spotlight on february I n this month’s issue we wanted to sweeten things up just a little given that February is well known for being the month of chocolate. So, we spoke with entrepreneurial chocolate makers, Mark and Victoria McGuire about relocating their business from Alberta to New Brunswick and how they are making this border community known as its small-town charm and a destination for beating the heat into one known for amazing sweets that can be shipped right to your door.

Youmay have noticed a fewchanges in Truro lately.


We take a trip south of the border, don’t worry it was by phone, and spoke with Richard Tango-Lowy of Dancing Lion Chocolate, to learn how a theoretical physicist who once worked in the aerospace industry, now uses his skills to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena to transition himself into a successful entrepreneur with an unquestionable passion for his craft and an ability tomake amazing chocolates that are as pleasing to the eye as they are your mouth. Well we are not sure if chocolates will be involved as Monk Renovations gets ready to celebrate their 12-year anniversary this coming March, but we chat with Dan Monk, owner of Monk Renovations, from their new location in Bayers Lake in Halifax, with masks on of course to learn how a professional engineer from East Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia has been able to experience continual growth, even during the recent pandemic, and what he believes are the keys to running a successful business regard- less of the industry. Then we move from building better homes to building better bodies and spotlight Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics sector of the health and wellness industry with our conversation with Aundrea Ritchie, founder of Aundrea Nurse Inc. We learn about what motivated her to start a business in this innovative industry and how her desire to help others and to strive to make a difference in peoples’ lives powers her entre- preneurial spirit and have not only made her a trusted expert but an ambassador of the entire industry. Building a better wardrobe is also very important to one’s health and wellness and in this month’s “in the spotlight” we chat with Michelle Stokes, the on-the-go entrepre- neur behind Bombshell by Michelle Brand. We also spotlight Roadside Willies Smokehouse & Bar for this month’s edition of Epic Eateries & Sweeteries and talk about the newest member to the Nova Scotia Spirit Company’s Blue Lobster line up with FromGrains to Glasses as we continue our mission to fill this year’s Ultimate Craft Cooler. We want to thank everyone that made this issue possible and we look forward to sharing more stories about successful businesses and brands, while spotlighting the


Megan Callahan Shannon Ferguson Anita Flowers Calli Gregg Deborah Jaremko Shawn Logan Ceiledh Monk Dan Monk Brittany Pickrem Christi Rideout Elizabeth Spencer



people behind making it all happen. Remember we are all in this together. Lee Ann Atwater, Editor

Same great people. Same great service. 437Prince St., Truro 902.895.1651

P.O. Box 35007, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3M 0G3 P: 902 405 2000 E:





What’s in the Spotlight on the cover






In the late 1800s and early 1900s Saint Andrews, New Brunswick became a seaside resort for people from Montreal and Boston seeking to escape the summer heat. We spoke with entrepreneurial chocolate makers, Mark and Victoria McGuire about moving their business from Alberta to New Brunswick and how they are making this border town known as a destination for beating the heat into one to come to for amazing sweets.

In our conversation with Richard Tango-Lowy of Dancing Lion Chocolate, we learn how Richard, a theoretical physicist who once worked in the aerospace industry, now uses his skills to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena to transi- tion himself into a successful entrepreneur with an unques- tionable passion for his craft and an ability to make amazing chocolates that are as pleasing to the eye as they are your mouth. Tango-Lowy also touches on why acting as a mentor is important to him and how he continues to hone his skills as both a renowned chocolatier and businessperson. We promise no references to the “Big Bang Theory” in this article, but once you see and taste one of Dancing Lion Choc- olates you will think they are from out of this world.




First Nation chief says Keystone XL project a lifeline for Indigenous communities 28 CANADA’S OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY 10 environmental successes achieved by Canada’s Oil and Gas Industry 32 SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS 34 ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT Business Owners & Startup Founders Can Have Side Hustles Too 38 EPIC EATERIES & SWEETERIES Roadside Willies Smokehouse & Bar – Truro, NS, Canada 42 APPLETON CHOCOLATES A Small Rural Company that is Big on Taste! 68 FROM GRAINS TO GLASSES Nova Scotia Spirit Co. - Blue Lobster Pink Lemonade 70 SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION 72 BUILDING BRANDS WITH BRITTANY Getting your Brand Staycation ready for 2021 78 SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTH & WELLNESS 80 HOLISTIC HEALTH Nutrients A to Z: Vitamin U 90 MOM TO THE RESCUE Parenting Is the Riskiest Thing I’ve Ever Done



Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics continues to be a growing sector of the health and wellness industry. We had the opportunity this month to speak with Aundrea Ritchie, founder of Aundrea Nurse Inc, about what motivated her to start a business in this innovative industry. We also learn how her desire to help others and to strive to make a difference in peoples’ lives powers her entrepreneurial spirit and have not only made her an expert in Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics but an ambassador of the entire industry. 82

As Monk Renovations gets ready to celebrate their 12-year anniversary this coming March, we chat with Dan Monk, owner of Monk Renovations, from their new location in Bayers Lake in Halifax, to learn how a professional engineer from East Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia has been able to experience continual growth, even during the recent pandemic, and what he believes are the keys to running a successful business regardless of the industry.

If you know Michelle Stokes, you know that this small-town girl’s dreams and ambitions are as big as the ocean she grew up by. Michelle is passionate about helping others be their best, whether that is what you wear or where you live, and she is always willing to share best practices to help you grow your business. Spotlight on Business Magazine sits down, which is not easy, with this on the go, energetic entrepreneur, and owner of Bombshell Boutique Inc, better known to her customers as Bombshell by Michelle, to learn more about the woman behind this amazing brand and where her drive comes from.





B y putting a spotlight on your business, organi- zation or community with effective and interactive media and advertising we will help you capture the interest of business leaders and potential clients, giving you an opportunity to promote your brand and grow market share through mobile, online, print, video and social media support, helping your business connect and stay engaged with your customers.






DX3 EXPO March 2nd - 3rd, 2021

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOLID WASTE TECHNOLOGY & MANAGEMENT (ICSW) March 14th – 16th, 2021 Virtual Online Conference The 36th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management is an annual confer- ence where researchers, educators, government officials, consultants, managers, community leaders and others meet to present and discuss topics related to all aspects of solid waste technology and manage- ment. Our goal is to provide, on a virtual platform, the same excellent opportunities to learn and partici- pate that ICSW has provided for 4 decades. For more information on this event go to

PDAC MINERAL EXPLORATION & MINING CONVENTION March 8th – 11th, 2021 Virtual Online Conference The World’s Premier Mineral Explo- ration & Mining Convention is the leading convention for people, com- panies and organizations in, or con- nected with, mineral exploration. In addition to virtually meeting over 1,100 exhibitors, 2,500 investors and 25,800 attendees from 132 countries, it provides mineral and mining profes- sionals, as well as investors, analysts, geologists, executives, government officials and students, access to an array of programming, short courses, presentations and unparalleled net- working opportunities. For more information on this event go to

Virtual Online Conference DX3 is turning 10 in the middle of the world’s greatest digital acceleration. It has been a tumultuous time for us all, and yet it has been also the most exciting for those of us in the tech- nology space. We have seen some of our alumni brands shoot to the stars while others have been adapting and evolving. We have seen the rapid growth of small brands, the stumbling of giants, and everything in between. Over the past 10 years, DX3 has always been committed to the nexus of retail, marketing, and technology, and for our 10th annual event, we are taking it a step further. Presenting - DX3 Season 10 with 56+ episodes stream- ing on March 2-5. This season we will explore, what will the future look like post pandemic? Today we are looking forward to what our transformative retail and marketing sectors will look like beyond 2020. The retail landscape is evolving - success of the brand is no longer limited to the depth and breadth of inventory but instead has expanded into creating a safe and long-lasting experience for consumers. Buyers are looking for a more tailored and personalized experience and mar- keting plays a crucial role in spreading this message. Emerging technologies help to under- stand the data with analytical tools, navigate logistics, and enhance user experience. Technology is playing a critical role in reshaping the retail and media landscape in these changing times. For more information on this event go to


HALIFAX BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (HBFF) February 23rd – 28th,2021 Virtual Online Festival The Halifax Black Film Festival (HBFF) celebrates African Heritage Month along with the festivals 5th anniversary, with a powerful edition offering 75 films that will be available entirely ONLINE across Canada and around the world! This Festival is dedicated to giving unique voices in cinema the oppor- tunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world. HBFF is a dynamic, refreshing and audacious Festival whose ambition is to encour- age the development of the indepen- dent film industry and to promote more films on the reality of Black people from around the Globe. The Halifax Black Film Festival is glad to celebrate diversity within the black communities through films that matter. Films illuminate, entertain and invite audiences to see the world from another person’s experience. When connecting black films with viewers all colours and ethnic origins we recognize the differ- ences that make us unique and cele- brate the shared values that bring us together. Coming together through art allows members of all cultural communi- ties to better understand one another. For more information on this event go to

TPM21 CONFERENCE February 25th – March 3rd, 2021 Virtual Online Conference The TPM is the premier conference for the trans-Pacific and global container shipping and logistics community and a must-attend conferences for con- tainer shipping and international logis- tics professionals in North America, Europe and Asia. TPM is based on an editorially inde- pendent and rigorous program developed by the leading team of specialized journalists covering inter- national transportation and logistics. TPM annually presents the indus- try’s most in-depth program delving into the most pressing challenges affecting container shippers in North America and globally. The event annually attracts the most senior-lev- el audience in this industry and is a platform for a week of essential and intensive networking, negotiations, and relationship building among the multiple parties in the internation- al container shipping supply chain: shippers, carriers, forwarders, tech- nology providers, trucking operators, railroads, ports, terminals, and many others who participate in this market. For more information on this event go to html

February 28th – March 3rd, 2021 Virtual Online Conference RC Show is where the industry gathers to discover innovative products, pio- neering people and transformative ideas. Our 2021 ONLINE LIVE event will CONNECT and GROW your business through a fully digital experience. Our world-class technology platform allows you explore exhibits and attend meetings in an immersive virtual trade show, as well as tune into live confer- ences, competitions and networking events from the convenience of your laptop. For more information on this event go to


Send an email 4 weeks in advance to with all the details of your event.





by Lee Ann Atwater IN THE SPOTLIGHT I f you know Michelle Stokes you know that this small town girl’s dreams and ambitions are as big as the ocean she grew up by. Michelle is passionate about helping others be their best, whether that is what you wear or where you live and she is always willing to share best practices to help you grow your business.

Michelle Stokes – Realtor, Blogger, Entrepreneur & Founder of the Bombshell by Michelle brand

“ Surprisingly, neither of my parents were business people.”

Spotlight on Business Magazine sits down, which is not easy, with this on the go, energetic entre- preneur and owner of Bombshell Boutique Inc, better known to her customers as Bombshell by Michelle, to learn more about the woman behind this amazing brand and where her drive comes from. SPOTLIGHT: Tell us a little about yourself, your hobbies, when you are not planning strategy, selling homes, running a business, or looking after the kids? MS: I like to say, “From an island off the Island.” I am a small-town girl who grew up in the town of Fogo which is surrounded by the ocean. Those of you who do not know where Fogo is, which I will assume will be most readers, it is an outport com- munity on Fogo Island in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. As a kid, I did most of the things kids “around the bay” would do. We played and hung out outside. Fogo is one of those communities where all the kids played on the streets and ran home when the streetlights came on. As for later in life, well I’m a shopper, walker, reader and writer. I love dinner and coffee dates. Running the kids to and from activities. Every spare moment we try to spend outside. We love vacations, but since the pandemic we’ve become

staycation-ers. Enjoying day trips, finding new restaurants and places to get ice cream along with a few nights away from the house at local Airbnbs. Now let’s learn more about Michelle Stokes the entrepreneur, and what got you interested in Real Estate? MS: Surprisingly, neither of my parents were business people. When I was in junior high my dad decided to go back to school. He was 35 years old and had been a fisherman for his entire life (since he was old enough to gut a cod fish). My father decided to pack up and move to St. John’s to work toward his captain’s ticket. I’ve never really looked at my dad as an inspiration but reflecting now and looking back, that probably had a huge impact on how I look at life and likely played a role in me wanting and taking the leap to do more and never really hesitating.





I would not say that I started out to be an entre- preneur. When I graduated high school, I went on to get my bachelor’s degree in Nursing and worked as a nurse for ten years (minus two mater- nity leaves). As a nurse I worked primarily in Car- diology and CV surgery with a short stent in ER and critical care. Nursing was my career however, I’ve always loved home improvements, renos and Interior design. So, after purchasing a few homes with my husband and seeing how well he was doing with building his real estate team and business, when the opportunity came for me to join him, I ran with it. What made you want to become an entre- preneur and start your own online clothing business and transition that to a brick and mortar retail location. How and why did you select this clothing industry rather than some- thing else related to real estate? MS: In 2015 I started thinking about the idea of owning my own clothing boutique shortly after moving back home to Newfoundland (we lived in Alberta for 3 years). At the time, my husband was in oil and gas. There was no real estate at that point (that came the following year after leaving his oil and gas job and starting in real estate, but that’s another great story lol).

the “rich women” never for the everyday regular women. So, it started from there. Our vision is to offer the best and most inclusive shopping experience, to have an intimate boutique experi- ence while still being able to cater to the regular everyday women, who are all rich in my eyes.

Did you have a mentor? If so, who was it and what was the most important lesson they taught you? MS: I would say that I did not have an official mentor. In saying that, I’ve reached out and had coffee dates with many local business women to get advice. Recently, I have hired a coach, which is still in the beginning phases so I’m hoping that will only evaluate our overall vision and mission. What was the inspiration behind Bombshell by Michelle brand? MS: My inspiration has always been about more than just great clothes. We’ve always tried to offer high quality items at a reasonable price point. It has never been about high-end expensive brands. I felt the existing local boutiques really catered to

Bombshell Boutique (sometimes better known as Bombshell by Michelle) started later that year. The business was strictly online until this past November. The main reason I started the boutique, honestly was because I felt there was a lack of great customer service here locally in the ladies’ retail industry. As a young, very confident woman, when I would walk into any of the local boutiques, I felt unwelcomed, like I didn’t meet the standards of what it took to shop there. So here we are. I started it to have a great wardrobe but more of a safe place for the “average woman to shop and look and feel beautiful.” Online was less than ideal. I was storing inventory at my home, doing local pick-ups and deliveries etc. Let’s just say, that behind the scenes it was a mess most days. The transition occurred a couple months into COVID-19 outbreak. My online sales were pretty good during COVID-19, but with the major shipping delays and my new, full time role in real estate I realized in order to keep things going we needed to make a change. That change happened to be opening a location and going all in, hiring a team to help me. “ The business was strictly online until this past November.”

“ My inspiration has always been about more than just great clothes.”





to saying no and making clients aware of my set working hours. When I over commit there are not enough hours in the day so I often say yes to things that can take time away from other priorities. It’s something I’m really trying to work on (building our team will eventually help with this.)

“ Volunteer and charity work are the projects that stand out for me and both play a major role in our office’s culture. ”

What motivates you as an entrepreneur and small business owner? MS: The ability to help others, to provide a service that people value and that even the smallest thank you gestures keep me going. I also understand and realize that I need to focus on the bigger picture, that there’s are always opportunities out there you just need to keep looking for them. Where do you see yourself 5 years from today? MS: I see myself as mentor with a portfolio of other local businesses that I have been able to help start and grow allowing other entrepre- neurs to follow their own vision and dreams. I also see myself working on my businesses not in my business. In 5 years, I want both our Real

“ I like putting myself out there and believe in being totally honest and real when commu- nicating with other women.” estate business and the boutique to be 100% self-sufficient in all the day-to-day tasks. One day our vision is to have the best mega team we have built run everything without us so that we can spend a month in one of our vacation properties, totally unplugged.

In 2021 we are working out ideas for pop up events at the boutique. We are still working out details, (admission would be nonperishable food item and a percentage of sales go toward one of the local charities), but we will keep everyone posted. What is your greatest strength and what is something that you struggle with as an entre- preneur and or business woman? MS: I think my biggest strength is that I’m a talker and socializer. I like putting myself out there and believe in being totally honest and real when communicating with other women. Time blocking and setting boundaries. Whether it is setting a schedule and honoring my time,

Can you tell us about a particular project that you have worked on or are going to be working on that stands out to you? MS: Volunteer and charity work are the projects that stand out for me and both play a major role in our office’s culture. This year we have done several food drives for our local boys & girls club. We have been part of the Winter Coat Drive and Back to School Backpack Drive. On a personal home-based level we try to include our kids in the small giving back gestures. We have an annual Christmas tradition where we do up gift packs (toiletries, everyday necessities) for one of the local homeless shelters and have sponsored families in need.





Spotlight on Industry Headlines

CANADA’S FACTORY SECTOR GROWS AT SLOWEST PACE IN 6 MONTHS C anadian factory activity grew at the slowest pace in six months in January, highlighting increasing challenges to the economy as restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic threaten to slow activity even further. The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 54.4 in January, its lowest since July, from 57.9 in December, but remaining well above the 50 threshold that marks expansion in the sector. A surge in COVID-19 cases has led to lockdowns in a number of Canadian provinces. The Bank of Canada expects the econ- omy to contract in the first quarter after rebounding sharply since the first wave of the virus in the spring. Border restrictions and port congestion contributed to deliv- ery times lengthening for the 17th straight month, with the suppliers’ delivery times index nudging up to 34.0 from 32.7 in December. CANADA’S ECONOMY SUFFERED BIGGEST GDP DROP EVER IN 2020 The measure of future output fell to a six-month low of 60.2 from 64.1, but still showing that manufacturers were optimis- tic about output levels in the year ahead, hoping restrictions would ease. T he Canadian economy likely posted its largest con- traction ever in 2020, with GDP seen down 5.1 per cent on the year, according to a preliminary estimate from Statistics Canada, which also showed fourth quarter annualized GDP likely up 7.8 per cent. Canada’s economy continued to outpace expectations in November, rising 0.7 per cent, ahead of analyst estimates of a 0.4 per cent gain. December GDP is likely to be up 0.3 per cent, Statscan said, though economic activity remains 3 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. The growth in November and December was stronger than expected, but post-holiday lockdowns are expected to weigh on economic activity in the new year. Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, entered a lock- down on Dec. 26 that has now been extended into February inmany parts of the region. Quebec is also amid a strict lock- downandcurfew,whileotherprovincesalsohaverestrictions. The goods-producing sector posted a 1.2 per cent increase in November, while the service-producing sector grew by 0.5 per cent.

U.S. PRIVATE COMPANIES ADDED 174,000 JOBS IN JANUARY Today, the U.S. federal government awards an esti- mated US$600 billion in goods and services contracts every year. S ome Canadian politicians are spooked after U.S. President, Joe Biden signed an executive order that tightened the rules to ensure that U.S. tax- payer dollars aren’t handed out to foreign companies. But economists said Biden’s ‘Buy American’ policy is likely to have little impact on Canadian companies. That’s because the U.S. government has restricted foreign companies’ ability to bid on its contracts for nearly a century, and also historically, the amount of Canada’s economy tied to U.S. government spending has been small to negligible. The Buy American Act dates back to 1933 and put measures in place to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars support the U.S. economy — although exactly how to do so has been a challenge as the economy has become more and more global in nature. ‘BUY AMERICAN’ ORDER LIKELY TO HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON CANADIAN FIRMS A month after reporting the first loss since April in the U.S., the employment picture bounced back in January as companies added 174,000 new jobs, according to a report from payroll processing firm ADP. The gain beat the 50,000 estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones and improved on the 78,000 December decline, a number that was revised from the initially reported drop of 123,000. While the U.S. economy has reclaimed 12.3 million jobs since May, that still leaves 10.7 million American workers unemployed, more than 5 million above pre-pandemic levels.





When I was 38 years old, I had finally decided to set out on my own and become self-employed. Before this, I had purchased rental properties, renovated them in the evenings and on the weekends, and been a landlord. I still do today even though my path has changed from resi- dential to commercial. This also provided a lot of experience in dealing with people, setting expectations, and learning how to service every client with respect and consideration, even when your mind said they don’t deserve it. For the past 12 years I have been growing our residential renovation company and commer-

cial property investment company. I continually expand my knowledge and experience through life lessons as I continue to grow.


ADVICE FOR ENTREPRENEURS by Dan Monk O ver the course of the past 30 plus years of my professional and business life, I’ve had the opportunity to try many ideas, experiment with what works best, take classes, consult with mentors, and make lots of mistakes along the way. I started in construction when I was 15 years old and was able to gain lots of experience pouring concrete foundations, working in a sawmill, painting buildings, running, and working on light and heavy equipment, sand blasting, forestry, and installing wells and septic systems. Con- struction was in my blood and it has become the centrepiece of my career. I went to university to become a civil engineer because I was intrigued to learn about all aspects of construction. With this background I was able

to find an opportunity in technical sales, design - ing, and bridge sales and install. This is where I learned the true art of sales which is simply pro- viding clients with a solution to their problem. I am an extrovert and have always found meeting new people and building relationships to be second nature. As I advanced in my career, I took on positions of management and learned many hard lessons on how to manage people, projects, production, and especially how to manage my own expectations.





• Be patient and frugal! Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It takes time to learn the lessons required to succeed. I have never been overly patient, and I’ve always wanted results sooner, and pushed to move forward faster, however, I have learned that “patience is a virtue” and can be learned. Be responsible with your cash flow, remember a job isn’t done unless the final invoice is paid. Borrow when needed however, be responsible with the money, it must be paid back to a bank or investor.

The following are a few things I have learned and believe to be the basis for an entrepre- neur: • Don’t wait for the perfect scenario… just start! When I started my company, I did some research and decided that there were lots of companies and individuals renovating, but only a few who were truly professionals and doing amazing work. I knew that this was the space in the construction industry that I wanted to fill. So, I quit a perfectly good job and started at the bottom, taking on many not so glamorous projects to ensure the bills were paid, and working many hours to ensure that projects were completed to a high standard. Eventually, this led me to build a positive brand and reputation which allows us to complete more incredible home trans- formations. • Sales are everything! If there is one thing that I know for certain, youmust always be quoting projects in order to build your company and brand. It is important to remember that before anything can be manufactured, built, or shipped, something must be sold first. Therefore, a constant priority must be finding leads, marketing, meeting clients, estimating projects, and signing contracts. Then, you can worry about fulfilling your commitments. • Always trust your gut! The gut instinct is something that we all have, and it has been developing ever since you were born. It tells your brain whether something is right or wrong before you can even process the data. Data is important however, if something “feels” wrong, then trust your gut. Have I missed opportunities that could have been good? Yes, but I have also walked away from several situations that could have been detri- mental to me or my company. I will trust my gut any day of the week, even if the data says otherwise.

• Focus on your business, not anyone else’s! I learned this from two sayings: “Keeping up with the Jones” and “The grass is always greener on the other side.” It is one thing to see a good idea and incorporate it into your operations – this is healthy. What I’m talking about is seeing a company that appears to be doing extremely well, maybe been in business less time than you, but they have newer equipment, more people, and every- thing seems to be better. The thing is, you’re on the outside looking in – they don’t share their financial statements or personal strug - gles with you so you can’t truly evaluate their success. You don’t know the debt they are carrying or the margin on their sales or other potential challenges they may be having. I recommend staying focused on your own business and not getting caught up in the “bling” of another company.

• Treat your people & clients with respect and honesty! Trusting your people does not mean you should not verify their work or provide guidance. If you give people the tools and trust their ability to make good decisions, they will. The same applies to clients, when they are provided with respect and honesty, they typically respond in kind. Honesty is always the best policy and will continue to be mine. I will not pretend to be a sage of business wisdom or someone who knows it all because I am far from it. I have learned a few things over the years and, God willing, I will continue to learn, grow, and become an even better entrepreneur in the coming years. The advice I give is free for the

taking and may only be worth what you paid for it. However, if you want to be a successful entre- preneur, do not learn all your own mistakes as they can be expensive and painful, so take advice from reliable sources, people who have done what you want to do. Those are my two cents and I hope you remember a few lessons from this article!







Let’s talk white paint! Painting a room white can inject that space with new life. White paint is bright, refreshing, and sharp. With the stroke of a brush, a room can be completely transformed. If you are considering a white room, look at it from this angle - white walls create a beautiful blank canvas. That canvas can be accentuated however you see fit. By making the walls ‘invis - ible’ or ‘blank’ other features in the home can stand out and shine bright! The attention is turned to key features of your choice. If you make this change, you are deciding to take control of the wall colour to room feature proportion. Wall colour can be soft or bold. It either accentuates pieces in the room or dominates the room. Both scenarios can be gorgeous, but they are com- pletely different. So, where do you start? Exactly which white paint do you choose? Once you decide to update your current wall colour choice and start looking, you will notice there is no end to the white paint choices! Before you venture to the paint section, we have a few critical questions to work through:


• How much natural light is in the room? The amount of natural light you have in your room will dictate how warm, cool, and white your paint really is. Ample natural light brightens and whitens no matter the undertone. The less light you have available, the deeper your colour will look. To open up a dark area, the lighter, the better!

• What shade of white do you want – warm, cool or pure? Even with white paint, this constant paint question arises – ‘Is this a warm shade or cool shade?’ Neutrals can also be categorized into these two groups based on their undertones. There is also pure white. A white with no undertone that looks amazing in every room! The wall colour can set the tone for the room, so choose wisely! Balance is key. For any given room, your theme does not have to be on one side of the colour spectrum, or the other. You can venture off into the décor wilderness once your wall colour is set and you have a plan!





• What colour is your trim? If you are updating a space by painting the walls light, but not painting the trim, pay close attention! It is important to take note of the trim tone before you pick the main paint colour. If your trim is warm, with a yellow or brown feel at first glance, your wall paint should be warm as well. If your trim is cool, with a blue, purple or gray feel at first glance, your wall paint should be cool. If you have cream tone trim, and gray tone walls, that trim looks old and yellow. If you make sure your wall colour is the same undertone, that trim will stand out and define the space, as it should! Tip: Hold a piece of printer paper next to your trim. This will help you see the colour undertone. Does the trim look yellowish or brown? Warm. Does the trim look bluish or gray? Cool. Does the trim look the same as the paper? Jackpot! It is pure white and this, my friends, is fair game for all the wall colours you love! The colour palette is your buddy!

Now, I know what some of you are thinking! White paint will look terrible when my kids and dogs run wild! Well, I speak from experience when I tell you white walls are very forgiving to the 3-foot- high collateral damage marks. A gentle scrub won’t leave the noticeable wash marks on the wall. I know, small miracles. From my experience of staging homes for the real estate market, I’ve noticed that the more colour on a wall, the more noticeable the scuffs and scratches. Don’t get me wrong, actual wall colour is a beautiful addition to a home! But for this article, it is my job to tell you all about the fabulous pros that come from painting your walls bright and white!

My go-to white paints in a (washable) matte finish are: • Pure White: Un-tinted paint – It is that simple. No undertones, just plain white. It is sharp yet unassuming. This is my go-to whenever possible. • Warm White: Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117. It’s white but wrapped in a cozy blanket with a cup of tea. Gorgeous! • Cool White: Benjamin Moore Decorators White CC-20. This paint colour is pretty much pure white, but with the tiniest touch of gray. It looks fantastic! Most importantly, when you are revamping a space in your home, look at the big picture. Take a minute, stand back and remember what you’re trying to achieve. It’s easy to get caught up in the details, but it’s the overall look that you’re trying to attain. As long as you keep that in mind, you will be happy with the end result! Current trends call the shots, but it’s your home, so make it personal. Selling your home? I’ll always leave you with a quick tip to help in the process of getting your house real estate ready. Today’s Tip: The most cost effective and quickest way to update your interior for the real estate market is by painting it a light refreshing colour. White is a great place to start! Follow us on Instagram! trim_designnl





our children and our grandchildren, and how this project can help us build better and stronger communities we could find a way to make all parties happy.” But despite weathering a difficult week follow - ing Biden’s revocation of Keystone XL’s pres- idential permit, Francis said he still has some degree of optimism that the merits and benefits of the project will ultimately be too persuasive to ignore. “I always think of the glass as half full,” said Francis with a chuckle. “This is a project that’s going to benefit both sides of the border so how do we get back to the drawing board to salvage this? What we want is to see a better future for our youth, so the challenge we have is how do we build that better future for them? And I think Keystone is a part of that.”

by Shawn Logan KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE S askatchewan First Nation Chief, Alvin

First Nation chief says Keystone XL project a lifeline for Indigenous communities

Francis has a little advice for new US Pres- ident, Joe Biden – grandfather to grandfa- ther. “I would say ‘President Biden, I do believe you made a bad decision putting Keystone on the backburner,’” said Francis, who leads a coalition of Canadian First Nations that entered into an equity agreement on the Keystone XL pipeline. “I don’t think he realizes how far behind we are as Indigenous people from an economic devel- opment perspective.” “This could change the outlook of all First Nations in Canada and the US.” Natural Law Energy, a group of five Alberta and Saskatchewan First Nations, entered into a $1 billion equity agreement for a 12 per cent stake of TC Energy’s Keystone XL pipeline project last September. Francis, the president of Natural Law Energy and Chief of the Nekaneet First Nation near Maple Creek, is also a father and a grandfather who sees the $8 billion project as an economic lifeline that will help pull First Nations out of poverty while staking out a brighter future for genera- tions to come. And that’s a crucial yet often forgotten piece of the Keystone XL story that Francis would like the 46th president of Canada’s closest ally to know. The equity partnership between Nekaneet and four other First Nations – the Ermineskin Cree, Montana, Saddle Lake Cree and Louis Bull Tribe – aimed to not only create a solid economic foun- dation to build on for their communities, but to

ensure the project met the highest environmen- tal and social standards by those who’ve been stewards of the land for generations. That partnership is in addition to Keystone XL’s commitment to sourcing goods and services from First Nations communities on both sides of the border. As of last September, Keystone XL had invested $1.6 million directly and another $16.6 million indirectly with Native American businesses and suppliers in the US. On the Canadian side, some $15.5 million in direct investment and another $21.7 in indirect spending supported Canadian First Nations contractors. Those are some of the details, says Francis, that are being lost in the debate over the future of the pipeline, which would upon completion transport up to 830,000 barrels per day to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, many of which are specifi - cally tailored to process heavy crude like what is primarily produced in Alberta. “I was quite devastated by the news. Those jobs are not only on the Canadian side, but the US side as well,” Francis said. “I think if we could get on a phone call with (Biden) it would open his eyes. I think if we could tell our story about how this is going to support

open for business.






10 environmental successes achieved by Canada’s oil and gas industry CANADA’S OIL & GAS C anada’s oil and gas industry is achieving by Deborah Jaremko

Environmental protection spending includes everything from reclamation and decommission- ing of abandoned and orphan wells to the instal- lation of pollution prevention processes and technologies, environmental audits, and wildlife protection. Meanwhile, Canada’s largest oil sands producers consistently spend more per barrel on research and development than global oil majors, accord- ing to BMO Capital Markets. Major oil sands operators have collectively invested more than $1 billion per year on R&D since 2012, including a record $1.2 billion in 2018. BMO says that “this mounting R&D investment may just be starting to bear fruit with companies just at the cusp of demonstrating the full impact of innovation on environmental performance.” 7. Reclaiming inactive oil and gas wells faster A collaborative initiative is underway between the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and industry that is designed to eventually “flatten and reverse the trend” of liabilities associated with inactive oil and gas wells. A voluntary program called area-based closure (ABC) has been described as “a regulatory paradigm shift” in Alberta. Basically, instead of focusing spending on keeping inactive wells safely suspended, the program enables oil and gas producers to re-direct that investment to abandonment and reclamation – in essence, working faster to remove wells permanently as a liability. The AER says that during the first full year of the program in 2019, 56 companies participated, with 44 committing to an inactive liability reduc- tion target. There were 136 confirmed projects, and approximately $244 million committed to closure work by companies working towards a target.

success on its path to continuously reduce environmental impacts, and its innovations are being used to inform better practices around the world. This reality belies the characterizations of opponents that the sector is a laggard in envi- ronmental protection and performance. Here are 10 examples of ongoing environmen- tal success in Canadian oil and gas 10. Planting millions of trees Major oil sands producers planted more than 25 million trees between 2009 and 2018 to help reclaim areas of boreal forest impacted by devel- opment, according to BMO Capital Markets. This includes five million trees planted as part of the Faster Forests program, a voluntary joint ini- tiative by producers through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). The approach, developed with regulators and researchers, takes lessons from how a forest re-generates after a wildfire. It is now used across in situ oil sands projects and as a best practice for land use in Alberta. 9. Providing a clearer picture of global methane emissions This fall, Montreal-based GHGSat launched a free online high-resolution map showing concen- trations of methane emissions around the globe. The map, which is updated on a weekly basis, uses data collected from GHGSat satellites, aircraft sensors and proprietary analytics. GHGSat identified a massive methane leak at the Korpezhe oil and gas field in Western Turkmeni - stan in 2019, and the smallest methane emission

ever detected by a satellite, a controlled release in Alberta in October 2020. The company says it is making data openly avail- able to support industry and governments to reduce emissions. GHGSat launched its first orbital methane-scop - ing probe in 2016, thanks to a collaboration with COSIA and Suncor Energy.

8. Spending billions on environmental protec- tion and R&D Canada’s oil and gas sector spends more on envi- ronmental protection than any other Canadian industry, according to CEC research. From 2006 to 2016 (the most recent year with data avail- able), the oil and gas sector spent $24.5 billion on environmental protection, or more than four times the next highest spender, electric power generation at $5.6 billion.





duced in 1996 and reduced flaring in the province by 70 per cent by 2006. 4. Guiding global CCS projects In addition to reaching major project milestones in 2020, there is more evidence that Canada’s expertise in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is being used to inform development of this important emissions-reduction technology around the world. In June, Shell announced that the Quest CCS project at its refinery near Edmonton is exceed - ing storage targets at a lower cost than expected. The company said that in less than five years of operation, Quest has captured and stored more than five million tonnes of CO2, or the annual emissions from about 1.25 million cars. Also, in June, the world’s newest CCUS project and largest CO2 pipeline, the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, came online. ACTL is a CCUS project because it uses the captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, adding a saleable product to CCS alone. The Global CCS Institute reports that, including the new ACTL project, carbon capture facilities in Canada now have capacity of approximately 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. That’s the equivalent of capturing the emissions of about 750,000 passenger vehicles annually. That figure does not include all of the CO2 that is stored at the Weyburn CCUS project in Sas- katchewan, which has sequestered more than 34 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent since 2000 while enhancing oil recovery. Canada was an early adopted of CCS/CCUS, and its experience is being recognized by global players. In May 2020, Shell and partners Total and Equinor announced they would proceed with the Northern Lights CCS project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, which will have initial capacity to store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. “Northern Lights has incorporated lessons from

Quest, which has been sharing knowledge and lessons learned over the last five years to encour - age more widespread implementation of CCS,”

As of 2019, producers had regulatory approval to have 1.4 billion cubic metres of tailings inventory, but actually had approximately 1.27 billion cubic metres of tailings inventory or about 10 per cent less than expected. 1. Reducing GHG emissions intensity Oil sands producers have been decreasing emis- sions intensity per barrel for over a decade and the trend continues, according to analysis by IHS Markit. This includes a bigger than expected decrease of 10 per cent for oil sands mining projects between 2017 to 2018. IHS Markit reports that since 2009, the weighted average emissions intensity of oil sands projects has fallen by 20 per cent, from 88 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per barrel (kgCO2e/ bbl) to 70 kgCO2e/bbl. This assessment is supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada, which in its 2020 National Inventory Report says that oil sands emissions intensity has declined steadily from 97 kgCO2e/bbl in 2005 to 78 kgCO2e/bbl in 2018. According to BMO Capital Markets, several oil sands projects already have below-average carbon footprints in North America. COSIA says that efforts are continuing to reduce GHG intensity further, “paving the way for bold climate commitments, including net zero and near net zero goals as announced by some of our members.”

6. Acting to reduce methane emissions Efforts in Canada to decrease methane emis- sions from oil and gas have been recognized to result in a smaller footprint compared to other jurisdictions. The construction permit for a US$310-million LNG project that is currently under construction in Tacoma, Washington includes the requirement that it sources natural gas from British Columbia or Alberta in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A life-cycle analysis of the project conducted in 2018 – including “upstream” GHG emissions from natural gas production – found Canada to have emissions from natural gas that are five times or more lower than in the United States. The Puget Sound Clean Air Authority pointed to regulatory requirements in Canada provin- cially and federally that are intended to reduce methane emissions, such as rules that require companies to control methane leaks from pro- duction equipment. Alberta and British Columbia have set targets to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas by 45 per cent by 2025 compared to 2014 levels, while the Government of Canada’s target is to reduce emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2025 compared to 2012 levels. 5. Leading the world on reducing flaring Canada’s oil and gas industry is among the best in the world when it comes to reducing air emis- sions from flaring, according to CEC research. Analysis shows that Canada currently ranks 22nd out of the world’s top 30 countries for flaring, despite being the fourth-largest oil and gas producer. Canada also showed the second-larg- est decrease in flaring over the five years between 2014 and 2018 – a 38 per cent decrease. Flaring in the oil and gas industry is subject to strict environmental regulations in Canada, including Alberta’s Directive 60, which was intro-

Shell said in a statement. 3. Reducing water use

Canada’s oil sands producers are well on their way to meeting targets to reduce fresh water use. The members of COSIA – which represent about 90 per cent of oil sands production – have set a target to reduce fresh water-use intensi- ty for drilled oil sands projects by 50 per cent compared to 2012 by 2022. As of 2019, the com- panies achieved a 44 per cent reduction, down to 0.2 barrels of fresh water per barrel of oil produced. Meanwhile, for mining projects COSIA has set a target of reducing water use intensity from the Athabasca River by 30 per cent by 2022. As of 2019, companies achieved a reduction of 22 per cent on the way to reaching this target, down to 1.7 barrels of Athabasca River water per barrel of oil. 2. Managing oil sands tailings Oil sands producers have made major strides dealing with tailings in recent years, including Canadian Natural Resources reducing its new project tailings by half and Suncor reducing its total operated tailings footprint altogether. According to the AER, between 2015 and 2019 Suncor reduced the fluid tailings inventory at its Base Mine by almost 17 per cent, from 316 million cubic metres to 263 million cubic metres. Meanwhile, Canadian Natural Resources “has proven its ability to reduce fluid tailings by approximately 50 per cent in its latest expansion at Horizon, along with approximately 14 per cent decrease in GHG emissions,” according to BMO Capital Markets. Overall, the total volume of oil sands mining tailings since 2015 has been lower than expecta- tions despite growing oil production, according to AER data.





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