think of this

Keynesian idea that without government

intervention the economy will

collapse into chaos, the overwhelming

majority of economists would

have said that this is an outdated idea.

Then came the downturn in 2008,

which appears to have revived the

Keynesians, who now call themselves


The interesting feature of the 2008

downturn in Canada is that it was not

as bad as the downturns of the early

1980s or the early 1990s. If you are

interested in this, you should read Statistics

Canada’s publication, How did

the 2008-2010 recession and recovery

compare with previous cycles? by

Philip Cross, published in January 2011.

The new progressives do not want to

read articles such as this, as it takes

away their belief that big government

is the only counter to the economic

chaos created by the 2008 downturn.

It gets worse. These new progressives

then tell us that they are open to hearing

all opinions, but then they are

shocked to learn that some people may

disagree with them. Their answer to

this is to dismiss their critics as sadly

misinformed individuals who cannot

see the truth. This is much the same

tactic that is used by the man-made

global warming catastrophe crowd.

Here in Alberta we have (at least)

two perfect examples of this new

breed of progressives. First we have

our minister of finance, Doug Horner,

who believes in deficit spending and

accumulation of debt. Mr. Horner

appears to believe that the whole budgeting

process is just a bit too difficult

for us to understand, as we (the taxpayers

of Alberta) do not seem to be

able to grasp that debt is not really

debt in the traditional sense, as we are

issuing debt to pay for infrastructure.

Apparently, if we ever get into serious

financial difficulty we could always

sell a road or two. Further, Mr. Horner

has made the whole budgeting process

so convoluted that it is difficult to tell

the actual size of the deficit that the

government is running. He dismisses

his critics without ever really giving

any indication that he understands

that there may be problems associated

with this type of fiscal policy. The idea

of responsible fiscal policy advocated

by the Wildrose, the Canadian Taxpayers

Federation and the Canadian

Federation of Independent Business is

now considered to be extreme.

Second, we have Mayor Nenshi who

has a long wish list of government

projects, and an apparent unlimited

desire to raise taxes to pay for these

projects. Mr. Nenshi is perpetually

exploring what he calls new ideas for

raising revenue. Apparently, if city

hall finds a new method of raising

money, they will no longer have to

raise property taxes every year. Mr.

Nenshi calls this tax reform, and

implies that somehow this is not the

same as raising taxes. In response to

criticism of this, Mr. Nenshi responded,

“As politicians, we have to ignore

those fringe elements and focus on

what’s right for the community.” Mr.

Nenshi does not entertain the notion

that higher taxes may not be right for

the community. Apparently, those of

us who advocate low taxes and less

government are now fringe elements

and espouse extreme views. BiC

Frank atkins is an associatE proFEssor

oF EconoMics at tHE UnivErsity oF

calgary, a sEnior FEllow at tHE

FrontiEr cEntrE For pUBlic policy

and a MEMBEr oF tHE advisory Board

oF tHE institUtE For pUBlic sEctor


12 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Calling all



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looking Back on (and Forward to) retirement • Lonnie Tate


Looking Back on

(and Forward to)


Forty-two columns ago, the publisher of BIC and I

agreed that I would write a column to focus on issues

from an old guy’s perspective. Somewhere back there

is a column on retirement. This is another one. I am in my

15 th year of retirement ... so I think I qualify as something

of an expert.

I have learned that retirement is personal and entirely

unique to the individual. I know you should retire at the

first opportunity. In saying this, I assume you have some

capacity to survive without employment income.

I know the question: “How much is enough?” has little

relevance. I also know if you last as long as me, there will be

little similarity between what you used to be (and did) and

what you are today. If you have more than two clues, you

will grow (or shrink) into a stable financial state where your

lifestyle fits your means.

So if you know you are going to be different, why not

start now? And if not right now, then develop a plan that

will get you there in a short period of time. You can do stuff

today that will start you on the trail to retirement without

disrupting your working life.

I was lucky ... I loved work. And when I had enough, I was

ready to branch out and do different things. And now, I like

the things I do even better than the fun time at work.

There will be lots to do. The successfully retired people

I know do not have enough hours in the day to do everything.

Among other things, you will learn to do things on

your own. I remember one of the first inconveniences after

quitting work was figuring out how to get a copy made. The

answer then was to go to the drugstore, stick a quarter in a

machine and get a copy. Now you scan it in your (less than

$200) multifunction printer.

You will not be missed at work! Honest!

While you may think that your clients, customers, business

associates or whatever hang on your every word ... they

do not. Incredibly, they will find a way to get by without

you. Yes ... they will even flourish. I will never forget going

to see one of my former partners at Ernst & Young after

retiring. I gave the receptionist my (newly minted and prepared

by me) CA card and she asked: “With what firm did

you get your CA?” I had left just three months prior after 34

years with the firm.

If you have stayed with this column to this point, the

majority of your life is likely behind you. Yes ... you are

getting older. No one likes to dwell on it, but the amount of

time we have on this planet is finite. My wife and I have a

wide circle of friends as we live in two places. In the past

year, we have lost eight. For the most part they went quickly

and that is a blessing. Remember – the only sure things are

death and taxes.

Finally, you will be one of the rare ones if your health

remains consistent and you are completely robust until the

end. All the things you would like to do may not be doable

a few years down the road. So you should get on the retired

road sooner than later.

In the first few years of my retirement, I continued to burn

the candle at both ends. I was on a board or two and worked

at some charitable fundraising in addition to trying to be

retired. In a few words, I still was trying to be accepted as a

working person. It didn’t work and five years ago, I ended

up at Foothills Hospital where some really good folks in

emergency and intensive care kept me alive. Now, with the

help of some pills, I work on one candle at one end and lead

a normal (and somewhat less frenetic) life. I proved no one

is invincible; it can happen to you.

Hopefully this has got you thinking. Next month I’ll detail

some of the steps for successful retirement and share some

anecdotal experiences that can get you into really good

golden years. BiC

14 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |


Available exclusively at

Rush, Revamped

Full speed ahead for evolved upscale restaurant

The brains behind Rush know a thing or two about pleasing

Calgarian palates. The restaurant is part of Vintage

Group, an iconic collection of award-winning eateries

including Vintage Chophouse and Tavern, Redwater Rustic

Grille, Bookers BBQ and Crab Shack, and Rise Bakery and Café.

Vintage Group first opened Rush in 2008 as a true fine dining

offering. Lance Hurtubise, the company’s president and

CEO, travelled overseas to source out the best talent and

trends in exquisite cuisine, which he brought back to launch

the restaurant.

Rush opened to excellent reviews, but something was

missing. “Rush could have fit in at any international dining

hot spot, such as New York or Paris,” explains Patrick Soul, vice

president, premium brands at Vintage Group. “We were the

definition of fine dining, but we lacked Calgary flavour.”

Both born-and-raised Calgarians with ample experience

in the dining business, Hurtubise and Soul understand the

recipe for a truly successful eatery in Calgary – the ability to

evolve to the city’s tastes.

After attempts to tweak small details at Rush over the years,

Vintage Group began to conceptualize a larger-scale change

for the restaurant. Rush planned a strategic evolution of its look

and menu in the summer of 2013. But the unforeseen fallout of

the flood caused delays for many non-emergency construction

projects, including the work at Rush. The scheduled completion

date of September 2013 moved to early 2014.

Now, Rush is back and better than ever. “We’re describing

the new Rush as bold, brash, evolved,” says Soul. “Bold describes

our new decor and menu, and we’re brash in a good

way – not afraid to stand out.”

As for the “evolved” part, Rush’s new mission is to put the

customer first with a down-to-earth, egoless downtown dining

experience. “We really want to give Calgarians what they

want,” says Soul. “In researching this project, I sat down with as

many people as possible to find out their favourite food and

dining must-haves.”

He learned one such necessity is accommodation for large

dining groups. Thus, the new Rush has an expanded, customizable

private dining area. The space can be set up boardroom-style

for business presentations or configured banquetstyle

for celebrations of up to 50 people.

The restaurant’s new look is chic, yet cosy, and modern, yet

timeless. Soothing neutral colours and sleek fixtures enhance

the layout. “In line with our ‘customer-first’ philosophy, we redesigned

the restaurant to provide the most attentive service

and comfortable experience,” explains Soul. “We concentrated

on making the space functional before we made it look great.”

The functional details add up to what Soul describes as “practical

fine dining. ” Through research, Soul and his team learned that

diners want excellent food, but they also want to feel authenticity

and a sense of welcoming at the restaurants they choose. “Just

because you’re in a suit doesn’t mean you don’t want a burger

and beer, and just because you’re in jeans and T-shirt doesn’t

mean you don’t want a steak and red wine,” says Soul.

Authenticity is evident in the new menu items as well. As

part of the rebrand, the moniker “Ocean Prime” now accompanies

Rush’s name. “Ocean Prime speaks to our variety of

land-to-sea menu items, but it’s also representative of the

high quality of our food,” says Soul. “We source out the best

possible ingredients – period – and we prepare everything in

the most authentic way we know.”

For example, Rush Ocean Prime makes red velvet cake the

old-fashioned way – using beets for rich colour, flavour and

texture. Even the drinks are made using traditional recipes,

such as whiskey sours with real frothy egg whites.

The menu is eclectic and inspired by conversations with

Calgarians. “We have appies like half-inch thick bacon, grilled

and served with our signature barbecue sauce,” says Soul. “We

also have house-made sushi rolls such as smoked beef tartare,

braised short rib, lobster and yellowfin tuna.”

In terms of entrées, the 32-ounce Canada Prime porterhouse

is perhaps one of the most impressive dishes. “Canada

Prime represents less than one per cent of graded beef; it’s

the highest grade available in the country,” says Soul. “We also

import our lamb from Colorado, which is arguably some of

the best in the world.”

With best-in-class cuisine and an authentic dining philosophy,

Rush won’t be slowing down any time soon. “Our goal

with the evolution of Rush Ocean Prime is longevity,” concludes

Soul. “We want to satisfy and surprise the tastebuds of

Calgarians for years to come.”

For more information, visit

100, 207 9 Ave. SW. • 403-271-7874 •

Rush Seafood Tower

Ahi Tuna

Prairie Heritage Tomahawk Chop

Colorado Rack of Lamb

Mon - Fri: 11:30am - CLOSE • Saturday: 5:00pm

off the top • News

Trico Homes’ Wayne Chiu Donates $3 Million to

Bow Valley College

Wayne Chiu, founder and owner of Calgary-based Trico Homes. Photo credit Bow Valley College.

On January 22, 2014, Bow Valley College received

an unprecedented donation in the amount of $3 million

from Calgary businessman and philanthropist

Wayne Chiu. Founder and owner of Calgary-based

Trico Homes, Chiu was a board member with Bow

Valley College for six years until November of 2013

and has long been a supporter of social enterprise

and innovation.

In honour of Chiu’s donation, Bow Valley College’s

School of Business has been officially

renamed the Chiu School of Business. Although the

community college has been offering business programming

for several years, the School of Business

officially opened in September of 2012 and offers

non-credit continuing education as well as one-year

certificates and two-year diplomas in fields ranging

from business administration to interior design.

“I really believe in lifelong learning,” says Chiu. “Because

I am an entrepreneur and a businessman, I really believe

for anyone to advance their career or life, they need to be

continually learning.”

Chiu adds, “It makes me feel really proud as a local businessman

that we are able to donate money to the school

where my passion lies, and at the same time, it makes me

extremely fortunate to be able to give back to the community

in this way.”

According to David Allwright, dean of the School of Business,

the donation will allow Bow Valley College to develop

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18 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

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off the top • News

(Left to right): Eleanor Chiu, Wayne Chiu, Sharon Carry (president and CEO, Bow Valley College), David Allwright (dean, Chiu School of Business, Bow Valley College).

Photo credit: Bow Valley College.

some programs and initiatives that will help enrich the student


“We will be able to provide mentorships with industry,

providing opportunities to develop the soft skills that students

need to be successful in the workplace,” says Allwright.

“It is easy to teach the hard skills and most post-secondary

institutions do that well, but the things that allow the students

to be successful in the workplace are those soft skills

– the motivation, the attitude, the behaviours, the desire, the

intuition – all of those things that employers value that are

the hardest to teach. They cannot really be taught; they can

only be experienced.”

Allwright says that in addition to enhancing the whole learning

experience for students, the School of Business will also

gain recognition and endorsement from receiving a $3 million

donation from one of Calgary’s most respected businessmen.

“A lot of students do go on to other post-secondary institutions

for degree completion,” explains Allwright. “So this

is recognition by somebody who the other post-secondary

[institutions] know and respect. It says, ‘Yes, we are doing

the kind of job the industry wants.’ Other post-secondary

institutions view that endorsement very seriously.”

Established by Chiu in 1992, Trico Homes builds new

single and multi-family homes, offering an extensive selection

of starter, move-up and semi-estate models in Calgary,

Okotoks, Cochrane and Airdrie. While Trico homes has

been recognized as one of Calgary’s top builders, their chief

executive and founder is also being recognized as a top philanthropist

– and one that will be revered at Bow Valley

College for years to come.

“This is a fairly major event in the life of any school of

business so we are thrilled,” concludes Allwright. “This is a

great celebration for us and something that will be cherished

for quite some time.” BiC

20 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Can you risk less by

reinventing more?

Three out of four new products never make it to market, which makes

some Canadian businesses shy away from being innovative. Smarter

enterprises are making trial and error a strength of their development

process. The scalable IBM SmartCloud ® is a catalyst for accelerated

creativity, helping some businesses reduce costs by up to 40%.

Let’s Build A Smarter Planet.


IBM, the IBM logo,, IBM SmartCloud, Let’s Build A Smarter Planet, Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions

worldwide. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at © International Business Machines Corporation 2013.

off the top • News

Game On – Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer

The Alberta Cancer Foundation invests in things

that matter to Albertans: earlier detection, better prevention

strategies, improved treatment and enhanced

quality of care. As part of their commitment to making

a difference, they look for events and projects that will

make an impact for cancer patients here in Alberta.

With that in mind, they are launching the Alberta Cancer

Foundation’s inaugural Road Hockey to Conquer


Taking place on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at

WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, Calgary’s first Road

Hockey to Conquer Cancer kicks off. Imagine – five

exciting games and more than 50 teams coming together

for a cause that is so close to so many. With every player

united by one common goal to redefine the future for

Alberta cancer patients it is sure to make a difference.

Funds raised from this event will be invested in

research led by the most motivated scientists across

the country – research teams that can accelerate

breakthroughs and deliver transformative new treatments to

Alberta cancer patients through clinical trials.

This dawn-to-dusk fundraising event features hundreds of

spirited road hockey games, as well as musical acts, celebrity

Photo courtesy of the Alberta Cancer Foundation

appearances, interactive activities, food and beverages, and

so much more. If you enjoy a challenge, being part of a team

and donating your time and effort to an amazing cause, this

is the perfect event to attend. BiC

22 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Great people

to grow with

People are a company’s most important

competitive advantage.

Through activities that keep your people informed

and engaged, we can help move your private

company towards your vision of the future.

Darren Speake

Business Advisor

403 441 6216

© 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. 3705-03 0214


off the top • News

3D Cityscapes Collection

30 x 48 The Past is Back - oil on linen

24 x 30 Olympic Plaza - oil on linen. Photos, these two pages, courtesy of Webster Galleries.

Réal Fournier’s vision oscillates

between two worlds: one is found in

[Réal Fournier’s] larger-than-life paintings reality, the other is a blend of intuition

and imagination. As an artist, there are

are sought around the world, yet he chooses few things Fournier is never without: a

pair of 3D glasses, a bicycle and small

to make Calgary home.

sketchbook tucked into his pocket.

His larger-than-life paintings are

sought around the world, yet Fournier

chooses to make Calgary home. Last


year, while working on a series of


hockey portraits, Fournier had a vision

craftsmanship for

and it resulted in a collection of paintings

that are unmistakably “Calgary.”

over 20 years...

Twenty years ago, Fournier captured

Calgary’s homeless people through a

series of paintings – feeling mythical,

T yet S steeped I in N real C people . and


their lives. The paintings came to

life through his “Eyes Closed Sketch”

method – a method that draws on pure


Today, Fournier has returned to the

city’s core to capture 20 years of evolution.

He has discovered a new layer of

curves, colours and citizens – amidst the

steel, glass and concrete. Fournier captures

the details that many people miss.

This time, his eyes are wide open.

Much like the city, Fournier’s style has

also evolved and all of his cityscapes

are painted in 3D. But his style is still

whimsical – even magical … it is his



Young and old move about in

D E V E L O P M E N T S I N C .

the foreground while highrise towers

soften and sway in the


24 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

off the top • News

48 x 30 Dancing on the ice - oil on linen

Fournier captures a movement that is

youthful and vibrant. Animals blend

into the layers with exacting precision

– it’s only when you ‘dig deeper’ the

depths start to surface.

“Justice is served at city hall yet there

are horses running free in front of the

building,” observes Fournier. “Someone

plays music on a street corner, your eye

catches an outdoor sculpture and there

is activity all around – it all represents

the city – and I want to be a part of the

journey,” he continues.

“Seeing the city in 3D reveals an

inner world … a new world,” he notes.

“It’s much harder to paint a city in

3D because you have to work with an

existing environment. To paint authentic

colours, you have to manipulate

the colours – making them recede and

advance – depending on the objects

and position,” he says.

From the Centre Street Bridge to

Olympic Plaza, Réal Fournier has created

a new generation of images – preserving

both the young and the old landmarks.

Fournier’s collection of 3D cityscapes

are on display at Webster Galleries during

the month of March. BiC

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off the top • News

ICON Business Park Transforms Foothills Neighbourhood

into Bustling Business Centre

Business partners Andrew (left) and Michael Hungerford (right) took invited guests on a tour of the ICON Business Park.

For almost 20 years, the Haworth building was the

heart of a thriving corporate campus in southeast Calgary,

employing over 600 people in furniture manufacturing. But

in 2009, the American company moved the base of its operations

back to Michigan, leaving the area devoid of activity.

Then, last summer, Vancouver developer, Hungerford

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26 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Oldest. Newest.

Coolest. Warmest.

What was once old is becoming very new and will be ‘cool’ in countless ways;

East Village is transforming before our eyes.

Change. It comes in all shapes and forms, for various

reasons and is often met with resistance and scepticism.

Yet when dedicated and dynamic people champion an

idea, adopt a solid methodology, and garner community and

municipal support, significant things can happen.

One particular area of Calgary has seen and endured much

change since its early beginnings. Once a thriving community

that gave birth to downtown Calgary over a century ago, East

Village (EV) has since endured cycles of boom, erosion and

unfortunate decline over the generations. Yet it has always told

an important story.

In more recent years, private and grass-root efforts have been

made to revitalize the area, but were unsuccessful. Thanks to the

vision of many and the fortitude of former mayor Dave Bronconnier

and city council, something significant and ingenious happened.

In 2007, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) was

created and formalized as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city.

Lead by a board of directors (who are accountable to the city

council), CMLC was mandated to execute the Rivers District

Revitalization Plan (which includes East Village) by delivering a

robust public infrastructure program. This was to be no small

feat, given the state of the area, longstanding perceptions and

the substantial capital investment required.

The plan was made possible by an innovative funding

mechanism called a Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) which

required both municipal and provincial approvals. The first of

its kind in Canada, CRL is similar to what’s known throughout

North America as ‘tax incremental financing’. It’s a mechanism

by which property tax revenues – which result from increased

assessment value of property and new development in the

area – are accessed by CMLC to put approved infrastructure

neighbourhood in town.

improvements in place.

In other words, the CRL creates a new tax base for the city.

CMLC is not accessing current tax dollars or the City of Calgary

tax base to put infrastructure improvements in place within

the community. Rather, for a defined period of time CMLC can

access funds that are being generated from new development

to put necessary critical infrastructure in place.

The CRL encatchment area includes the Rivers District area

of Calgary, a 309-acre region in Calgary’s east end; the East

Village community is 49 acres of that.

As part of the CRL formula, tax dollars would then continue

to be allocated to CMLC for the duration of the 20-year EV

project, and would then flow back into the City of Calgary upon


With the CRL in place CMLC began the ultimate task of creating

a sought-after community, and igniting a movement to downtown

living and urban exploration. The project was developed to include

a multitude of condominium buildings, high-end hotel, hybrid

shopping experience (which includes both an urban shopping

complex on one site and niche service-oriented retail throughout

all other mixed use buildings), featuring restaurants and great

gathering spaces. The new Central Library and the National

Music Centre would also be showcased.

“The East Village is going to be an exceedingly vibrant and

revered place to live and visit year round. The forethought,

considerations and planning that have gone into the entire

project are unbelievable. An initiative of this size, using a funding

model of this nature is very powerful and will complement the

city in ways we have yet to experience,” explains Lyle Edwards,

chairman of the board of CMLC. “We are immensely proud of

how the project is evolving and the accolades and awards it

has already received. How people see and experience the East

Village will be forever changed for the better.”

Relief. Recovery. Resolve.

Calgary is strong. And so is East Village, the place where Calgary was founded

and where the future of downtown living is being built today.

Since 2006, Master Developer CMLC has led the transformation of East Village, and flood-proofing was

an integral part of the master plan – in the past five years, we’ve raised the floodplain by up to four feet.

That important investment paid off this summer: our two major residential projects sustained little or

no damage, and construction continues. Our pride at the efforts of our neighbours and our community

knows no bounds. Our commitment to delivering the master plan vision of the community is intact and

our resolve is unwavering. We look forward to welcoming you to the newest, oldest, coolest, warmest



east village ® is a trademark owned by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

off the top • News

Properties, made headlines with the purchase of the Haworth

building, Calgary’s largest manufacturing plant and one of

the city’s largest buildings.

The 761,000-square-foot facility sits on 45 acres of land

and has been called one of the most beautifully-created

office environments in the country.

In February, Hungerford unveiled its plans to redevelop and

redesign the building, transforming the site into a bustling

business centre once again. At an exclusive media tour and

open house at the facility on February 5, partners Michael

and Andrew Hungerford took invited guests on a tour of the

property, now called ICON Business Park, and discussed how

the company plans to revive the area.

“This is considered one of the choicest commercial real

estate properties in the city,” says partner, Michael Hungerford.

“But it’s been a dormant shell for many years. We’re

bringing back the trucks. We’re bringing back the people.

We’re bringing business back.”

New renderings revealed at the ICON open house showed

how Hungerford plans to turn the current, state-of-the-art

building into a multi-tenanted, commercial and industrial

hub offering easy access to air, truck and rail transportation.

The building’s strategic location will allow it to take

advantage of Calgary’s growing reputation as a logistics hub

for Western Canada, and will appeal to manufacturing and

logistics enterprises and suburban office tenants. With an

investment of more than $10 million in refurbishment, the

property will get a redesign including more than 60 new

dock doors, exterior landscaping and customizing the interiors

to meet the requirements of new tenants. The building

will offer flexible workspace of up to 676,000 square feet in

warehousing and 85,000 square feet in office space.

“Hungerford’s renovation repositions the largest block of

underutilized industrial space in Calgary,” says Bruce Graham,

president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development.

“This vibrant, reimagined space will be a welcoming home

to a variety of new businesses in the heart of Calgary’s thriving

industrial sector, thanks to the visionary shepherding of

Hungerford Properties.”

“We’re excited about breathing new life back into the

building and revitalizing what is already an award-winning

property by investing in it and making it attractive to businesses

who can then, in turn, revitalize the neighbourhood

with jobs and business activity,” says partner, Andrew Hungerford.

Dubbed “southeast Calgary’s most intelligent

workspace,” the building will now offer an unprecedented

opportunity to lease award-winning warehouse and class A

office space with a unique mix of quality, flexibility and

amenities with great transportation access. Former building

owner, Haworth, will be the first office tenant and new leasing

opportunities in both office and warehousing are

available now. BiC

Solve Mobility Services Inc.

offers customized telecommunications solutions,

meeting each client’s unique needs with

cost-reduction on domestic and global carriers.

Real-time monitoring and

comprehensive consulting

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28 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

off the top • News

Airdrie: The Booming City

Genesis Land Development has been building communities

across Alberta for more than 15 years. As the province

continues to boom, they’ve focused on key areas, such as the

city of Airdrie, to not only build homes but communities.

Airdrie is one of the fastest growing municipalities in

Alberta and Canada, with an average annual growth rate of

7.78 per cent over the past five years. The city offers affordable

home prices, good schools and easy access to major

highways and Calgary’s downtown core. Airdrie is attracting

first-time homebuyers looking to live in family-friendly

communities with nearby access to goods and services,

shops, restaurants and lifestyle amenities.

Reflecting the company’s vision of building a bright and

vibrant community is Canals Landing, a residential community

nestled into the canals in central Airdrie. This thriving

neighbourhood features an abundance of green space with

close proximity to golf courses, shopping malls and most

importantly, an elementary and new junior high school.

To meet the growing need of affordable housing solutions,

Genesis unveiled semi-detached homes that start in the low

$300,000s. Buyers will enjoy the value of a semi without

having to share common walls as the connections are only

between the garages, delivering the benefits of a detached

Showhome in Genesis Land Development’s community of Canals Landing, in Airdrie.

home with the savings offered by smart design. The number

of semi-detached homes is increasing in Calgary, but offered

at high prices. In Airdrie, Genesis can offer these homes to

consumers at affordable prices, not comprising on privacy,

space or design. As the city continues to grow, housing

options like these will continue to surge in popularity.

Also, contributing to this thriving neighbourhood is Crystal

Creek Homes, Genesis Builders Group, McKee Homes and

ReidBuilt Homes. BiC

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30 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |


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off the top • News

Competition Showcases Top Talent Emerging in the Energy Sector

startups pitched for cash and in-kind prizes at inaugural Energy new venture competition

Would-be energy sector entrepreneurs and emerging

energy tech companies competed for a grand prize worth

$25,000 at the inaugural Energy New Venture Competition

on January 21, 2014. Finalists had 10 minutes to make their

case, Dragons’ Den-style, to a panel of judges consisting of

investors from Bluerock Ventures, Schlumberger Technology

Corp, Fronterra Ventures, Collins Barrow and Altira Group.

Created by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and

Innovation at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of

Business and Innovate Calgary, and supported by Cenovus, the

competition was designed as a platform to help advance emerging

energy technology companies and concepts to the next level.

“We wanted to create an opportunity to help drive Calgary

forward as a leader in energy technology and development,

giving emerging companies a major hand-up with

their ventures,” says Kim Neutens, director of the Hunter

Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “We provided

finalists with mentorship from experts in entrepreneurship,

innovation, company creation and investment development

leading up to the competition as well as the opportunity to

pitch for cash prizes and network with potential investors.”

FREDsense Technologies secured the top prize, taking

home $15,000 in cash, $10,000 of in-kind services and the

opportunity to pitch at the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum

to more than 100 investors. The company edged-out the

competition with their Field-Ready Electrochemical Detector

(FRED), a novel electrochemical biosensor allowing for

on-site, rapid detection and quantification of toxins in the

tailing ponds. Started by a team of University of Calgary

students and alumni, FREDsense Technologies hopes their

biosensor solutions will be used in water quality monitoring

across the oil and gas sector.

“Winning this competition really starts to make things

real in the whole process of the startup. We can start reaching

our goals for the year, and that is huge,” explains David

Lloyd, co-founder, FREDSense. “We’ll be using the money to

help develop a prototype, establish connections to take the

product forward and file for a full patent.”

Placing second in the competition and pocketing $12,500 in

prizes was Luxmux, a company that has developed a technology

that enables real-time and accurate steam-quality measurements

for in-situ thermal heavy oil productions. ENVrecon took third

place and $5,000 in prizes with its software application that

automates the process of collecting data for environmental

reports, reducing the processing time from a five- to 10-day process

to one that takes only five to 10 seconds. BiC

32 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |






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Entrepreneurship: more than a buzzword • Entrepreneurship


more than a buzzword

Entrepreneurship is an attitude and a mindset

By John hardy

Buchanan Barry LLP is pleased to welcome Rick Laycock

and Greg Hesla

as new Partners for 2014. Rick returns to Buchanan Barry from another

Calgary firm where he practiced for 12 years. Greg joins Buchanan Barry from

that same firm and brings with him over 15 years of progressive experience.

Founded in 1960, Buchanan Barry LLP is an established presence in the

Calgary business community. We offer audit and assurance, accounting,

tax, valuation and advisory services to large and small enterprises, non-profit

organizations and individuals. Our client relationships often span decades,

reflecting the quality of our informed approach to the professional services we

provide. (403) 262-2116

Entrepreneurship is not only the

latest business buzzword in

conventional organizations and

a wide range of startup businesses,

entrepreneurship is a hot and exciting

new business concept.

The newness is that entrepreneurship

has caught on, gone mainstream

and achieved bona fide legitimacy.

The business world and academia now

embrace and value entrepreneurship.

“We may not have called it that

until about 10 years ago, when most

institutions were offering enterprise

MBAs, but the concept has been

around for generations,” explains

the upbeat and plugged-in Kimberley

Neutens, director of the Hunter Centre

for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

at the Haskayne School of Business.

“It’s basically the process of identifying

an opportunity (innovation), what

resources are available (human and

financial) to bring the product or the

service to market.”

No surprise that it has become a

much-in-demand and vital component

of the business school curriculum.

34 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Entrepreneurship: more than a buzzword • Entrepreneurship

Is waiting

for your

In the last decade or two, there has

been a seismic shift in demand for a

new breed of slightly or dramatically

different and even alternative

business education, especially ones

that teach the basics and specifics of

entrepreneurship – education that is

tapped into everything from startup

ecosystems to accessing venture

capitalists and startup incubators.

taking way

too long?

We have a

solution for that.

For years, most business schools

offered courses or student clubs on

the vague and fringe topic of entrepreneurship

although it was inevitably

a small part of the courses which

were designed to teach business students

the basics in economics, finance,

accounting, marketing and operations,

usually getting qualified for specific

management roles in existing, large


Schools had to make significant

adjustments, in some cases re-invent

themselves, to better serve a rapidly-growing

base of gung-ho and

aggressive entrepreneurs.

In the last decade or two, there has

been a seismic shift in demand for a

new breed of slightly or dramatically

different and even alternative business

education, especially ones that teach

the basics and specifics of entrepreneurship

– education that is tapped

into everything from startup ecosystems

to accessing venture capitalists

and startup incubators.

Respected business schools – from

Calgary’s Haskayne and Chiu School

of Business at Bow Valley College to

Schulich, Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton

and others – acknowledge the role and

impact of entrepreneurship in today’s

and tomorrow’s business world.

“Although entrepreneurial aspects

are now a routine part of many business

courses, we have emphasized

‘experiential learning,’” Neutens points

out. “Not just reading about entrepreneurial

skills but living them, live. We

invite successful Calgary entrepreneurs

to come into our classrooms, meet our

students and talk openly about their

successes and their failures.”

Various aspects of entrepreneurship

are already entrenched and expanding

as vital parts of contemporary MBA

and other business programs. In fact,

some business schools are so committed

to the potential of entrepreneurship

that they have actually begun to offer

master of entrepreneurship (MEntr)

degrees as an alternative to MBA.

There is caution in tempering (not

discouraging) the trend and excitement

about entrepreneurship.

As some academics, conventional

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or call 1-866-662-8062 | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 35

Economic Futures Council | JA Canada

Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta

is proud to recognize the Founding Members

of the Economic Futures Council at a

special luncheon on April 17, 2014

at the Hyatt Regency Calgary.

John and Cheryl Aldred

David A. Bissett

Jim Davidson

Jack and Joan Donald

N. Murray Edwards

Richard F. Haskayne

Wayne Henuset

Sam Kolias

Hal Kvisle

Alvin Libin

Ronald N. Mannix

David O’Brien

Todd Poland

Clayton Riddell

JR Shaw

Guy Turcotte

Mac Van Wielingen


To reserve a spot at the luncheon or to join the Council,

please contact Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta

at 403 781 2582.

Members of the Economic Futures Council, through their participation

and generous financial support, are committed to helping youth succeed

in a global economy.




36 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Entrepreneurship: more than a buzzword • Entrepreneurship

Kimberley Neutens. Photo by Kai Hochhausen.

There’s consensus that while entrepreneurship is

appealing and (for some) the clichéd chance to

‘be your own boss,’ to be an original, to create

and cash in on a revolutionary new idea has always

been tempting and irresistible, it is not easy.

business executives as well as solid,

established and successful entrepreneurs

point out: entrepreneurship is

often misunderstood and misleading.

The stereotypical perception still lingers

that entrepreneurs are mavericks,

fringe players and gung-ho creative

types who buck the system.

Despite celebrated stories about some

high-profile examples, not all entrepreneurs

can be Jeff Bezos (Amazon),

Richard Branson (Virgin everything),

Phil Knight (Nike), Clive Beddoe (West-

Jet) and Howard Schultz (Starbucks).

“TV reality shows like Dragons’ Den

and Shark Tank can’t be underestimated,”

she shrugs. “They showcase

ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

There’s consensus that while entrepreneurship

is appealing and (for

some) the clichéd chance to ‘be your

own boss,’ to be an original, to create

and cash in on a revolutionary new

idea has always been tempting and

irresistible, it is not easy.

As iconic celebrity Dolly Parton consistently

says about her stage persona

appearance: “It takes a lot of money to

look this cheap.”

Neutens cites a recent Haskayne

new-student survey done by assistant

professor Derek Hassay. “Misconceptions

about being an entrepreneur can

cause unrealistic expectations. Our

survey showed that, at the start of our

program, six out of 10 students wanted

to open their own business. By graduation,

it was one out of 20.

“Reality had set in. It’s challenging

and the fact that being an entrepreneur

often involves much risk.”

Track records indicate that the hot

and current business term “startup”

was hatched about 20 years ago, with

the launch of the dot-com era. When

the dot-com bubble burst, it took a lot

of startup casualties, while the business

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38 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

More than a buzzword • Entrepreneurship

There’s so much more to it than

launching a new service, developing

new technology, a bright idea or

what the pros call ‘the plan and

pitch approach’: market research

and writing a business plan to pitch

to potential investors.

Get your tickets and help us

celebrate 30 years of

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formula survived and continues, even though not all serious

entrepreneurship dreams and plans necessarily involve

independent startup businesses. And despite the myth, not

all contemporary startups involve cutting-edge technology.

The business world has had an entrepreneurial reality


Academics do their practical best to design targeted curriculums

and teach that entrepreneurship is “not” management.

There’s so much more to it than launching a new service,

developing new technology, a bright idea or what the pros

call ‘the plan and pitch approach’: market research and writing

a business plan to pitch to potential investors.

“Every business still needs the trinity,” stresses Neutens.

“Technical, marketing and finance.”

Unlike during the hotter-than-hot dot-com craze,

today entrepreneurial startups range from tech solutions

to products, services and gadgets and the timing for true

entrepreneurs couldn’t be better. The world is a now one

seamless, single market. Entrepreneurs can (and do) think

globally about the opportunity, even if they start ‘local.’

Regardless the trendiness of entrepreneurship, today’s startups

are still in the first stages of operations and often (not

always) bankrolled by their entrepreneurial founders, as they

work hard to capitalize on developing a product or service they

passionately believe in and trigger market demand.

Besides, North American startup stats show that about one

per cent of all new startups use venture capital. About 90

per cent of today’s successful startups are bootstrap.

Business consultants and analysts warn that, due to limited

revenue or high costs, most small-scale startups are not

sustainable in the long term without additional funding,

invariably from venture capitalists.

Entrepreneurship is conspicuously finding its way into

conventional corporations. Large or well-established companies

are doing whatever it takes to attract ‘intrapreneurs.’

Budding innovators and entrepreneurs are getting hired

to focus on creativity, change management, new product

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40 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Entrepreneurship: more than a buzzword • Entrepreneurship

Shashi Behl, Twisted Goods

Troy Sedgwick, REC Media

Susan & Holly Brattberg, Brattberg Group of Companies.

Photos, this page, by Ewan Nicholson Photography

Some still call it entrepreneurial spirit

but many agree that entrepreneurship is an attitude and a mindset.

development, entrepreneurial finance, customer-focused

design and business development and setting up internal

startups – new business divisions that harness the fresh

approach of entrepreneurship but sometimes operate at

arm’s length from the rest of the existing, structured company.

Entrepreneurship, while it’s being heard and used more and

more often, is so very much more than a trendy buzzword.

It is not only transforming what is taught in business

schools and impacting contemporary business. Some still

call it entrepreneurial spirit but many agree that entrepreneurship

is an attitude and a mindset.

“The current generation is not so focused on income as

much as impact, making a change and making a difference,”

Neutens says.

From legendary entrepreneurs who created Apple, Google

and Facebook to closer-to-home – the popular Perogy Boyz,

Cheezy Bizness and other clever and delish Calgary food

trucks and the gush of many other dynamic and determined

Calgary entrepreneurs.

Like Shashi Behl, who took a chance on a retail store specializing

in quirky, original, different but really neat stuff

and now boasts five busy and successful Twisted Goods

retail stores.

Or Troy Sedgwick and his unique, Calgary-based REC

Media ad agency, specializing in selling advertising in

community hockey rinks, ice surfaces, arenas, soccer and

baseball fields and rec facilities throughout Canada.

Calgary sisters and innovative entrepreneurs Susan and

Holly Brattberg, who continue to revolutionize global


And the other gung-ho entrepreneurs who have or will

soon parlay their entrepreneurial bright idea into a viable

business. BiC | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 41
















dynamic calgary Entrepreneur • cover

The Hectic

but Gung-ho Life of a

Dynamic Calgary


Golf courses are an asset-based business, and they’re not making any more land


Barry Ehlert at the Hamptons Golf Club. Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography.

While Calgary’s oil and gas industry vigorously

tries to reduce its carbon footprint, gung-ho Calgary

entrepreneur Barry Ehlert increases his golf

shoe print.

After all, what’s more therapeutic in March than to think,

talk and read about golf?

While wishful thinking and daydreaming is always good,

especially in an area like Calgary with a four- to (maximum)

five-month golf season, March is unfortunately too early

and premature to think about fun stuff like tee times, new

drivers, perfecting swings and hanging out at the 19 th hole.

By all rights, browsing a definition of “dynamic” should have

a picture of Calgary golf course entrepreneur, Barry Ehlert.

But Wikipedia only has words: “vigorously active or

forceful; energetic; continuous change or activity; force of

personality, ambition, energy, and new ideas.”

All appropriate descriptions of Barry Ehlert.

In hard-core corporate detail, Ehlert is the president of

Scratch Golf. He shrugs and chuckles that his company is neither

high profile or well known. “In fact, it probably doesn’t

ring any bells with most people.” Scratch Golf (and Ehlert) are

in the business of the golf business and are much better known

by their popular Calgary brands than a formal corporate name.

The high-energy and passionate 35-year-old Calgary

entrepreneur is owner and managing partner of the Hamptons

Golf Club, Springbank Links, Boulder Creek Golf

Course, Harvest Hills Golf Course, Silverwing Links, the new

7,585-yard Copithorne Club (which will soon be breaking

ground in Springbank), the Wilderness Club in Montana,

also manages the Northern Bear Golf Club in Edmonton and

he is busy working on a few possible deals he excitedly grins

but refuses to talk about.

44 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

dynamic calgary Entrepreneur • cover

Top: the Wilderness Club in Montana

Bottom left: Boulder Creek Golf Course in Calgary

Bottom right: Northern Bear Golf Club in Edmonton

The stereotypes of manicured, rolling green hills dotted

with glaring white bunkers, clusters of trees and sprawling,

open countrysides spotted with foursomes of casually

dressed people, relaxed, walking or bouncing along in a cart,

enjoying summer days, good company and celebrating good

putts camouflage the demanding, unpredictable and complicated

business of golf.

As Canadian golf and golf course stats – and Barry

Ehlert’s calendar – solidly prove, being a successful golf

course owner and managing partner in the big business of

golf is very much a year-round business.

Despite realities and quirky business factors like Canadian

winters creating five to eight long months of down time and

misleadingly uneventful off-season lulls, Canada still manages

to impressively rate as a documented golf hot spot with

more than 2,400 places (from driving ranges to public and

private courses) where the sacred seasonal game is played.

A remarkable business performance, considering that in

just about six or so months of actual play, the business of

golf accounts for some $12 billion of Canada’s gross domestic

product (GDP) and – seasonal or not – Canadian golf operations

are a major employer, involving some 342,000 jobs.

Last year, from balmy Victoria to cold and long-winter

places like Newfoundland, Edmonton and Calgary, 5.7 million

Canadians played over 70 million rounds of golf.

Detailed business data comparisons show that – even

comparing to the mega-hyped popularity of golf in the U.S.

– Canadian golfers are a determined bunch and the numbers

show that Canada has (by far) the largest per capita golf

participation rate in the world.

This time of year – at least a month or more before actually

slipping into the shoes and stashing the bulky bag | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 45

dynamic calgary Entrepreneur • cover

Top: Springbank Links

Bottom left: Silverwing Links

Bottom right: Hamptons Golf Club

permanently in the trunk (just in case) or lining up tee shots

and replacing divots – it’s all about the business of golf.

The negotiations, business plans, dealmaking, meetings,

and prepping and more planning; yield management strategies

for revenue expectations; sales strategies to optimize

facility usage by pitching for Calgary banquets, seminars,

team building and corporate days, and wedding receptions;

and staff training on merchandise, retail selling and stock

level management.

And before Barry Ehlert knows it, he will be crunching

daily, weekly and monthly Hamptons, Springbank, Boulder

Creek, Harvest Hills and Silverwing numbers, making visits

in the mud as Copithorne takes shape this spring and crossing

fingers and hoping for perfect sunny days and rain only

at night.

By the time Calgary golfers are happily into the season,

grunting about their swing and celebrating amazing putts,

Ehlert will still be juggling 12-15 hour days of meetings,

endless cellphone sessions, negotiations and managing the

short- and long-term golf and non-golf business matters of

his popular Calgary area golf properties.

“The golf business is a passion. I genuinely love it,” he

says with infectious, trademark enthusiasm. “Sounds crazy

but it’s kind of a sexy, exciting and fun business to be in. It’s

a business that’s all about being with people, people enjoying

themselves and having a good time. And there is a lot of

business done on a golf course.

“If the goal is solely profit, golf is the wrong business.

There are much higher profit-yield businesses. Golf courses

are not cash-flow valued,” he explains. “Owning and managing

golf courses is demanding but very, very rewarding.

“Golf courses are definitely niche businesses and assetbased

businesses. If managed efficiently, owning and

operating golf courses is a strong business and a great way

to make a living, in the long run.

“Hey! Cliché or not,” Ehlert snaps with keen business

savvy laced with a sharp wit, “they are NOT making any

more land.”

Like CEOs of conventional businesses, golf course owner/

operators like Barry Ehlert are not likely to talk openly about

budgets, revenues or expenses.

“It’s cheaper to buy a golf course than build one,” he grunts

a laugh, without a hint of ongoing deals or divulging any

property acquisition strategy. “One thing is for sure. It is getting

much easier to acquire golf courses than it has been.”

Without Calgary specifics and strictly according to North

American industry stats, the cost of owning and operating

just one, 18-hole golf course facility depends on various

key business factors like: location; seasonal or year-round;

private, semi-private or public; number of staff/payroll;

marketing; maintenance and capital expenses; membership

or annual revenue figures; the viability of club facilities

for non-golf event use (like weddings, meetings and conferences);

and the extent of the club’s food and beverage

operations can easily set operating costs from $600,000 into

millions of dollars a year.

46 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |




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dynamic calgary Entrepreneur • cover

Barry discusses upcoming plans with Kevin Heise, general manager of Springbank Links Golf Club. Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography.

Professional groups like the National Golf Course Owners

Association of Canada (NGCOA), a not-for-profit trade

association providing business support to Canadian golf

course operators, explains and underscores that no matter

how complex or simple the business plan, balance sheets

and actual performance – from six digits or into the doubledigit

millions – the basics of the golf course business mostly

(not exclusively) come down to rounds played.

Aside from the detailed business and operational plans

and budgets, the simplified formula is straightforward:

[# rounds played] X [$ per golfer] for greens fees, carts,

food and beverage and merchandise.

It’s the make it or break it factor for the business of golf.

Any extras or bonuses, like facility rentals for special events,

are additional revenues.

The golf business – from Calgary’s Hamptons or Springbank

Links to Florida and Palm Springs – is vibrant but dealing

with typical business factors like increasing costs, razor-thin

margins and (unique to the business of golf) the weather and

trend-reliant factors that impact total rounds played.

The industry is unanimous. Now more than ever, business

savvy and efficient management of golf courses is the key.

And Barry Ehlert’s approach is proving to be a Calgary template

and Midas touch.

“I have grown up in the golf course business and learning

the golf course business. I am fortunate to be third generation,

always in Calgary, working in the business.

“Things have changed and continue to change so quickly.

As crazy as it sounds,” he smiles and cringes, “our core

business is not golf. It’s entertainment. We’re competing for

people’s recreational spending with the Flames, the Stampeders,

restaurants, movies and more.

“We have created a successful niche business here in

Calgary and owning multiple courses actually makes the

management potential more effective. We have a foundation,

an infrastructure and it allows us to centralize many

of our management functions, like marketing, accounting

and bookkeeping systems, as well as developing good revenue

streams and new concepts at all properties. Operations

are, of course, specific and individual to each course,” Ehlert

points out.

“It’s not only a matter of increasing revenues and cost savings

but efficiency. Besides, owning a single course can have

many unknowns. Owning and managing multiple courses

can be challenging but definitely has its advantages.”

Barry Ehlert is supercharged, focused, bold (not brash) but

also candid and introspective.

“At the beginning I had a tough time acknowledging one

big obstacle to business success: thinking I can do everything

and do it better than anyone else. I was reluctant to

48 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

dynamic calgary Entrepreneur • cover

Barry and his wife Kathy with their children (left to right) Macy, Myles, Tommy and Kyla. Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography.

delegate and I didn’t trust people. In my mind I was sure I

was doing things better. I was wrong. I was just doing things

differently, not necessarily better.

“Now I have more than 400 staff and they are terrific. I trust

them, I rely on them and I can only hope my energy and enthusiasm

rubs off on them. It’s crucially important that they not

only feel empowered but that they enjoy what they do.”

Despite admitting to “living out of a laptop” and being

on his cellphone for most of his 12- to 15-hour Calgary

workdays, Ehlert is a tireless, focused and self-confessed

multi-tasker who also works hard at maintaining balance in

his gung-ho life.

“I can’t fight it. I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I work hard

at being strategic and creative but it rarely stops. I can’t

turn it off so easily,” he says with mellow sentiment. “I’m

definitely an evening type. It’s when the emails and phone

calls stop – but I don’t.

“I think and make notes about deals I’m negotiating,

about creative marketing possibilities or how we could utilize

that 30,000-square-foot clubhouse asset smarter and

better. Maybe pitch it at the upcoming bridal show.”

Ehlert good-naturedly bristles and abruptly denies being

a workaholic.

“Of course we keep growing and building on our success.

There’s always more to be done and better ways to do it. Part

of the problem is that it’s really not work, it’s my life,” he

says with conviction. “And I am determined to keep it prioritized,

because there are four important aspects to my life.

“Family is absolutely number one. My immediate family

is four terrific kids (one, three, five and 11) and a remarkable

wife. Being home to put the kids to bed is unconditionally

top priority. And my parents, my three sisters, one brother

and 30 nieces and nephews are an extremely close family

and we have such good times together.

“Then church,” he continues the short list. “Then the Dallas

Cowboys” – a hobby/ passion Ehlert acquired early in his

career, after getting his business degree in entrepreneurship

and briefly working in the furniture business in Texas. “The

Cowboys are a very important part of my life.

“And then the golf courses.”

So as Barry Ehlert keeps his hectic business-of-golf pace,

readying to clinch more deals and, together with his 400

Calgary staffers, anxiously waits for the end of Calgary winter

and the Hamptons, Springbank, Boulder Creek, Harvest

Hills and Silverwing turf to properly dry out and be playable,

waiting for the legals and the permits so the dozers can

start on the new Copithorne course, he does have a dream:

“To one day work for or volunteer for the Dallas Cowboys.

Even as a water boy!” BiC | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 49

alberta: Upgraded • Energy

3D Refinery Model

Alberta: Upgraded

Everything you wanted to know about the

north West redwater Partnership’s refinery in sturgeon County


There is something big going on

in Alberta’s heartland. Alberta

has built several upgraders in

the past, but the Surgeon refinery is

the first in approximately 30 years.

With new technology and the introduction

of several green processes,

the refinery is poised to be a triumph

in Alberta’s energy sector. Yet, this

multi-year, multi-billion dollar project

is not without its challenges, or

its misconceptions. Following is what

you should know about the project

and its anticipated impact on a local

and national scale.

Who is involved?

The North West Redwater Partnership

(NWR) is comprised of North West

Upgrading Inc. (NWU) and Canadian

Natural Resources Limited (CNRL).

Both organizations have a 50 per cent

stake in the partnership.

NWR has and will continue to employ

a variety of contactors for the many different

process areas of the first phase of

the project. To date, most of the contracts

have been for jobs related to mass

earthworks, deep undergrounds, nonprocess

buildings, pipelines, and site

infrastructure. Notable contractors for

this work include Voice Construction,

PCL, CCI, Willbros and Taurus Site

Services. Contracts are currently being

awarded for engineering, procurement

and construction of the various process


Don’t Call it an Upgrader

For many, the project is simply

known as the “Redwater Upgrader.”

The term upgrader, however, is misleading.

Doug Bertsch, vice president

with the North West Redwater Partnership

(NWR) explains, “An upgrader | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 53

alberta: Upgraded • Energy

NWR will capture 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year from Phase 1

of the refinery, equivalent to taking approximately 300,000 cars off the road.

The refinery will also minimize its fresh water use with the use of leading

water treatment technologies, allowing maximized water recycling within

the process, and maximizing air cooling for process needs.

converts bitumen into synthetic crude

oil that in turn becomes the feedstock

for a refinery which converts synthetic

into diesel. The NWR Sturgeon

Refinery converts bitumen directly

into ultra-low sulfur diesel, which is

the highest value product that can be

made from bitumen.”

How Will the nWr

sturgeon refinery

impact albertans?

Ian MacGregor, chairman and CEO of

North West Upgrading (NWU) explains

the long-term economic impact, “A

refinery like this lasts for 100 years.

You have to keep replacing and building

new things, but the economic

activity lasts for a very long time. [We

expect the facility to generate] more

than $3 trillion of economic activity

in Alberta over its life. One small

example of why it’s good for Alberta

to have these types of facilities here is

property taxes; we will pay will pay

about $2 billion in property taxes over

its life.” Obviously, the economic benefits

of converting bitumen are a lot

more than property taxes.

As Bertsch points out, the value to

Alberta extends deep into the landscape

– literally. “By using the most

environmentally conscious processes

to minimize waste and emissions,

NWR will set the environmental gold

standard and demonstrate to the world

that Albertans can be environmentally

responsible stewards of the oil

sands resource, ensuring its sustainable

development. The single-step,

bitumen-to-diesel process will move

bitumen as high up the value chain as

possible, significantly enhancing the

economic return to Alberta’s economy.

To illustrate, if the NWR Sturgeon

Refinery had been operational last

year, the Government of Alberta would

have benefited by an additional $500

million over shipping raw bitumen.

That additional economic activity

keeps the value here and the taxes and

additional revenue can help to pay for

schools, health care, and other things

that Albertans need. Transferring this

economic activity down the pipe just

doesn’t make sense for Alberta.

54 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Alberta: Upgraded • Energy

“Although the Sturgeon Refinery is

being constructed in Alberta, a significant

amount of the project capital

will be spent procuring materials and

services from other provinces. The

socio-economic benefits to Albertans

and Canadians from the construction

and expected long operational life of

the Sturgeon Refinery will be many

billions of dollars.”

The NWR Sturgeon

Refinery Is Eco-Friendly

“The single-step bitumen to diesel

process being used by NWR maximizes

the conversion of the bitumen

resource and minimizes waste or low

value products such as coke. The process

produces a high-purity CO 2


that is a feedstock for downstream

industries,” explains Bertsch. “Because

we capture high-purity CO 2


from the gasifier (about two-thirds of

the CO 2

from the facility) the diesel

fuel produced will meet low-carbon

fuel standards. NWR will capture 1.2

million tonnes of CO 2

per year from

Phase 1 of the refinery, equivalent to

taking approximately 300,000 cars off

the road. The refinery will also minimize

its fresh water use with the use of

leading water treatment technologies,

allowing maximized water recycling

within the process, and maximizing

air cooling for process needs.”

MacGregor agrees, “Gasification

means we don’t consume natural gas.

We convert the bottom of the barrel

that is pretty much worthless into

high-value hydrogen. Our process is a

really environmentally friendly solution

to bitumen production. If you do

what we do, our bitumen feedstock

goes from being one of the worst from

CO 2

to the best.” MacGregor continues,

“Making diesel here in Alberta will

avoid the annual shortages that have

become a regular part of life. By them

making 40,000 barrels a day in phase

one, we will solve the problem.”

Money is an Issue

Any project of this size runs the

risk of overshooting the financial

contingency, and the NWR Sturgeon

Refinery is no exception. But as

MacGregor states with a laugh, “Our

costs have gone up a lot. We’ve been

working on this for 10 years. There

is always someone squawking somewhere!”

What he means is that there

is always opposition when the media

breaks news about the increased costs

of the refinery. However, these costs

are not reported in line with the overall

project scope.

In admitting the project is over

budget, MacGregor continues, “Both

CNRL and the province have provided

more support, approximately $300

million each as a loan. That caused

some squawking because it’s a big

cost, but it is $300 million in an $8

billion project. People aren’t focusing

on the margins. It’s easy to focus

on costs and ignore revenues, but


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Enter reference code: BIC | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 55

alberta: Upgraded • Energy

For MacGregor, the benefits that get overlooked include job creation.

There are 1,000 – 1,500 working on the project right now and when field

construction starts, that number will approximate 5,000.

it makes sense to look at both at the

same time. [For example], we tendered

on an Alberta Government initiative

called bitumen-royalty-in-kind. We

won the tender and that resulted in

a contract to process 37,500 barrels/

day of royalty bitumen. When we

tendered, the margin was about $10

per barrel. In the last year, it’s been

averaging $50/barrel. The province

receives that extra revenue.”

For MacGregor, the benefits that

get overlooked include job creation.

There are 1,000 – 1,500 working on

the project right now and when field

construction starts, that number will

approximate 5,000. “This project is

close to Edmonton; you can work at

this site and sleep in your own bed at

night,” MacGregor explains that if the

subsequent two phases of the project

are built, jobs will be created that can

run for more than 10 years. “It’s the

people in Edmonton who will do this.

We are not bringing in a big transitory

work force and putting them in

a camp. We’ll be working with people

that can go home at night and see

their kids in the morning.

albertans are Excited

about the refinery

Reg Curren, with media relations

for Cenovus Energy Inc., states that

despite Cenovus’ decision to invest in

refineries closer to their main markets

in the United States, “Overall we view

the addition of upgrading capacity

in Alberta as a positive move for the

entire oil sands industry.”

Bertsch, who points out that NWR

is an active participant in regional

community advisory panels, economic

development groups and multi-stakeholder

environmental initiatives is

pleased to say, “Our experience is that

the general public welcomes NWR’s

responsible approach to building this

refinery. The consistent theme is one

of welcome and excitement for the

opportunities created by this project.”

the Decisions of today

affect alberta’s Future

The NWR Redwater Upgrader is a

large part of Alberta’s future as an

energy-centred economic powerhouse.

“It’s true, Alberta is an expensive to

build it,” concludes MacGregor, “but

it’s expensive because the revenue is

here. It’s not smart to transfer benefits

or jobs to other locations like the Gulf

Coast. I really believe we shouldn’t be

selling our raw materials of any sort to

foreign nationals. We should be processing

them here and selling finished

products to whomever wants them. It’s

difficult, but worthwhile.” BiC

56 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

solid: calgary’s Market • Commercial Real Estate


Calgary’s Commercial

Real Estate Market

Calgary is well on its way to earning the ranking of an

international market

BY ParkEr Grant

Commercial real estate in Calgary isn’t exactly the cliché of apples and oranges but it’s close.

Commercial real estate in Calgary is virtually one industry with four distinctly different

divisions. And the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the performance results, the impacting

influences and the focus of the professionals, rarely, if ever, overlap.

Although most Calgary-based commercial real estate professionals have expertise in all aspects

of the commercial real estate market, even they consider it as four distinctly different portfolios:

industrial, office, retail and investment.

The situations are distinctly different. The supply and demand are different. The rates, terms and

market factors are different. And, most importantly, the wants and needs of the clients are entirely


Calgary’s industrial clients have drastically different needs and space requirements than office

tenants. Retail clients are in a special commercial real estate category of their own. And the strategy

of Calgary real estate investors is also unique.

In any given period, in any of the four commercial real estate categories, it could be a weak

market, a lull, a stable market or a growing, strong and boom market. Each specific market situation

– at any given time – depends on many variables.

Photo courtesy of Colliers International | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 57

solid: calgary’s Market • Commercial Real Estate

Photo courtesy of Colliers International

Overall, Canadian and Alberta stats and sources agree that

Calgary’s commercial real estate market is solid, despite (from

the 2008 jolt, the natural gas price crunch to anxiously waiting

for a Keystone verdict) weathering a bumpy eight years of

national, provincial and global economic challenges.

“In most of Calgary’s commercial real estate (industrial,

office and retail) sectors, there is a consistent, five to eight

per cent vacancy rate. The industry calls that a basically

‘balanced market’ and that’s a healthy place to be,” is the

upbeat positivity from Susan Thompson, business development

manager, real estate and location, with Calgary

Economic Development.

“It gives the market space to breathe, grow and expand.

It’s kind of a golden zone for us.”

The industrial sector details tell a similar, encouraging

and good story.

Calgary’s industrial real estate sector is hot and getting

hotter (some are actually concerned about land shortages

in certain locations) from not only Calgary’s oil and gas

Susan Thompson, Business Development Manager, Real Estate

& Location with Calgary Economic Development

Greg Kwong, executive vice-president and regional managing

director of CBRE in Calgary

industry but oilfield services, warehouse, transportation and

distribution businesses.

A strong leasing market keeps industrial vacancy levels

low and the availability of large parcels of developable land

in most areas continues to provide industrial real estate clients

with plenty of availability and good choices.

Recent commercial real estate numbers show that Calgary

has now officially surpassed Toronto as the biggest

office development market in the country. Due primarily (no

longer exclusively) to the oil and gas industry and the emergence

of the city’s high-tech, financial, environmental and

professional services sectors, Calgary has more head offices

than any other Canadian city, except Toronto.

“Office space fluctuates the most,” Thompson says. “Absolute

premium AA space vacancy, predominantly downtown,

is below the Calgary average, under three per cent. Most of the

downtown and suburban vacancy is A, B and C class space.”

“In some ways, 2013 was a soft year for Calgary office

space. More space came on the market than is being

absorbed. A big part of the problem is the

oilpatch, still Calgary’s dominant sector. It

has slowed considerably but there are high

hopes for an upswing and a pipeline decision,”

according the Greg Kwong, executive

vice-president and regional managing director

of CBRE in Calgary.

The crunched numbers show that the

overall (AA, A and B) office vacancy rate in

Calgary was 7.8 per cent at the end of 2013,

up from 6.6 per cent at the end of last year.

The prime, downtown office market had a

6.1 per cent vacancy rate for year-end 2013,

up from five per cent the year before.

“All indicators are that 2014 will be a

stronger year. Nothing like the glory days

of 2007 and 2012 but a good year,” Kwong

offers the positive and professional hunch.

58 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

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solid: calgary’s Market • Commercial Real Estate

Rendering (above) and current development site (below) for the Walmart at East Hills, along 17 th Ave SE.

Photo and rendering courtesy of Urban Systems.

“Industrial leasing factors

are vitally important and give

Calgary a significant edge…

It’s why Walmart and Target

are strategically taking even

more industrial real estate

space in Calgary.”

~ Paul Marsden

As a generalized pattern, the downtown core office market

tends to target and draw mainly ‘large tenants’ that

need sprawling (100,000 - 200,000 square feet) office space,

while prices and smaller square footage needs are keeping

the suburban markets like Quarry Park and others, strong

and growing.

Calgary is still very much a downtown-centric office real

estate market,” Kwong says from experience. As examples, he

cites traditional office space areas like around Bankers Hall

and good, new supply and demand in areas like Eau Claire.

There are some new and trendy office areas like Kensington

and a few others populated by lawyers, ad agencies,

architects and small high-tech startups but, aside from being

nice and eclectic, Kwong explains, they simply don’t have

the size of space many companies require.

In Calgary’s office real estate market, anything less than

100,000 square feet is often considered insignificant but

Kwong touches on a quirky, generational aspect to the supply

and demand of contemporary office space.

“When I started in the business, some 30 years ago, office

staff measured success and rank by having a private office

and the size of the office mattered. The current office generation

is changing all that. Only presidents and CEO still

expect 400- to 500-square-foot corner offices.

“Today’s office demographics don’t want to be enclosed

in a confining little office. They are comfortable but space

conscious. And more and more offices encourage and offer

telecommuting with fewer people working ‘in the office.’

“The trend is definitely to cubicles,” he observes, “which ultimately

factors out for the company to need less office space.”

Calgary continues to be a magnet for institutional investors

like REITS, pension funds and public companies, as well as

private investors who are attracted to Calgary’s commercial

real estate products, often thanks to Alberta’s low corporate

tax rates and the extra break of no provincial sales tax.

Although investors gravitate to Calgary’s office real estate

sector, they also continue to show confidence and invest

heavily in Calgary’s industrial and retail markets.

The city’s retail real estate market is in a category and

league of its own.

60 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

solid: calgary’s Market • Commercial Real Estate

Paul Marsden, vice president / partner - industrial sales and

leasing with Colliers International

Mostly as a result of Calgary’s enviably

high employment and income

levels, and the 36.6 average age being

in the potent demographic range for

retailers, the retail sector has grown

steadily over the past 10 or so years.

The good (retail) news? Not only

do many Canadian chains often have

several Calgary locations but the city

continues to draw more and more U.S.


The bad news? Calgary’s retail

attractiveness is causing a slight

retail real estate drought with a lack

of desirable, suitable and good retail

space, especially in the northwest and


Commercial real estate experts and

clients agree. Calgary’s industrial real

estate market is booming.

The positive momentum of Calgary’s

industrial real estate situation

is spurred primarily by stability and

growth, especially among the key

industrial real estate clients in the

warehouse, transportation, distribution

and manufacturing sectors, and

most usually need expansive space.

A unique bonus is that, unlike most

other Canadian cities, Calgary is not

limited by a lack of industrial land. A

strong leasing market keeps vacancy

levels low while the availability of

large parcels of developable land

ensures a steady source of new supply.

“The Calgary numbers show that

2013 was a very good year for industrial

space and activity for 2014 is

already strong. There’s about 2.5

million square feet of tenants looking

for industrial space in Calgary,”

says a confident and buoyant Paul

Marsden, vice president and partner,

industrial sales and leasing, with

Colliers International.

“A key driver of industrial space is

consumer confidence. When consumer

confidence is strong, the demand for

warehousing, distribution and manufacturing

space increases,” Marsden


Calgary is already considered a

major Canadian distribution centre.

The city’s geographic location is also a

major factor for industrial real estate.

One of the industry’s criteria is the

ability to reach a desired population

base (by truck or rail) within a 10-hour


Also, in industry lingo, Calgary is

considered an “inland port,” with loads

coming from a ship (in Vancouver) by

rail, direct to the Calgary warehouse.

“Industrial leasing factors like that

are vitally important and give Calgary

a significant edge. It’s why businesses

giants like Lowe’s and Nordstrom are

consolidating warehouse facilities from

other markets in Calgary and why

Walmart and Target are strategically

taking even more industrial real estate

space in Calgary,” Marsden says with

enthusiasm and a hint of pride.

The news is also good when it comes

to “new space” for Calgary.

According to Statistics Canada,

investment in non-residential building

construction topped $973 million in

the core area in the fourth quarter of

2013, and the positivity further shows

that the amount was a 3.4 per cent

year-over-year gain.

The national trend fares nearly

as well as Calgary, with investment

jumping to $12.9 billion in the fourth

quarter, up by only 1.3 per cent from

the same quarter the year before.

Calgary’s commercial (industrial,

office, retail and investment) real

estate numbers are the true indicators

that Calgary is well on its way to earning

the ranking of – an international

market. BiC

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Stay Current Stay Compliant | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 61

Condominiums are

on the Rise

Real estate in our city continues to be robust

and tightening inventory in the single-family

resale market is good news for condominium

owners and developers


The downtown condominium development of Keynote,

located at 1 st Street SE and 12 th Avenue SE.

Photo by Cher Compton.

62 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

condominiums are on the rise • Real Estate

Residential real estate in Calgary is big business and

condominium living continues to gain popularity.

In addition to location and access to amenities, ease

of maintenance and enhanced security, affordability is the

primary factor as to why more Calgarians are moving into

this market.

Overall housing sales and pricing in 2013 exceeded

expectations, with stronger gains in the second half of

the year. Ongoing net migration and improved economic

outlook were direct contributors to the momentum that

pushed sales volumes up by 11 per cent. That equated to a

7.9 per cent increase in the average benchmark price.

As pricing began to creep and inventory continued to

tighten in the single-family market, more and more people

turned to condominium apartments and town houses as

they offered more affordable options and lifestyle choices.

In 2013 the combined condo sector contributed to 30.6 per

cent of the resale housing market, totalling 7,187 units sold.

Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB, says the

trend is anticipated to continue, although not likely at the

same rates as last year. “We have seen high net migration

over the past two consecutive years as well as employment

growth and overall improvement in the economy. There

are a limited number of affordable single-family properties

As pricing began to creep and inventory continued to tighten

in the single-family market, more and more people turned to

condominium apartments and town houses as they offered

more affordable options and lifestyle choices.

Meet Tanya. She’s been one of Calgary’s top selling Real Estate

Agents for years. She’s a true expert on Calgary’s Inner City Real Estate

market, and she understands every client is as unique as their home.

Tanya takes the time to listen; to understand your wants and needs. She

doesn’t expect your trust, Tanya earns it by consistently remaining honest,

accessible and tenacious. That’s what sets Tanya apart.

The Tanya Eklund Group was founded on Tanya’s principles. The

professionals within her group don’t work for Tanya—they work for their

clients. They provide unparalleled expertise, skill and service to Calgary’s

inner city.

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Each office is independently owned and operated. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 63

condominiums are on the rise • Real Estate

Revitalization in East Village will add dynamic living, shopping, dining and entertainment to the spirit of Calgary. Rendering courtesy of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.Illustration of VERVE project by Fram+Slokker.

on the market, which has prompted greater activity in the

condo markets. It has also prompted increased sales in communities

surrounding the city.”

This year, industry experts anticipate further gains in

condominiums, as the need for product continues to rise

and long-term lending rates increase. “Pricing has yet to

fully recover in the condo market, as we’re still six per cent

below the peak,” says Lurie. “Year to date, we have seen a

nine per cent price increase on a typical

property and it is likely pricing will

continue to climb.”

During the peak in July of 2007,

the average benchmark price for a

condo apartment hit $296,700 and

a condo town house hit $331,800. In

contrast, the average benchmark price

of a condo apartment and a condo

town house in December 2013 were

$278,600 and $307,100 respectively.

It is projected that key areas, especially

within the inner city, will see

ongoing demand for quality residential

properties. Joel Gwillim, real estate

agent with CIR Realty, specializes in

condominium sales and explains that

the activity in resale as well as new

“There is certainly incentive to living in the core and

growing interest in higher-end condominiums. It is also

noteworthy that loft living continues to be popular and more

and more people are opting for nicer condos and foregoing

vehicles, and therefore parking spaces. When you live and

work in the core, everything is within walking distance, and

Car2Go is there when needed,” says Gwillim.

As projects continue to develop and new buildings reach

up into the skyline, there are even more

options for great places to live. The

downtown core has and will always

remain popular, the beltline offers a

different flavour, and revitalized centres

such as East Village add dynamic

living, shopping, dining and entertainment

to the spirit of Calgary.

Another area to watch for in the

coming few years is 10th Avenue, as

plans for a new commercial tower,

high-end hotel and other retail locations

come on stream. “It is exciting to

see Calgary start to make a thoughtful

transition from being ultra conservative

to modestly contemporary. There is

so much personality in this city. No

wonder it’s a destination for Calgarians

properties is encouraging.

Joel Gwillim, real estate agent with CIR Realty

as well as visitors,” says Gwillim. BiC

64 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

condominiums are on the rise • Real Estate

Forecast Summary ~ 2013 vs. 2014 Forecasts

Economic Indicators 2013 Forecast 2014 Forecast

Calgary GDP Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.35% . . . . . . . . . . . .3.68%

Calgary Net Migration . . . . . . . . . . . 19,067 . . . . . . . . . . .15,000

Calgary Employment Growth . . . . . 2.80% . . . . . . . . . . . .3.12%

Average Residential Mortgage

Lending Rate 5 Year . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.07 . . . . . . . . . . . . .4.88

MLS Resale Market 2013 Forecast 2014 Forecast Change

Single Family Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . .16,302. . . . . . . . . . . .16,693 . . . . . . . . . . .2.4%

Price Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7.85% . . . . . . . . . . . .3.8%

Condo Apartment Sales . . . . . . . . .4,007. . . . . . . . . . . . .4,207 . . . . . . . . . . . .5.0%

Price Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8.72% . . . . . . . . . . . .5.8%

Condo Townhouse Sales . . . . . . . .3,180. . . . . . . . . . . . .3,434 . . . . . . . . . . . .8.0%

Price Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.32% . . . . . . . . . . . .4.75%

crEB® 2014 EconoMic oUtlook & rEgional MarkEt ForEcast | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 65

Renos as a Solid Investment • Construction/Renovation




From dazzling kitchens and hardwood

to energy-efficient plumbing and

lighting, renos have a solid ROI


Renos are a national trend. In Calgary, design,

architectural and construction renos are hotter

than hot.

From the cosmetic, ‘beauty stuff’ like ripping out worn

carpets and installing dazzling hardwood floors, quartz

counters and sinks, oversized and fancy stand-alone tubs,

steam showers and other touches to transform a basic

bathroom into a luxurious ensuite spa; gutting a tired,

old kitchen and installing stunning cabinets, stainless

steel appliances and a large granite countertop island;

to knocking out walls to make small rooms bigger and

transforming a cramped, 40-year-old living room, dining

room and kitchen layout into one open family room area.

The recent Scotiabank Home Renovation Poll underscores

that 2014 promises to be a good year for the

remodelling and home improvement industries.

The surveys says: the most common reasons for renos

are (45 per cent) adding comfort and enjoyment to a home,

(22 per cent) increasing value and (19 per cent) due to necessary


In some Calgary areas, last year’s flood resulted in some

renos that are still ongoing.

Other recent real estate and reno tracking suggests

other reasons why people are opting for major home

makeovers versus moving, such as sustainability factors

66 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Renos as a Solid Investment • Construction/Renovation

– making the home energy-expense efficient or environmentally

friendly both in terms of contemporary lifestyles

and boosting resale values in an increasingly green-conscious

real estate market.

There’s also the proven social trend of “aging in place”

with the 60-plus baby boomer age group opting to live

carefree and happily ever after in their 30- to 60-year-old,

mortgage-free homes.

“Our national survey resoundingly shows that over 70 per

cent of Canadians see their homes as a good investment,”

says David Stafford, Scotiabank’s managing director of real

estate secured lending.

“For the past three years, reno plans have been consistently

trending upward. This year, 65 per cent of Canadian

homeowners (63 per cent of Alberta homeowners) say they

plan to renovate.”

He points out that although the report is detailed facts and

information about current reno trends, the bank is also in the

savings and lending business and it comes as very good news

that a majority of Canadians are investing in their homes.

According to the most recent Central Mortgage and

Housing Corporation (CMHC) stats, renovation spending in

Alberta is about $6.5 billion.

Whatever the reason for the reno momentum, Calgary

area architectural and interior designers and contractors are

busier than ever.

“The rough times of 2008 are more and more a distant

memory and people again have faith in the economy,” is

the positivity from respected Calgary designer-builder

Lynn Donaldson at Lynn Donaldson Associates. “There is

a definite increase in business and especially homeowners

choosing major renovations.”

The volume of the demand for renos and the kinds of

things people want are a telltale reflection of changing times

and different priorities.

Calgary designer-builder Lynn Donaldson of Lynn Donaldson Associates

“Now, more than ever, reno decisions are lifestyle driven,”

she cites from 25 years of Calgary design, construction and

reno experience. “From the start of a reno construction project,

we assess both the physical structure of the house and the

family’s individual lifestyle. Then we design and reallocate

space to suit their lifestyle.

“The traditional house layouts of the 1950s and 1960s,

with choppy, small rooms are long gone. Today, people

want to live in homes with fewer but larger open spaces

and rooms. Opening up the space of the living room, dining

room and the kitchen and creating one large and open family

room is very popular.”

Aside from individual motivation for choosing a major

reno or construction project and despite dazzling pictures in

magazines, experts agree that people thinking about renos

and additions have varying degrees of carefully thought out,

Internet-researched or sometimes just impulsive ideas and

wish lists.

“Some people have great intentions and they are gung-ho

– not practical or realistic – about what they want and what

“For the past three years, reno plans

have been consistently trending upward.

This year, 65 per cent of Canadian

homeowners (63 per cent of Alberta

homeowners) say they plan to renovate.”

~ David Stafford

David Stafford, Scotiabank’s managing director of real estate

secured lending | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 67


Matrix Labour Leasing Ltd. the source for skilled staff

Born and raised in Rexton, New Brunswick, Shannon Warren moved to Vancouver

in the late 1990s to work as a house framer. A few years later, in the early

2000s, he relocated to Calgary for something the city is famous for – job opportunities.

Today, job opportunities form the framework of Warren’s business, Matrix

Labour Leasing Ltd., a full-service human resource company.

Founded in 2002, Matrix grew from the ground up. Warren was working on the

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Heritage Hall project when his employer

asked him to source more local carpenters. “Having lived in Calgary for a

couple of years at that time, I knew a few guys,” says Warren. “When the workers I recruited

came on to the project, the company asked me to handle the billing for their

hours.” It was a new experience for Warren, but it didn’t take him long to recognize

the need for such a service for other construction companies. “It just made sense to

turn the concept into a business,” he adds.

Nearly 12 years later, Matrix is a trusted source of skilled trades for firms across

Canada. The company has connected workers and contractors for iconic projects

such as the West LRT Calgary transit line, the southeast leg of the Calgary Ring Road,

and the BHP Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan.

Matrix takes care of human resource matters from end to end, including payroll,

workers compensation management, wage negotiation and benefits. “Our business

model is very appealing to clients,” says Warren. “They may not have time to worry

about HR details for large or concurrent projects.”

While Matrix primarily focuses on the construction industry, the company plans to

expand into the prolific Alberta oil and gas sector. “We are fully set up to service oil

and gas clients,” Warren explains. “We have tried-and-true quality controls in place to

ensure the employees we send to clients meet their exact needs.”

Matrix’s internal database includes more than 10,000 skilled tradespeople. For new

workers, Matrix handles background checks, safety training, and whatever else employees

need to perfectly match clients’ requirements. “We are big on safety, training

and technology,” says Warren. “Workers can come to us and find job opportunities

and education in one place.” Matrix is innovative in its approach to attracting and

retaining the very best staff, offering incentives such as RRSP programs and tuition

reimbursements through Merit Contractors Association.

The company celebrated a milestone year in 2013, ranking on both The Fast

Growth 50 and PROFIT 500 lists of fastest-growing companies. To top it off, Warren

was named one of Business in Calgary’s Leaders of Tomorrow for 2013. Even the company’s

office space grew, with a move to brand new headquarters.

Matrix has stayed true to its Calgary roots, hosting an annual Stampede party

for 11 years running. In 2013, the company turned the soiree into a fundraiser for

the Children’s Wish Foundation, raising more than $10,000. “Ten thousand dollars is

about the cost of granting one child a wish through the foundation, so we set that as

our goal,” says Warren. The company also hosts regular fundraisers during the winter

holiday season.

“It’s our corporate culture I’m most proud of,” concludes Warren. “We look after our

clients and our workers, and we give back to our city too.”

For more information, please visit or contact

Shannon Warren, President & CEO, at 403.201.9520 x 202.

Renos as a Solid Investment • Construction/Renovation

[title] • [section]

John Haddon of John Haddon Design

“Some people have great intentions and they

are gung-ho – not practical or realistic – about

what they want and what is possible in terms

of the work, the materials and how much it will

cost. Sometimes they are misled and deluded

by American reality TV. Their expectations are

way off about what’s doable and especially

about real timeframes and actual costs.”

~ John Haddon

is possible in terms of the work, the materials and how much

it will cost,” according to Calgary’s John Haddon of John

Haddon Design, who has been creating spectacular Calgary

custom homes, renovations and additions for 30 years.

“Sometimes they are misled and deluded by American reality

TV. Their expectations are way off about what’s doable

and especially about real timeframes and actual costs.

Photo courtesy of RDM Interiors Ltd.

“I try to politely explain that we get jaded because so

much of the work and materials shown on those TV shows

is promotional or donated,” he explains.

“I’m an architectural designer and I know ‘the bones’ of a

house. Whether it’s knocking down bearing walls to create a

fabulous grand room or changing the style and size of windows

– some choices make sense and some don’t.”

Although many Calgary makeovers and renos are major

projects that involve transforming roof lines, elaborate

additions, window retrofits and precast concrete trimmed

entranceways, Calgary’s reno wish list is mostly consistent

with the national trend.

According to the Scotiabank report, bathroom makeovers

top the wish list of home renos (38 per cent), then kitchens

(33 per cent), structural and outdoor renos (26 per cent) and

basements (24 per cent).

The report also notes that 84 per cent of those planning

renovations in the next 12 months will hire a professional.

And the survey results echo John Haddon’s opinion about

reno expectations. More than 35 per cent of the inspiration

for real-life home renos is from TV programs. The rest from

family, friends, magazines and big reno supply stores.

Whether a complex exterior or structural reno – involving

trusses, studding, build-outs or even a solarium, interior

designs and renos like creating spacious open areas or decor

touches like showcase kitchens and spa-like bathrooms

– specific Calgary reno projects, details, specs and style

preferences can also be interesting reflections of what’s in,

what’s out, contemporary trends and even demographics.

“Continuous and one type of flooring is popular,” says

experienced interior designer and seasoned Calgary real

estate professional Rod MacDonald at RDM Interiors. “Everybody

is moving away from wall-to-wall carpeting and wants

hardwood, even throughout the kitchen and engineered floors

in the basement. It makes the area look bigger.”

70 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Leaders never rest.

No matter what the hour, or how many hours they have in front of them,

leaders stay the course. Through good times and bad, we’ve done just that,

custom building solutions to help our clients do what they do best…lead.

Because Alberta means the world to us.


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Renos as a Solid Investment • Construction/Renovation

Most architectural, construction and interior design experts share a

resounding consensus about the definite and undisputable ‘green factor’

impacting many contemporary reno projects.

MacDonald and other Calgary-based

interior design professionals agree

about other contemporary decor trends.

Consumer choices and demand indicates

that closet renos are hot. Whether a

reno or buying a house, people want more

spacious closets. For walls, taupes and

greys are still vogue but lighter shades

than a few years ago. The raised panel

cabinet doors of stunning kitchens are

giving way to simple but luxurious slab

cabinet doors with modern hardware.

The granite countertop rage may be

cooling off a bit because granite has

become so common and it’s no longer

special. There may be a shift to the new

caesarstone, occasionally (pricey and

fragile) quartz and even some new arborites.

“Age groups are definitely a factor when it comes to

interior design and decor,” MacDonald explains. “Especially

when it comes to furniture, lighting and accessories.

Younger clients tend to be more trend-conscious but they

are also from a more disposable society. They don’t care if it

will be out of style in five years. They will just go out and

get a new one.”

Most architectural, construction and interior design

experts share a resounding consensus about the definite and

undisputable ‘green factor’ impacting many contemporary

reno projects.

The Scotiabank poll finds that 65 per cent of reno clients

are likely to consider green renos and 70 per cent are likely

to consider them even if they are more costly than nongreen


Surveying Alberta homeowners also charts that 55 per

cent are convinced that green reno choices will lower the

operating costs of their home in the long run, 53 per cent

agree that it will increase the value of their home and 82 per

cent are likely to go green with major reno details such as

solar heating and insulation and would also choose green

products – like ultra-low flush toilets and LED lighting – for

smaller reno jobs.

Scotiabank’s Stafford underscores the popularity of green

reno choices. “If you’re doing a reno anyway, consider various

aspects behind the walls – energy-saving options like

lighting, heating and ventilation systems.

“Replacing windows used to be the biggest energy saver.

Today it’s ventilation, insulation, lighting, heating and water.”

He also makes a case for proven and legit renovation ROI.

“People are paying more attention to what’s behind the

Interior designer and Calgary real estate professional

Rod Macdonald at RDM Interiors

walls. There’s a long-term payback, not

only for resale value but in energy cost

savings and lowering the operating

costs of their home.”

Calgary’s Lynn Donaldson agrees.

“Green has become a bit of an overused

buzzword. We prefer energy efficiency

or sustainability. When the reno is

being done anyway, it only makes sense

to include options like R-factors and

upgraded insulation, water conservation

with low-volume toilets, energy-efficient

light fixtures and appliances.

“It’s not necessarily more expensive.

Besides, the payback is guaranteed!”

From major additions, creating a

spacious, open grand room to luxuriously

decadent spa ensuites, the

balance of the year will have many Calgary renos on the go.

For various reasons, mostly the terrifically Internet-informed

and savvy homeowner and consumer, it’s no longer about

matching throw cushions and paint colours.

Today’s informed-consumer research reinforces the point

that a contemporary house is more than just four walls and

a roof. It’s a complex system of different components that

interact and impact overall home performance, the longevity

of materials (from roof shingles and windows to flooring

and faucets), energy costs and the health, safety and enjoyment

of the people living in it.

The building industry has long recognized the importance

of “the house as a system” domino concept – that

changes to one part of the system will affect other systems

and eventually the entire house.

That temperature distribution, ventilation, humidity and

moisture levels (mould and mildew), rate of deterioration of

building materials, the building envelope air-tightness, the

efficiency of heating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment,

structural integrity, drainage patterns and more, matters.

Calgary reno and construction professionals work with an

integrated, house-as-a-system (HAAS) approach, so renovations

in one area won’t create problems somewhere else.

New high-efficiency windows won’t prevent condensation

problems if your furnace airflow is inadequate, the humidifier

is adjusted incorrectly or your kitchen’s range vent was

not installed correctly. Proper drainage and run-off has been

altered by renos like additions and decks and is not keeping

outside moisture away from the house. Just two random

examples of the intricate HAAS logic.

When it comes to Calgary renos 2014... it’s the new normal. BiC

72 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

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New buildings are a major investment. We streamline the

process by giving you a single point of contact for both

design and construction. We estimate costs sooner

providing you with greater financial control. We use

proven building systems to reduce your build time.

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experieNce WorkiNg for you.

2014 • Calgary Auto and Truck Show







popular annual event, the Calgary International Auto and

Truck Show is being held March 12-16, 2014 at the BMO

Centre, Stampede Park.

The year 2013 saw a record 1.74 million in Canadian auto

sales. Forecasts for Alberta 2014 automotive sales see this trend

continuing and that translates to a competitive automotive buying

climate for consumers.

The Calgary International Auto and Truck Show is one of the

largest exhibitions of new cars and trucks in Western Canada

and it gives consumers the perfect opportunity to check out the

absolute latest in automotive technology.

Highlights from the 2013 Calgary International Auto and Truck Show.

74 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

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2014 • Calgary Auto and Truck Show

Highlights from the 2013 Calgary International Auto and Truck Show.

This year marks the 34 th year for this event and promises

to offer something for any automotive enthusiast. More than

300 vehicles of new domestic and imported cars and trucks

will be on display.

For those leaning towards the luxurious, come down and

see the 2014 Bentley GT V8 S that just debuted in North

America at the Detroit Auto Show or the Lincoln MKZ. For

those looking to see something more exotic, visit the IP

Lotus Evora, the Ferrari F12 or check out the 2014 Aston

Martin Vanquish Coupe that was used on Top Gear and Jay

Leno’s Garage. For those interested in the ultimate in speed,

be sure to see the Red Bull Infiniti F1. The all-new 2015 Ford

F-150 with its nearly all aluminum construction will also be

on display. There really will be something for everyone, no

matter what automotive taste.

The Calgary International Auto and Truck Show has partnered

once again with the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun

for two new car giveaways. Mazda and Toyota are the generous

sponsors for this year’s contest.

In addition to the countless hours and funds that Calgary

dealers put toward different charities throughout the year,

the Calgary International Auto and Truck Show donates the

majority of all proceeds from the show to local charities.

As well, the funds raised at the Vehicles and Violins Gala

are awarded to committee-selected charities that this year

includes the Canadian Cancer Society, Inn from the Cold

and KidSport Calgary. This year marks the 15 th anniversary

of the gala – an event that has raised over $2.5 million since

its inception.

Tickets for the Auto Show can be purchased at the door,

through kiosks at the BMO Centre, online or at local Safeway

stores. Follow the Calgary International Auto and Truck

Show on Twitter, Facebook or their website for more details

and exciting announcements. BiC

76 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |



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Go Online to

Submissions Directions: Please complete the application in its entirety. Send the form via fax to

403.264.3276; or scan and email to

Eligibility: All nominees must own, be a partner, CEO, or President of a private or public company, and be

a primary stakeholder responsible for the recent performance of the company. In addition, the nominee’s company

must be Calgary and area based and have been in existence for a minimum of three years.

Judging Panel and Criteria: The independent panel of judges will consist of a selection of

successful business leaders from the community. The judges will analyze an extensive list of criteria that will include

finances, strategic direction, product or service innovation, company leadership (including personal integrity, values

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Platinum Partner

Gold Partners


Page 1 - Will Calgary’s Office Markets Land Softly

or Continue to Push Ahead?

Page 4 - What is Work Anyway?

Page 6 - BOMA Insider

Page 8 - On the Ground at YYC



Sandy McNair

Will Calgary’s Office

Markets Land Softly or

Continue to Push Ahead?

Looking at the history of Calgary’s real estate markets

provides valuable perspective as we anticipate

our future. Calgary’s office markets experienced

a hard landing in 1982. On a single Friday afternoon,

the architectural firm I worked for received news from

four different clients that each of their 50-storey office

towers were now cancelled. But by then it was already

too late for a soft landing. As the 60-year completions

chart shows (Figure 1), more than 20 million square

feet of office space had been completed in the previous

five years (1978-1982). This compares to a very similar

amount, 22.6 million square feet of office space that

had been, or will be, completed in the much longer

11-year period from 2007-2018.

Unlike today, the office inventory in the late ’70s

and early ’80s was growing faster than the economy


BOMA Calgary News

BOMA Calgary News is a co-publication of

BOMA Calgary and Business in Calgary.

Business in Calgary

1025, 101 - 6 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3P4

Tel: 403.264.3270 • Fax: 403.264.3276

BOMA Calgary

120, 4954 Richard Road SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6L1

Email: • Web:

Tel: 403.237.0559 • Fax: 403.266.5876

Communications Committee

Chair - Leah Stewart,

Sizeland Evans Interior Design

Bobbi Joan O’Neil, Business in Calgary

Giovanni Worsley, MNP LLP

Jay de Nance, Fairfield Commercial Real Estate

Kim Bogner, 20 Vic Management

Rita Reid, First Capital Realty

Roger Hanks, Skyline Roofing

Lia Robinson, BOMA Calgary

Board of Directors


Ken Dixon, ATCO Group


Chris Nasim, GWL Realty Advisors


Chris Howard, Avison Young Real Estate


William G. R. Partridge, CAE, BOMA Calgary

or the population of office workers could grow. As the inventory growth

chart shows (Figure 2), inventory growth rates in the late ’70s ranged

from 10 to 20 per cent or more. The economy, the population and the

pool of office workers could not grow that fast and, as a result, the Calgary

office markets experienced a very hard landing. Interest rates that

spiked at 21 per cent, oil prices that failed to reach the anticipated $60

and bad energy policy from Ottawa made matters worse.

The office inventory growth rate in the current cycle of roughly 2.5 to

3.5 per cent is very close to actual economic growth rates, actual population

growth rates and the office worker growth rates that Calgary has

experienced during the past decade.

The outlook, however, is less clear. The wind is no longer at our collective

backs. Even though the longer-term outlook for energy is positive,

the global declines and subsequent muted rebounds in business and consumer

confidence, economic activity and access to capital are being felt

in Calgary’s office markets, too. Leasing activity has slowed as some

energy firms’ plans to grow and invest are delayed or scaled back. Yet,

some energy firms are continuing to invest billions in expansion projects.

Calgary’s energy firms and their suppliers have assembled and invested in

uniquely talented people, so letting huge numbers of them go would be

both painful and expensive.

Looking ahead, many different scenarios are possible. As only a reference

point we have generated one scenario focused on downtown Calgary. This scenario

assumes no incremental demand: that all the commitments to lease that

are in place are honoured; the buildings that are currently under construction

are completed; that the tenants respect the forward leasing commitments they

have made and move out of their existing space and into new space; and that

there is no new growth or reduction in demand for space, effectively everyone

simply trades places. Figure 3 shows the total vacant rate for the downtown


Fred Edwards, Servpro Cleaning

Steve Weston, Brookfield Properties

Marjorie Cone, H & R Property

Management Ltd.

Robert Brazzell, Altus Group

Corrine Jackman, Hopewell Real Estate Services

Cam Gresko, Cadillac Fairview

Dustin Engel, Alberta Infrastructure

Richard Morden, Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP

Lee Thiessen, MNP LLP

Loy Sullivan, 20 VIC Management

Jay de Nance, Fairfield Commercial Real Estate

Pearl Madryga, Sun Life Assurance Company

The Building Owners and Managers Association of

Calgary publishes BOMA Calgary News quarterly. For

advertising rates and information contact Business

in Calgary.

Publication of advertising should not be deemed as

endorsement by BOMA Calgary. The publisher reserves

the right in its sole and absolute discretion

to reject any advertising at any time submitted

by any party. Material contained herein does not

necessarily reflect the opinion of BOMA Calgary, its

members or its staff.

© 2014 by BOMA Calgary.

Printed in Canada.

| |


Calgary office market rising from its

current level of 4.5 to 6.4 per cent

by the end of 2014, increasing again

to 9.4 per cent in 2015 and 2016, and

continuing to rise to 12.6 per cent in

2017 and then to 15.3 per cent in 2018.

While the overall vacancy rate is

important there are other factors to

consider. First, there are several different

office markets within Calgary.

Downtown, beltline and suburbs all

have distinct features and drivers.

However, within downtown the options

for tenants vary by size of space –

small, mid-size, large and very large

tenants have very different choices.

The number of appropriate choices

matters. Second, the velocity in the

leasing market can affect pricing as

much, or more than, the vacancy rate.

A market that completes a lease transaction

each week will have different

pricing than a market that completes

only one leasing transaction a quarter.

While most landlords benefit from a

tight market, as it softens, the pain

will not be felt equally.

When we compare today to the

mid-1980s a few key differences add

perspective: a) inventory growth

rates are more modest and closer to

actual growth in demand for space;

b) better market information leading

to better decisions; c) lower vacancy

and availability rates today; d) stronger

landlords and in many cases

stronger tenants; e) capital budgets

are in many cases being scaled back,

not eliminated; f) the energy industry

is now better able to focus on

production and technology efficiencies

rather than exploration risks; g)

better alignment of goals nationally

and internationally and an apparent

willingness for government and

industry to take positive action.

So while there are still lots of risks

and room for significant positive and

negative surprises, I see an environment

where better managers, better

strategies and better buildings will

outperform the rest of the market. •

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3








By William G.R.

Partridge, CAE

President & Chief

Staff Officer

President’s Report

What is Work Anyway?

As a business person who travels a reasonable

amount, I am sometimes amazed at how we

have progressed with our communications tools.

And having just returned from our national governance

meetings, I am still fresh with the realization that I could

do just about everything I needed to do work-wise with

my portable technology devices. And then I reminded

myself how technology changes our world – how we

work, where we work and quite possibly what work is

– and how this dynamic might influence the commercial

real estate sector in the years ahead.

As I see it, there are two principal drivers of this

change: the evolution of technology itself and of its

capabilities; and secondly, the generational influence

that determines how people use the technology.

The Swedish technology firm Ericsson has completed a

survey that suggests by the year 2020 – that is six years

from now – there will be 50 billion connected devices in

the world. So how do we come to terms with how these

connected devices will change the way we work, learn

and communicate?

Such a degree of connectivity suggests that the future

focus of IT, human resources and real estate must collaborate

and create a shared vision for the corporate

workspace to address the desire of people from multiple

generations and their ability to work when and where

they need to work.

This is important as the trends reported in multiple

surveys strongly suggest that workplace flexibility will

evolve from a simple perk to a norm and a corporate

culture imperative. Those companies that have

made a decision to embrace workplace flexibility have

seen tangible business results from making workspace

innovation a strategic priority. Improved worker productivity

and reduced real estate costs – $10 to $15

million annually for American Express – are clear

advantages. Another company, Aetna, has 47 per cent

of its workforce employed remotely and shed 2.7 million

square feet of office space, realizing $78 million

in savings. It is significant for them and significant for

the real estate sector.

In the hospitality sector, Marriott’s Workspace on

Demand allows anyone to book “office” space in the

hotel lobby as easily as they can book a room for overnight

stays not only increasing the place where work can

be done, but virtually eliminating “downtime” associated

with business travel.


As I see it, there

are two principal

drivers of this change:

the evolution of

technology itself

and of its capabilities;

and secondly, the


influence that

determines how people

use the technology.

Soon airlines will have Wi-Fi as a standard amenity

(some U.S. airlines already provide it) and it will be possible

to utilize that time in the air in more productive


Our industry, just as our corporate culture, is evolving

quickly and in significant ways that will force the industry

to adapt to these changes. Now is the time for us to

have the discussion and to consider the ways to adapt to

the future industry drivers. •

Real estate investment expertise

for every possible future

As fiduciaries, we safeguard our clients’ interests and assets through every turn of the real estate

cycle by leveraging our extensive build-to-core capability and our transaction volume capacity.

From 2004 to 2013, Bentall Kennedy has:



Billion in assets



Billion in assets



Billion in assets

Fiduciaries. First and foremost.

View our most recent developments and transactions at


BOMA Insider

Excellence Awards Co-Title Sponsor

Ken Dixon, chair-elect and Bill Partridge, president, present

the BOMA BESt Level 3 Recertification for Western Canadian

Place to Suzy Mah, David Middleton and Robin Needham, all

GWL Realty Advisors.

Ken Dixon, presents Dundee Realty Management Corp. team

with their BOMA BESt Certificates for 606 Fourth, Level 3 and

441 5 Ave SW at Level 2.

Caroline Newton, Cadillac Fairview accepts the BOMA BESt

Level 2 Certificate for Market Mall

The GWL Realty Advisors team for First Canadian Centre receive their BOMA BESt Level 3


The Arcturus Realty team accepts their BOMA BESt Level 3 Certificate for 639 5 Ave SW.

The Dundee Realty Management Corp. team accepts the BOMA BESt Level 3 Certificate for

444 Seventh, Level 2 Certificate for Northland Building & Park at Fish Creek and Level 1 for

Westview Building and Horton Park A, B & C

The GWL Realty Advisors team accepts the Level 4 Recertification for Gulf Canada Square.


Golf Classic Co-Title Sponsor

Carmel Smetschka and Steve Walton, Golf Committee

co-chairs present the ENMAX BOMA Golf Classic donation to

The BOMA Calgary Foundation.

Ken Dixon, ATCO Group and Bill Partridge thank Boaz Shilmover,

ARTE Group for his three years as BOMA Calgary Corporate


The BOMA Calgary Foundation presents a $15,000 donation

to Canadian Red Cross for Alberta Flood Relief.

Western Canada’s leading

janitorial and maintenance service provider

Preston Manning addresses BOMA Calgary members at the

January 49 th Annual General Meeting

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(toll free) 1.888.985.7141

The BOMA team (L-R) Bill Partridge, Aydan Aslan, Lloyd Suchet, Lia Robinson, Ashley Grennier

and Liz Krill at the BOMA Christmas Luncheon


On the Ground at YYC

By David Parker

Those who can remember just what our international

airport looked like when the Calgary Airport

Authority assumed responsibility for its operations

and expansion in July of 1992 must be amazed at its

growth. To those of us who remember walking out onto

the tarmac to climb the steps into a plane at the old

terminal located at the end of Aviation Blvd., it’s just a

big “WOW – who’d a thought.”

Like Topsy it seems to never stop growing and

there is a lot more to come; the 10-year plan calls

for another 700 acres of aviation, industry and recreational


The authority has done a magnificent job in managing

the controlled, physical growth of the airport lands, but

what is just as exciting to me is the economic impact –

and the prestige – it has brought to this city.

YYC is busy.

Consider that 14 million passengers per year use the

facility and it employs more than 24,000 people, helping

to provide an economic impact in the area of $6 billion


There’s lots of construction going on today with the

two big ones being the new north/south runway and the

new International Facilities Project.

Canada’s Top Security Company |


The $620-million runway – that is 14,000 feet long and

200 feet wide and capable of handling the world’s largest

aircraft – will be operational in June. A huge job

that required some 260,000 cubic metres of concrete,

500,000 square metres of gravel and required the installation

of over 5,000 runway and taxiway lights.

An easier construction project to follow by passengers

has been the new international terminal that will rise

five levels above the ground to the south of the current

airport terminal.

Scheduled to be in service by the fall of next year, its

peak on-site workforce sits at 1,600. As a green building

it can boast of 660 kilometres of in-floor radiant heating

tubes, cogeneration will save almost 5,000 tonnes of

CO2 per year and 10 million litres of rainwater will be

harvested and recycled annually.

It will provide 22 additional aircraft gates and 300

more airport hotel rooms on its north end.

But there’s lots more development underway within

airport lands.

A new 125,000-square-foot air cargo facility has been

built and is already fully leased in the Deerfoot north

area and plans are to replicate it on an adjacent site.

Fully integrated

tenant solutions

Glenn Olson




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Construction at the Calgary Airport. Photo by Ewan Nicholson Photography.

The northwest is also where Sunwest

Aviation opened its new Aero

Court location with three contemporary

departure lounges and

Thank you

Wayne Chiu

Wayne Chiu brings a brand of

leadership in the business sector and

community that is equal parts 21 st

century innovation and classic Calgary.

Along with wife and business partner

Eleanor, Wayne has grown Trico Homes

and the Trico Charitable Foundation into

major successes for both their business

and community achievements.

parking for over 600 vehicles. Next

door is the home of Million Air

with plans for three hangars and a

classy FBO (Fixed-Base Operations)

We thank them for their longtime and

generous support of Bow Valley College.

In honour of this record of leadership

we are proud to introduce the

newly named Bow Valley College

Chiu School of Business.

Chiu School of Business

building. Two 40,000-square-foot

hangars are built and fully leased.

North West Geomatics is in an

adjoining free-standing building

and a new Acclaim Hotel on the

far northwest corner of the airport

overlooking Deerfoot Trail is to be

built offering 105 rooms and a restaurant

in Phase 1.

Over on the south side fronting

onto McKnight Blvd., at Aviation

Blvd., Atlas Development is well

underway with its commercial

developments where the drive-thru

portion of a McDonald’s is open.

And to the east of the Art Smith

Aero Centre, Norcal Group is building

Airways Crossing; an 88,000-squarefoot

facility to accommodate 18 bay


I see as much activity at the airport

as I see in many cities, but

there is much more happening on

lands surrounding YYC.

Oxford, Melcor, Hopewell, Enright,

Trinity, and WAM are some of the

developers that will benefit in being

close to the airport, the Queen Elizabeth

II Highway and Stoney Trail.

And with 96th Avenue NE now open

over the Deerfoot to Airport Trail, I

expect the city to begin looking at its

stalled Aurora Business Park in Harvest

Hills again. •


Drawing on three decades of experience

Written by Mary Savage

The Pinnacle Group team at the design studio in Calgary,

with their fleet of company vehicles.

Photo by Mary Savage.

Paul Klassen grew up swinging a hammer; something

he’d learned from his father. In fact, by the age of

nine, he landed his first construction job under his

father’s tutelage – reroofing his grandfather’s house.

Klassen could have pursued another field, but he found his

passion in construction and by the time he was 23, he had

his journeyman’s ticket in one hand and a newly established

custom home company in the other. He was full of ambition

and drive, and he knew he could achieve whatever he desired.

Fast-forward three decades later, Klassen is still in the

business, running the highly successful Pinnacle Group of

Companies. However, he has traded in his tools for a tablet and

now focuses his time on marketing and business development.

Pinnacle’s progress has been a combination of many

influences: insight gained from the honest feedback gathered

from every client upon project completion by a

third-party survey firm; Klassen’s involvement founding

the Calgary chapter of RenoMark – dedicated to providing

Calgary consumers with honest and ethical renovation

companies; establishing long-term trade partnerships that

share in Pinnacle’s goal of providing an unparalleled cus-

tomer experience; and Klassen’s own personal growth that

has most certainly influenced Pinnacle’s vision.

It was Klassen’s quintessential ‘aha’ moment on New Year’s

Eve 2000 that definitively redefined Pinnacle’s design process

and validated Klassen’s own motivation for continuing the

business. It was the realization that he could actually change

the way a family lives and interacts within their home and

ultimately support and encourage healthy family relationships.

Enter Pinnacle’s DNA process.

The Pinnacle Group has a very distinct approach when

it comes to renovating or building a custom home; their

philosophy is based on the principle of “creating homes for

life.” This ideology is rooted in the concept that each space

in a home should be an authentic representation of the client

family, designed to complement each family member’s

unique present and future lifestyle needs.

This methodology begins with an in-depth dialogue to reveal

how the client family wants to use their home, what’s important

to them and evaluates their present and future needs.

The result is the uncovering of the family’s DNA: their Design

requirements and their Needs both in Alignment.

Pinnacle Group of Companies | 30 th Anniversary | 1

222 -35 Ave N.E. Calgary,Alberta t2e 2k4

222 -35 Ave N.E. Calgary,Alberta t2e 2k4

“When you think about the home being the favourite

place for a family, surprisingly for many it’s not. It’s simply

not set up that way and in order to change that, you need

to understand the family’s ‘DNA,’” expresses Paul Klassen,


Pinnacle to complete Group of Companies, founder and CEO.

“The DNA means really understanding your customer’s

needs,” asserts Klassen. “We focus on the family first:

what they need and how they interact, both today and in

the future. We affect people’s lives and support the family

nucleus by building better spaces, and in doing so, we create


homes that foster a sense of wholeness, safety, relaxation

and support.”

Pinnacle continues to raise the bar and is the only Reno-

Mark Renovator to guarantee their clients start date,

completion date and cost, known as the Pinnacle SCC

Guarantee. In 2011, their efforts were recognized when

they won the BBB Ethics Award; the only renovator to ever

receive this accreditation.

Today when Klassen looks at the company that he has

spent his entire life building, shaping and growing, a few

adjectives come to mind, “Pinnacle Group is passionate, an

industry leader, intuitive and original,” he notes.


After spending a lifetime 222 in -35 the Ave N.E. industry, Calgary,Alberta t2e there 2k4 is one

thing YEAR-ROUND Klassen still enjoys LANDSCAPING tremendously: turning INC.

over the

keys upon project completion. “If we can impact one family,

in one neighbourhood, in one community, what kind of

ripple effect will that have in the long run?” he asks with a

hint of excitement. •


Congratulations to Pinnacle Group!

Wishing you many more decades of success.


AB T2E 2K4

Congratulations to Paul and the

Pinnacle Group!

We wish you continued success.



10510 46 th Street SE

Calgary, AB




Congratulations, Pinnacle Group!

Proud to be working with you,

and we wish you continued success

in the years ahead.

2777 Hopewell Place, NE Calgary |

403.250.1020 | Toll free: 1.800.382.8502

Congratulations to the team at Pinnacle!

Van Go Artisans (Calgary) Inc. congratulates



on many successful years in business, fulfilling the home

renovation dreams of many Calgarians. It has been a

pleasure working with you making those dreams come true.

As always, your high standards and ethical approach to the

home renovation industry has set the standard. We wish you

continued success.

Pinnacle Group of Companies | 30 th Anniversary | 2


It started with a conversation …

A glimpse inside two case studies uncover smart, insightful and highly

functional solutions.

Case Study: Spec Home Turned Spectacular


This client family bought the house because

of its location within the estate community of

Bearspaw and their desire for an acreage lifestyle.

However, they wanted to transform what was

originally a builder spec house into a contemporary,

tailored home that enriches their family’s

lifestyle for years to come.


• Convert a builder spec house into a custom

home with curb appeal appropriate for an estate

acreage community.

• Increase the square footage to support this family’s

present and future needs.

• Move the master bedroom to the main floor to enable a

lifetime of living.

• Designate a separate floor and study area for their two

preteen sons.

• Create a ceiling enhancement inspired by the dining room

light fixture purchased by the client three years prior.

How was The Criteria Met?


Through the intensive Design Discovery process,

Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y K C M Y Kreplaced C M Y K C M Y K C with M Y K C M a Y Kthree-car C M Y K C M Y K C attached M Y K C M Y K C M garage. Y K C M Y K C M The Y K C M universal



they were able to determine this client family’s specific

requirements of their renovation. This two-storey home

was gutted to the studs adding 800 sq. ft. to the main

floor; this accommodated the main-level master bedroom

as well as a larger open-concept kitchen. The additional

square footage also afforded a dining alcove that features

Visit Gallery 30 at for the entire Before/After Gallery

a raised ceiling and unique accent ceiling tray and grid,

integrating the previously purchased light fixture. The

second storey is now a dedicated space for their sons’ bedrooms,

bathrooms and study-loft, offering both a retreat

and future study space through high school and beyond.

An expansive mud room was developed to support acreage

living from the yard and garage entrances and a

uniquely designed and beautifully furnished front foyer

welcomes visiting guests and family alike. As well, the

previously detached single-car garage was torn down and

design initiative with the location of the master bedroom

on the main floor ensures this is a ‘forever home.’ Every

design detail in this stunning makeover perfectly complements

this client family’s lifestyle and truly accomplished

their wish to have a home designed to evolve with the

family’s changing needs for a lifetime of living!

Call us today for all of your

heating and air conditioning needs


Congratulations to Paul and the Pinnacle Group!

Pinnacle Group of Companies | 30 th Anniversary | 3

Case Study: Second-Generation Home Gets Revitalized


This second-generation walkout bungalow held many

fond memories for the client family who desired to modernize

the home and create an open-concept floor plan

that would support the integration of future lifestyle

requirements. Aging-in-place was identified as a priority

during the Design Discovery process. The result was a

total transformation that required a complete “gut to the

studs” makeover with every wall relocated.


• Create a design rooted in timeless tradition with a hint

of vintage.

• Incorporate aging-in-place design initiatives.

• Open up site lines.

• Reduce the carbon footprint of the home.

How Was the Criteria Met?

Essential to this universal design was an open-concept

main floor plan that would accommodate all future

living needs. The sunken foyer was raised to one level

and various features were incorporated: widened doorways,

curbless showers, wiring for future intercoms and

rough-ins for wheelchair lifts. The kitchen was doubled

in size providing full sight lines from the dining area

into the kitchen. The stairwell to the lower level was

Visit Gallery 24 at for the entire Before/After Gallery

opened up with an open railing system and a doublesided

fireplace was added in the master and living room.

The carbon footprint of this aged home was reduced by

thickening outside walls and replacing windows, attic

insulation, and the furnace and hot-water tanks. The

end result was an innovative, custom-designed living

space that better reflects the client’s current and future

lifestyle needs, at the same time preserving the exterior

integrity found in homes located in the esteemed neighbourhood

of Willow Park. | 403.720.8789

Congratulations to

Pinnacle Group!

403-248-0037 |

Pinnacle Group of Companies | 30 th Anniversary | 4

Sunik Roofing

Continues Legacy of


at 25 th


By Shelly Brimble

Calgary-based Sunik Roofing has been

building a business based on introducing

innovations and becoming a leader in the

slope-roofing sector which is a formula for success

as they celebrate their 25 th anniversary.

Founder and president, Nick Sims, began roofing

in the 1970s in the United States where he learned

and developed innovations that were years ahead

of practices used in Calgary. There he built his skill

foundation by running roofing crews and learning

the operational tools for success.

Upon returning to Calgary, Nick envisioned a

new career path, but his background soon drew him

back to roofing. So in 1987 he opened Sunik Enterprises

with his wife, Sue Sims, creating a name that

combined theirs. Together they subcontracted work

from other contractors until they changed the name

to Sunik Construction Incorporated in 1989.

Above: the team at Sunik Roofing.

Below: the company fleet and office in Calgary.

Sunik Roofing | 25 th Anniversary | 1

A founding principle of Sunik is to build the team from

the ground up. They look for young ambitious candidates

and spend the time to train them and develop their career.

This philosophy led to the addition of co-owner Lowell

McNichol, who came on board in 1990 as a labourer and

later a partner in 1996.

Since then, Nick’s sons (Nicholas Sims and Nathan Sims)

have also joined the Sunik team and become an integral

part of the company. “We have created a legacy that will

continue to grow through the next generation,” adds Nick.

Sue has taken the reins in the office, implementing innovative

operational solutions while Nick and Lowell manage

the crews, introducing groundbreaking practices that continue

to impact the slope-roofing industry.

Throughout the last 25 years, Sunik has serviced almost

15,000 customers throughout Calgary and surrounding

areas. The company now operates a fleet of vehicles from a

10,000-square-foot combined office and shop on a half acre

with a fenced yard.

A majority of their business is reroofing through customer

referral. “We pride ourselves on providing exceptional

customer service,” Nick says. This focus on customer satisfaction

is reflected in the fact that they are a four-time

recipient of the Consumer Choice Awards.

Sunik ensures each job, sending qualified journeymen to

inspect the final product. This double-checking continues to

reduce leak ratios year over year while further enhancing

the customer satisfaction.

“Anybody can do a great job, but when there is a screw up,

that is when you find out how great a company is,” adds Nick.

Sunik goes the extra mile with their warranties ensuring

that when they are at fault, the customer’s house is put back

403.291.1013 |

403.560.4024 |

Congratulations to Sunik on 25 great years

of business! Wishing you many great years to come.

~ from all of us at Triton Exteriors Inc.


to Sunik Roofing

on their

25 th


Residential & Commercial

concrete seal ceiling texturing spantex knock Residential down hand & design Commercial resprays

Wishing Sunik Roofing many more years of success! | 403-210-1352

concrete seal ceiling texturing spantex knock down hand design resprays | 403-210-1352


rst in qualit



At Malarkey Roofing Products ® ,

we manufacture reliable and

durable products to provide the

highest quality with the most

security for all weather




Sunik Roofing

on 25 years!

Malarkey’s quality roofing

products are located at

Sunik Roofing locations

Sunik Roofing | 25 th Anniversary | 2

to its original condition. Most roofing contractors will only

repair the roof, but Sunik repairs all of the damage, including

replacing damaged personal belongings.

Sunik Roofing is four-time recipient of the Consumer Choice Awards


When they began their partnership they had a unified

vision of becoming a leader in the slope-roofing industry.

Throughout the years, they continued to strive to not only

enhance their business, but also volunteer in positions that

would also impact their entire sector.

“When I started here, I introduced pneumatic nailers

into roofing installations that significantly impacted the

workflow of roofing crews,” says Nick. At that time, crews

were manually nailing each shingle, so it would take them

several days to complete each house. This technique has




403.714.5867 | EMAIL: JON.GRAHAM@ME.COM


Color Tec’s would like to

congratulate Lowell and the

entire team at Sunik Roofing for

their great accomplishments!!

Always a pleasure working together!

Sunik Roofing | 25 th Anniversary | 3 | 403.280.2803

optimized roofing crews that can now complete up to 1.5 to

two houses per day.

Lowell also developed a specialized spreadsheet program

to simplify the estimate process. “This enabled us to become

one of the first companies to be able to provide a professional

bid with a wide product selection printed in the trucks

on site,” says Lowell.

Throughout the years Sunik has specialized in residential

roofing, however, they have done many commercial projects

with slope-roofing architecture. In addition, Sunik has

become a preferred cedar shingle roofer and are an active

member of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau ensuring

they keep pace with industry innovations and practices.


Throughout the years, the Sunik partners have also

become leaders in training, safety and education throughout

the industry.

Nick served three years as president of the Alberta Allied

Roofing Association (AARA). He then served six years on

the provincial apprenticeship committee (PAC) where he

played an important role in the development and implementation

of slope-roofing content for the apprenticeship

program for roofers. Lowell continued the tradition serving

on the PAC for six years and as a director for the AARA for

three years. Nicholas Jr. is starting his first term on the PAC.

Nick has also served as a Better Business Bureau (BBB)

executive director for more than 13 years and in his role

encourages other roofing companies to join the BBB. “I

welcome new members because I also believe it makes our

industries better as BBB members must adhere to a strict

code of ethics,” Nick adds. Sunik has also been a recipient

of the 2000 BBB Ethics Award for small business.


Sunik has always had a focus on safety. Nick has served

on several government safety committees, they have implemented

a formal safety program and are members of the

Alberta Construction Safety Association. Lowell says, “This

means that all of our crews must comply to strict safety


Each crew must have at least one member of their roofing

crew certified with St. John’s first aid training and all must

have fall protection certification. But they also take this one

step further making sure any subtrades are properly trained

and have a safety officer. “We have even coordinated this

training for others because we believe in making this a safer

industry,” adds Lowell.


Sunik continues to broaden its service zone around Calgary

and now serves from as far north to Airdrie, east to

Strathmore, west to Banff and south to High River.

Their service region expanded further south in 2013, when

Sunik began their goal of expanding throughout Alberta by

opening their first regional office in Lethbridge where they

also service Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod.

The new location, headed by co-owner Ruben Guimond,

is growing rapidly serving surrounding areas that are in an

area prone to strong wind and hailstorms. This led to the

use of new innovations such as asphalt-based shingles that

have rubber content to help them stand up to hail and wind.

“They can also be installed in cold weather and actually last

in Alberta’s unique weather system,” says Lowell.

“This is our first move into another market outside Calgary

and it will not be our last,” adds Nick. •

Congratulations Sunik on 25 Years!

Specializing in Fleet Maintenance | Licensed Mechanics

Use premium Chevron Delo products | Check & top off all fluids | Oil analysis available

Inspection & change all engine filters | Visual vehicle inspections | Environmentally friendly

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403.836.3946 |

Sunik Roofing | 25 th Anniversary | 4

Not Your Average Law Firm…

Written by Mary Savage

Photos by Bookstrucker Photography

“I love taking something cognitive - like

systems - and pulling it apart to make it

more efficient, and that’s what law is all

about. You have to figure out how to best

represent your client within the framework

of the legal system and rules.”

- Jeff Kahane, Kahane Law Office,

founder and managing partner

Inside Kahane Law Office, there are

no false airs – nothing pretentious –

just ordinary people who have chosen

a career in the legal field and take great

pride in helping other ordinary people

build or rebuild a better life.

Ten years ago, Jeff Kahane started with

a paralegal, a small rented space and 30

files a month. Over the past decade, he

has grown the firm with a mix of precision

and passion. Kahane’s goals are simple:

to provide the best legal guidance possible

while cultivating an environment that

makes clients feel welcome and at ease.

“You have to know the ‘rules’ and case

law to understand the framework you’re

operating within. I’m always amazed at

the number of lawyers who don’t know

the rules, so when someone comes along

and tells you what the rules are – that

you’re not aware of – you’ve just lost,” he


Not surprisingly, the majority of Kahane’s

business is referral-driven and

today, the thriving firm has a staff of

22 people. They have a loyal following

among social media and post a new video

on ‘YouTube’ every week. At last count,

they had in excess of 16,000 ‘YouTube’


Kahane Law Office | 10 th Anniversary | 1

The Right Fit

Along the west wall of their building sits an empty

office; they have room to hire one more lawyer, but

according to Kahane it has to be the right fit.

Credentials aside, one of Kahane’s favourite questions

asks the following, “If you were a cheese, what kind of

cheese would you be?”

Don’t be fooled, it cuts to the chase.

“The question tells us a lot about the candidate’s personality,

sense of humour, logic and like traits. Some

people laugh and refuse to answer it, others tell us what

kind of cheese they like to eat and some give us a very

logical, detailed description. My staff now understand

the value in asking the question,” adds Kahane with a

twinkle in his eye.

And Kahane’s business practices have not gone unnoticed.

In year’s prior, the firm was selected among the

Calgary Choice Awards and recognized by Calgary Inc.

magazine as one of the ‘best places to work.’

As Kahane has observed, there are two things he truly enjoys

about law: the people and the intellectual component. “I am

motived – 100 per cent – by internal drivers and if I’m passionate

about something, I simply run with it,” notes Kahane.

He has become one of the most sought-after lawyers

when it comes to real estate transactions – fielding calls

from across the country because he is so well-versed. “On

any given month, we touch about 10-15 per cent of the

total real estate transactions in the city – up significantly

from the real estate boom in 2007,” adds Kahane.


Kranq Courier is proud to congratulate

Kahane Law on 10 years of excellence.

We offer our best wishes to you and

your continued success,

from your dedicated delivery team.

Congratulations to Kahane Law

on your 10 th Anniversary! | 403.253.8423

Kahane Law Office | 10 th Anniversary | 2 | 403.225.8810

The firm has also established itself as a formidable team

when handling commercial and corporate matters, family

law and guardianship orders, probate, wills and estates,

immigration, litigation and labour employment – they are

a full-service firm.

“In an industry that’s notorious for unreturned phone

calls, I return every call and try to do so by the close of

every day – that alone contributes to a significant part of

our growth,” asserts Kahane. “We provide a very personal-

ized level of service, so when my phone rings, I answer the

call and the same applies for email. Our mandate is to keep

our clients happy and we maintain those relationships for

a long time, but I couldn’t have built this firm without the

exceptional people that are around me.” •

FCT is proud to partner with

the Kahane Law Office

And congratulates

them on 10 years

of excellence


Residential Solutions

Residential Title Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. ® Registered Trademark of First American Financial Corporation.

Kahane Law Office | 10 th Anniversary | 3

Hand-crafted excellence.

Thank you

for recognizing us

as Calgary’s #1

Employment Agency

1.855.266.7030 |

View our website to see our full range of products and to create your

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2777 Hopewell Place NE Calgary

(403) 250-1020 • Toll Free: 1-800-382-8502

People | Partners | Performance

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Bon Ton is proud to be your Consumer Choice

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Independently Owned and Locally Operated

Licenced • Bonded • Insured

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A Proud Sponsor

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100 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Leading Business

Connecting to solve business challenges

MARCH 2014

Supporting Calgary’s

Mid-Market Companies

Over the past five years Alberta has held the highest

rate of business growth per capita throughout

the country. Mid-market companies (companies with

50-500 employees) play a very significant role in Alberta’s

economy with over 6,600 mid-size businesses in Alberta.

Stemming from our entrepreneurial culture, Calgary has

a special breed of mid-market companies that don’t always

receive the recognition they deserve. This is a place where

family run businesses can turn into 100 million dollar companies.

These are the companies that through hard work and

determination, have risen from the ranks of small business.

Increasingly, Calgary based businesses in industries like

technology, natural resource extraction, biotechnology and

software are discovering that they are among the best in the

world in their respective area, and that they can and must

compete on a global scale. To do this they need to grow.

Statistics show that mid-sized firms are declining in Canada:

17 per cent between 2006 and 2010. We have to stop

this. To stop this we need to address some critical issues facing

mid-sized companies – primarily access to capital and

availability of human resources according to BDC.

These issues result in far too many mid-market companies

shrinking back into small businesses, or getting stuck at a

mid-size rather than turning into the large world-competing

companies they should be.

Mid-market companies often need substantial capital to

move their business forward. Access to capital can be a challenge

for companies of all sizes, but mid-sized companies

are affected even more. There are a variety of capital pools

exclusive to small businesses, and large companies have the

reach to access larger capital markets due to their size, balance

sheets and covenants. This leaves mid-sized companies

feeling in need of help. This past year has been particularity

difficult for mid-sized companies as investment in Alberta

has been slow, and the bar to be considered keeps rising.

Solutions to this might be the establishment of innovative

capital funds, pooled from a variety of investors and

sources that target highly qualified mid-sized firms. Midsized

companies can often be less risky than start-ups, and

may therefore be a more attractive investment. Pooled funds

that invest in a variety of sectors can spread the risk across

different economic drivers.

Finding and retaining quality employees is particularly

concerning for mid-sized firms looking to grow quickly and

expand their expertise. When growing a mid-sized company

you need to add top-notch employees quickly; high performers

that can function right away with limited onboarding

time. In addition, many mid-sized businesses are often fundamentally

changing and there is a need to develop new

expertise in running a larger company: maintaining margins,

ensuring regulatory compliance and managing risks

at scale.

We must continue our efforts to train and educate Canadians

in the necessary roles and occupations, as well as

tapping into overlooked pools of labour, such as Aboriginal

people and mature workers. We also need to ensure skilled

immigrants are able to get to work quickly in their trained


We, as a city need to support and empower our industry,

especially our essential mid-size companies. In light of this,

the Calgary Chamber has developed programing specifically

to assist mid-market companies in the coming year. The

Chamber is conducting research, hosting roundtable sessions,

and networking events to allow leaders in Calgary’s

mid-market the opportunity to grow the segment and support

each other’s development into new markets.

For more information on the Chamber’s mid-market initiatives

visit: | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 101

2014 Board of



Chair: Leah Lawrence, President, Clean

Energy Capitalists Inc.

Immediate Past Chair:

Joe Lougheed, Partner, Dentons

Canada LLP

Chair Elect: Rob Hawley, Partner,

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Second Vice Chair:

Denis Painchaud, Director, International

Government Relations, Nexen Inc.

Vice Chair, Finance: Bill Brunton,

President, Stratus Marketing Inc.

CEO: Adam Legge, President

and CEO, Calgary Chamber


David Allen, President, Calgary Land,

Brookfield Residential Properties Inc.

Carlos Alvarez, Audit Partner, KPMG

Lorenzo DeCicco, Vice-President, TELUS

Business Solutions

Rob Hawley, Partner,

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Wellington Holbrook,

Executive Vice-President, ATB Financial

Guy Huntingford, Chief Executive

Officer, Urban Development Institute

Bruce Okabe, Chief Executive Officer,

Travel Alberta

Phil Roberts, Vice-President, Axia

NetMedia Corp

Linda Shea, Senior Vice-President,


Mike Williams, Executive Vice-President,

Tervita Corporation


Adam Legge – President and CEO

Michael Andriescu – Director of Finance

and Administration

Kim Koss – Vice President, Business


Scott Crockatt – Director of Marketing

and Communications

Rebecca Wood –

Director of Member Services

Justin Smith –

Director of Policy, Research and

Government Relations

Chamber Member


The Calgary Chamber is proud to represent many Calgary businesses large and

small; this month we are highlighting some of our industry leading members.

ConocoPhillips Canada

ConocoPhillips Canada (CPC) is one of the country’s largest oil and natural gas production

and exploration companies. Headquartered in Calgary, the company is a leading producer of

natural gas and liquids, with a world-class portfolio of assets in Western Canada, the Arctic,

and oilsands interests near Fort McMurray.

ConocoPhillips Canada began over 100 years ago. Today, the company has 2,400 full-time

employees and contractors. With a talented workforce, an integrated asset base and a proven

record of production success, the company is poised to become Canada’s leader in the discovery

and responsible development of oil and gas assets.

For more information visit

Saipem Canada

Saipem Canada Inc. is a leader in turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)

projects with a particular focus in the oil and gas industry. With its headquarters located in

Calgary, Saipem Canada is focused on becoming the principal source for refinery and gas plants,

chemical, petrochemical, fertilizer plants, onshore pipeline systems, infrastructure, power and

environmental plants. Saipem Canada has been operating nationwide for over 20 years.

With innovations in research and development, a diverse and expanding workforce, a commitment

to health and safety, and with the goal of reducing their environmental footprint, the

future of Saipem Canada is bright.

For more information visit

Leading Business magazine is a

co-publication of the Calgary Chamber

and Business in Calgary

Calgary Chamber

600, 237 8th Avenue S.E.

Calgary, Alberta

T2G 5C3

Phone: (403) 750-0400

Fax: (403) 266-3413


Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism


SPECTACLE is an internationally oriented architecture office working across the fields of

architecture, urbanism, landscape and object design. The company approaches diverse project

types and scales with a balance of expert knowledge and innovational thinking, constantly

re-evaluating the potential and manifestation of architectural types and hybridizations.

SPECTACLE enthusiastically seeks out the ambiguous gaps between the sublime and the

everyday, strategic tactics and intuitive reactions, theory and execution, high and low culture,

opportunistic maximization and long-term strategies, the study of history and the pursuit of

progress, and the discipline of architecture and its professional practice. The founding partners

have worked with notable offices in Calgary, Montreal, Barcelona and Rotterdam.

For more information visit

102 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


7am - 11am | meets monthly

For more information, and to apply to this session, or another PeerSpectives roundtable group,

please contact

Are you a business leader struggling with the unique challenges of a fast-growing company? Are you looking for a

high value/low cost way to learn to run your business more successfully in order to take it to the next level? Are you

encountering decisions that you have never had to face before? As a leader of an organization you may wonder

where to turn for help. Our new PeerSpectives roundtable program may just be the thing you need.

This month, the Calgary Chamber has introduced a unique, world class CEO roundtable program called PeerSpective

to assist companies in their growth stage.

PeerSpectives developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, and based on the principles of peer learning is a roundtable

format that is designed particularly for leaders of second-stage companies (companies that have moved beyond

the startup phase and are focused on steady, sustainable growth).

PeerSpectives is delivered by a certified facilitator that ensures a balanced discussion that is not dominated by any

one issue or individual. In a trusted and confidential environment, participants gain real-time feedback on sensitive

business issues from their peers who are facing, or might have faced a similar issue.

A key element that sets PeerSpectives apart from other roundtable programs is the no advice rule, where participants

share experiences rather than give advice, which dramatically changes the dynamics of the discussion.

Issue topics include:

• Company culture

• Personnel decisions

• Customers

• Direction of the organization

• Marketing

• Product development

• Succession planning

• Finances

Criteria for Program

• A Calgary Chamber member in good standing

• A second-stage business owner, CEO, president or

partner of a high growth company

• Have 10 – 99 employees

• Yearly revenue is between $1 million and $5 million

• Committed to being available for 4 hours once a


Annual investment is $825 plus GST (depending on membership level you may qualify for an additional discount).

• Includes eight four-hour sessions and a hot breakfast

Roundtable Information

The Calgary Chamber plans to run PeerSpectives roundtable groups throughout the year.

The first roundtable group will commence on March 26, 2014, and will take place on the last Wednesday of each

month from 7:00am - 11:00am with breakfast included.

If you or someone you know would like to participate in one of the PeerSpectives Roundtable groups, please contact

Erica Jago at or 403-750-0440.

For details and to purchase tickets for any of the Calgary Chamber’s events please visit

104 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Calgarians support

Convention Centre


In December 2013, The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) conducted

a public perception study. The aim of the study was to assess public opinion

related to the proposed expansion of the facility.

Highlights of the study include:

• The CTCC is well used and liked by Calgarians. Almost 40% of research

participants have attended at least one event at the Convention Centre

within the last year. This is a high percentage for a city the size of

Calgary and demonstrates the importance of the Centre to Calgarians

and visitors to our city.

• Calgarians continue to appreciate the value the Convention Centre

brings to the city’s vibrancy and economic prosperity.

• Calgarians believe our convention centre should be able to compete

with convention facilities located in cities of similar or larger size.

Calgarians also recognize our competitiveness is eroding due to the

size limitations of our current Convention Centre.

• Almost two thirds of those interviewed believe that the CTCC will be

too small for Calgary’s needs within the next decade.

The survey questions focused on a number of different areas of interest and

perception. Support for expansion remains high with 71% of participants

agreeing that expansion of the existing facility is a good idea. The inclusion

of a Canadian Energy Centre into an expanded Convention Centre is well

regarded by Calgarians, and 80% of survey participants support its inclusion.

Interest in an Energy Centre aligns with Calgary’s brand as an Energy city.

The Convention Centre is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2014 and

continues its role as a centre for social and business activity in our city.

Calgary has more than tripled in size since the original Convention facility

was built in 1974 and the Centre has not kept pace with the city’s growth.

The CTCC expanded in 2000, but no longer meets the needs of our dynamic

and growing city.

Calgary continues to thrive and the city’s managed growth continues to

be recognized by a variety of media organizations. In 2013, MoneySense

magazine ranked Calgary as the top Canadian city to live in and the best

place to raise a family in Canada. The Economist Livability Survey has ranked

Calgary as number five on the best places to live in the world for the last

four years. Maintaining Calgary’s dynamic growth and prosperity requires

a vibrant and energetic downtown environment. The support and interest

for an expanded convention facility reflected in our most recent survey

demonstrates the CTCC’s importance to Calgarians as an economic driver

and a place to bring people together in our city. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 105

NEXT - Turning Business Ideas

into Scalable Startups


is a foundation program that aims to help

early-stage entrepreneurs turn their ideas into


full-fledged startups by validating the market,

acquiring customers and building minimum viable products

through a series of hands-on workshops and mentor

feedback,” says Steven McIlvenna, director, entrepreneur

development, Innovate Calgary.

An international program developed by Startup Weekend,

Techstars, Google for Entrepreneurs and Steve Blank – a

serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley who pioneered the

Lean Startup movement – NEXT is uniquely built around

face-to-face interactions with potential customers and is

driven by mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.

The program offers participants a valuable opportunity to

undergo face-to-face customer situations with a group of

peers who are tackling similar entrepreneurial challenges.

“While developing new programming for entrepreneurs we

found we already had a great alignment with Steve Blank’s

approach and thought leadership, and Innovate Calgary has

been fortunate for his direct support and endorsement in

the past,” says McIlvenna. “However while listening to our

entrepreneur customers we realized a program like NEXT

was also needed. With this program in Calgary, and great

collaboration with Startup Calgary, the power of this alignment

can benefit the Calgary startup community.”

The Calgary NEXT program is delivered in partnership

between Innovate Calgary and Startup Calgary. NEXT spring

2014 is comprised of intensive three-hour weekly sessions,

running Wednesdays beginning March 19 to April 16.

Customer Discovery – March 19, 2014

Customer Discovery is an ongoing learning process. The

series starts with an overview of the theory and tactics for

customer development and will introduce the power, art and

tactics of customer interviews. You will validate your ideas

through in-person customer interviews using Steve Blank’s

Customer Development methodology and tactics from customer

development practitioners.

Big Markets, Big Ideas – March 26, 2014

All entrepreneurs imagine building the next billion-dollar

company. Good ideas are not always targeting huge markets,

but if your ambition is attacking a huge market, learn

the entrepreneurial mindset you need to build a good idea

into a great company. This week will help determine if you

should be dedicating the next seven years of your life to

your idea. Start to think like great entrepreneurs such as

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg; they all understood

their idea was changing the world.

Fundability – April 2, 2014

This session will show entrepreneurs how investors think

about deals and how they evaluate what they are looking

for. Investors place a heavy weight on major areas like team,

traction and scalability. Begin to understand an investor’s

thought process and the milestones you need to hit for them

to pay attention. Gain insights on why thinking about money

too early (or at all) can be detrimental to your company.

Pitching your Idea – April 9, 2014

Communication of ideas is an often overlooked area by

entrepreneurs. Every bad pitch is a lost opportunity. Don’t be

like other entrepreneurs; value the communication of your

idea. Your ability to communicate your idea effectively will

help you sell your vision. This session will provide entrepreneurs

with the valuable tactics of pitching or communicating

an idea. Communication matters whether you are recruiting

a co-founder, selling to your customers, applying to an

accelerator or pitching an investor.

Go to Market – April 16, 2014

Getting a startup to market is challenging. There are many

strategies and approaches you can follow, but do they all

provide a high ROI? Once a startup gets to market, it needs to

capitalize on that opportunity. Entrepreneurs need to always

be delivering tremendous value to customers, businesses

and their stakeholders. The final week will cover strategies

and tactics that entrepreneurs can implement to reach more

customers and sales. Before launching your product, you

should have a basic understanding of models and what go to

market tactics work and don’t work with each model.

For more information about the Calgary NEXT program

or to apply, contact: Steven McIlvenna, director, entrepreneur

development, Innovate Calgary at smcilvenna@, (403) 284-6419 or visit innovatecalgary.


106 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Spotlight shines on Calgary

with the announcement of $5 million

grant funding for the Calgary Film Studio

As Canada’s fourth-largest film

jurisdiction, Calgary boasts

award-winning crews and

locations. The Calgary region benefits

from an average of $100 million in

film, television and digital production

each year and is responsible for 80

per cent of all filming in Alberta. In

addition, the Calgary region has garnered

more Oscar, Golden Globe and

Emmy® Award nominations than any

other jurisdiction in Canada.

In response to this ever-growing

industry, four years ago, Calgary Economic

Development established the

Alberta Creative Hub Corporation – a unique non-profit

and non-partisan organization established for the specific

purpose of growing the local film, television and creative

industries through the development of state-of-the-art, purpose-built


On February 4, 2014, after an in-depth submission and

evaluation process, the Alberta Government, through the

Ministry of Culture, announced that Calgary Economic

Development was the successful proponent of a one-time,

$5-million grant towards building the Calgary Film Studio.

“We are very pleased to have been selected as the proponent

for the Calgary Film Studio,” says Bruce Graham,

president and CEO, Calgary Economic Development. “By

working with industry and post-secondary partners to

develop purpose-built facilities, we envision the studio will

allow the creative industries sector to realize significant

growth potential, increase the retention of local talent and

support the diversification of our economy.”

Here are some of the details of the plan:

• The total projected cost is approximately $22.8 million.

• The studio will feature two purpose-built sound stages

(20,000 sq. ft. and 30,000 sq. ft.) with the ability to subdivide

the larger studio.

• The studio will also include 18,000 sq. ft. of warehouse

space with an additional 10–15,000 sq. ft. for workshop/

production, props, sets, wardrobes, etc.

• It will be governed by a board of directors.

• William F. White International will be the anchor tenant.

The creative industries sector has

reached a critical tipping point…

The creative industries employ 60,000 Albertans who

work in industries that generate billions of dollars into the

provincial economy on an annual basis. Of that 60,000,

approximately 3,000 of them work in film and television

production. With some adjustments and enhancements to

incentives, there is the opportunity to grow this sector to a

half-billion dollars in the next five to seven years. The creative

industries sector has reached a critical tipping point,

with terrific growth opportunities driving the need for purpose-built,

permanent facilities.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to diversify our provincial

economy with a one-time capital investment in an industry

that we have already proven to be very successful in,” says

Luke Azevedo, commissioner of film, television and creative

industries. “The Calgary Film Studio will help ensure our

industries remain viable and provide jobs for Albertans.”

Moving forward, Calgary Economic Development and the

Alberta Creative Hub Corporation are entering the planning

phase, and will be working swiftly to determine next steps, with

plans to secure land and break ground in the spring of 2014.

Alberta has vistas, award-winning crews and now the

infrastructure to support both international and indigenous

creative projects. | BUSINESS IN CALGARY March 2014 • 107

Calgary’s Path to

Ultimate sports City


In January of this year, Calgary was added to the Sport-

Business International 2014 Ultimate Sports Cities short

list. The Ultimate Sports Cities awards are the de facto

benchmark of sports cities around the world with acknowledgment

on the list influencing decisions taken by sports

federations, tour organizers and multi-sport event rights


The rankings of the 30 cities will be announced at the

SportAccord Convention in Antalya/Belek, Turkey in April.

Calgary has a variety of strengths that have been recognized

by event rights holders over the years and, more recently, by

SportBusiness International.

Sport is at our core, it’s in our DNA, and we care about

it for the right reasons. We see sport as a way to build

community, inspire youth to action and create social,

facility and cultural legacies to last for generations. We have

a focused strategy and the support of the public and private

sectors. We are a pre-eminent winter sport city with the rare

ability to host a diversity of major events year-round.


Sport is part of our city’s identity, our history, our source

of pride and at the centre of our vision for the future.

Calgarians love to participate, spectate, support and engage

in sport at all levels.

We show up in record numbers to revel in major events:

• Spruce Meadows’ two main events draw a combined

180,000 spectators

Calgary Stampede welcomes 1.1 million visitors every


• 100,000 people lined Calgary streets to watch the final

leg of the UCI 2.1 Tour of Alberta

• 40,000 spectators witnessed golf’s legends at the Shaw

Charity Classic PGA Champions Tour


Calgary is at the heart of Canada’s Olympic Winter Games

ambitions. One hundred and twenty of Canada’s 221 member

2014 Olympic team trained or competed at WinSport Canada

facilities. At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver

20 of 26 Canadian medals were won by athletes who honed

their skills at WinSport. The path to Canadian Winter

Olympic gold runs through Calgary. Canada holds the record

for most gold medals in a single Winter Olympics.

We have hosted 32 World Cup or international winter

sport events from 2010 to 2013. Few cities in the world, if

any, can host freestyle aerials, moguls, halfpipe, skeleton,

luge, bobsleigh, speed skating, hockey, sledge hockey and

curling World Cups or major international events within city

limits and Nordic and alpine World Cups within an hour

from those same city limits.


We claim winter as our domain, and yet our energy is

boundless. We are the world’s horse capital with new events

every year, Spruce Meadows, the Calgary Stampede, major

ranches in close proximity and herds of wild horses still

roaming the surrounding prairies. New major anchored

summer events with the UCI 2.1 Tour of Alberta and Shaw

Charity Classic PGA Champions Tour join Spruce Meadows,

the Calgary Stampede and a host of incredibly well-attended

summer festivals as Calgarians quench their thirst for action.

strategy, purpose and looking forward

We attract events for the right reasons. We care about sport,

we care about what it can do for children, how it can break

down barriers and how it unites and lifts. It’s our experience

that sport organizations care about their sport, the growth of

their sport, the reputation of their sport, and yes the financial

viability of their sport.

We have established a national best-practice model in the

Calgary Sport Tourism Authority for attracting major events.

The CSTA strategy has proven successful with more than

250 events supported since 2007 resulting in far-reaching

community, grassroots sport, economic and legacy.

The CSTA strategy is founded in collaboration; it is

passionate, progressive and selective; and devoted to the

delivery of the broad range of benefits derived from hosting

major sport events.

108 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |











MarketingMatters • David Parker


By DaViD ParkEr

The chance to respond to an RFP

for a major client is always an

exciting opportunity for advertising

agencies and it says something

for the importance the industry holds

in Travel Alberta in that the organization

received over 100 downloads to

the request it sent out last October.

It was by necessity a lengthy process

but the new agency of record for

Travel Alberta for the next three-year

period is a consortium pitched together

by Critical Mass and Copithorne and

Blakely Advertising.

Royce Chwin, Travel Alberta’s chief

marketing officer, says agencies had

to adhere to strict criteria which cut

down the number of real submissions

to 10. After responding to a business

case and in-person presentations in

which much strength was put on the

ability of the respondents to fit as a

partner with the marketing organization

the consortium was chosen to

take over from incumbent Venture


A focus will be in the growth of the

international market and Critical Mass

has years of experience in the worldwide

digital arena while Copithorne

and Blakely were both involved in the

very successful Remember to Breathe

campaign and understand the local,

regional and Canadian market.

They have an interesting challenge:

2013 brought $7.8 billion tourism dollars

into the province and the target

set for 2020 is $10.3 billion.


We are fortunate to have a facility

like The Beach in this city where

owner/producer Lanny Williamson

constantly upgrades his equipment to

ensure locals have the best available.

Latest addition to his advanced

audio production house along 11th

Avenue SE is the installation of a 7.1

surround sound system that is compatible

with Blu-ray video systems

and theatrical, HDTV and TV audio


Williamson consulted with the

Dolby Labs designer to customize his

purpose-built new system to the latest

and best standards available so that

the Beach can handle any production

in-city. His 7.1 is the only one available

between Vancouver and Toronto,

complementing his three studios that

are kept busy with some excellent

productions including post-production

and sound for a current feature

film and a travelogue bound for U.S.

audiences for Calgary singer/producer

Jewelle Colwell.


The 10 th Sara Scouts are celebrating

its centennial year and are looking

forward to holding the event in its

Rideau Park Scout Hall.

Kevin Mullen of Empire Homes and

Empire Kitchen and Bath is a neighbour

and came to the rescue of the

historic 1927 landmark building that

was in dire need of fixing up. It had

served eight decades of use by countless

youth but was showing its age.

Plans were well underway when

the flood made matters much worse

and the decision was made to rebuild

it on a new foundation. Mullen was

able to count on his architect, DeJong

Design Associates, and his suppliers

who donated materials and labour but

he also called on the creativity of his

agency, Tandem, to help with additional


The result was a Be Prepared invitation

to be part of Calgary’s history

designed as a booklet after the Boy

Scouts badge book.


Since joining the two-year-old Calgary

office of Edelman – the world’s

largest PR company – last September,

general manager Laurie Stretch has

doubled the staff to 10 and continues

to grow its list of clients here.

One of the newcomers is Mathew

Hayes who relocated from the Toronto

office to launch Edelman Canada Digital

in Calgary.


I was delighted to catch up with

Luiza Campos over coffee and find out

what was new with her Marca Strategy.

Marca is the Spanish name for

trademark and Campos has been busy

with branding strategies for a number

of her clients that include the Calgary

Counselling Centre that has reacted to

the heartaches due to last year’s flooding

in opening a counselling centre in

High River.

She likes working for non-profits

and has been helping Alberta Theatre

Projects to focus on a new vision, but

has also been a big help to companies

like Highlander Wines and Spirits that

opened its third Calgary location in

the new district Seton, just to the west

of South Health Campus.

Parker’s Pick:

Love the AMA TV commercial

with the family in the pickup


110 • March 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Thank you



Wayne Chiu brings a brand of leadership

in the business sector and community that

is equal parts 21st century innovation, and

classic Calgary. Along with wife and business

partner Eleanor, Wayne has grown Trico

Homes and the Trico Charitable Foundation

into major successes for both their business

and community achievements.

We thank them for their longtime and

generous support of Bow Valley College.

In honour of this record of leadership we

are proud to introduce the newly named

Bow Valley College Chiu School of Business.

Chiu School of Business

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