FANSAVES About More than Saving Money

AIDACA MEDIA Publication



Editor’s Spotlight As we wrap up the summer, we start to get refocused on finishing out the years stronger and get refocused on our personal and professional goals that we set for 2022. It was great getting back to outdoor festivals and events this past summer, and we spotlight what our editorial team had in their ice boxes, buckets and coolers this summer as we put together our Ultimate Craft Case from the summer that was 2022 and the return of social gathering. While out and about enjoying these festivals over the summer it was interest- ing to see how many people were focusing on getting that perfect selfie or recording of their favorite artist on stage than just enjoying it live and being in the moment. We look at Technology Addiction, does this affect you as we analyze if you are too connected and how to notice if you have a problem with technology use. Getting out and playing at festivals is a great opportunity for musical and other performing artists to grow their fanbase and get noticed artistically, but what if that is not an option or there is not that opportunity for you as an artist, well this issue offers tips and suggestions on how to build your online presence as an artist to get your work out to the masses and help you build your brand. Speaking of building brands and getting noticed, no one is better at it than Shannon Ferguson of FanSaves. In this issue, we follow up with Shannon on what FanSaves has been up to and how she and Kris, and the rest of the FanSaves team have developed the business into so much more than just about saving money, it has become about connecting people, businesses and communities. Plus, Elizabeth Spencer shares about her vacation meltdown Mom moment in the latest edition of her Guilty Chocoholic Mama column. As always, my team and I want to thank everyone that made this issue possible, and we look forward to sharing more stories about growing industries, suc- cessful businesses, and brands, while spotlighting the people behind and in front of making it all happen.

MANAGING DIRECTOR Rod Gregg EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Lee Ann Atwater COMMUNICATION, RESEARCH & ADMIN Kate Davis Tristyn Gaudette CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Megan Callahan Mark Cooper Shannon Ferguson Tim McMillan Dan Monk Ryan Myson Teresa Siqueira Elizabeth Spencer Tamara Vallis



Lee Ann Atwater Editor

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






08 HEADLINES IN THE SPOTLIGHT 10 UPCOMING EVENTS 12 COMMUNITY BALANCE Energy, Environment, Economy at Equilibrium in Edson 18 CONTRACTOR’S CORNER How much will the project cost? 24 FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS The Struggle is Real! 30 DESIGN OF THE TIMES Downsizing: Small Problem, Big Solution 56 MANAGING SUBCONTRACTORS The Do’s and Don’ts 62 THE WORLD SHOULD GET NATURAL GAS AND OIL FROM CANADA Here’s why 80 ENTREPRENEUR MOTIVATION & HEALTH Life is way too short! 84 GUILTY CHOCOHOLIC MAMA My Vacation Mom Meltdown

It has been a long time coming but the summer of 2022 saw the return of family and friends getting together at the cottage or weekend barbeques on the deck. Plus, it saw us get back to day trips to the beach, bonfires, and the much-needed return of festivals of all types after a two-and-a- half-year hiatus and enjoying a few adult bever- ages with the ones that we love. FANSAVES ABOUT MORE THAN SAVING MONEY

GETTING NOTICED ARTISTICALLY HOW TO BUILD YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE AS AN ARTIST When I was planning for upcoming summer vacations, I told myself as do millions of other people, that I was going to spend less time on my electronic devices and spend more time enjoying the present. So, why like myself do so many of us fail to follow through on this, well these are the reason why.



Building an online presence is no longer unattainable. An abun- dance of user-friend- ly websites and social media platforms means that virtually anyone can set themselves up online — which is good, because establishing yourself as a profes- sional artist is already tricky. Whether you want to market your

We know that you are used to getting helpful tips and motivational messages each issue from Shannon about growing your business and staying positive as an entrepreneur so this month we asked her to give our readers an update on FanSaves itself and how they are so much more than just saving money, they are focus on building communities that support each other and we can think of a better way to run a business.

traditional art, or venture into creating digital art, you’ll need to think about building your online presence and here are some ideas to help you get there.





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RETAIL SALES GROWTH SLUGGISH IN AUGUST The Census Bureau reported that retail sales numbers were better than expected in August as price increas- es across a multitude of sectors offset a considerable drop in gas station receipts. Advance retail sales for the month increased 0.3% from July, better than the Dow Jones estimate for no change. The total is not adjusted for inflation, which rose 0.1% in August, suggesting that spending outpaced price increases. Inflation as gauged by the consumer price index rose 8.3% over the past year through August, while retail sales increased 9.1%. However, excluding autos, sales decreased 0.3% for the month, below the estimate for a 0.1% increase. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.3%. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers led all cate- gories, rising 2.8%, helping to offset the 4.2% decline in gas stations, whose receipts tumbled as prices fell sharply. Online sales also decreased 0.7%, while bar and restaurant sales rose 1.1%.

IT PAYS TO BE A PET THESE DAYS Pet owners might feel squeezed by inflation, but they’re still pampering their animals when it comes to food. Pet owners increasingly spoil their cats and dogs with foods that are more like the dishes they’d feed themselves or other family members. To capi- talize on the ongoing shift, Petco recently partnered with snack bar maker Clif to sell a version for pets. It also launched a line of frozen, human-grade meals for dogs. “Pet parents are driving one of the biggest trends the pet industry has seen as they increasingly seek out fresh, human-grade food for all members of the family,” Petco CEO Ron Coughlin said in a release. Coughlin said the growing “humanization” of animal companions is being led by Gen Z and Millennial con- sumers who are “hyper-focused” on their pets’ health and wellness.


OMICRON BOOSTERS SHOULD PROVIDE BETTER PROTECTION AGAINST INFECTION U.S. health officials expect new omicron boosters will provide better protection against infection and serious illness this fall because the new shots now match the dominant coronavirus variant. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cleared new booster shots for people ages 12 and older that target the dominant omicron BA.5 subvariant, as well as the original strain of Covid that first emerged in Wuhan, China, in 2019. Pfizer’s new booster is available for people ages 12 and up, while adults ages 18 and older can get Moder- na’s shot. People can receive the new vaccine at least two months after their primary vaccination series or their most recent booster with the older shots.

Electric car giant Tesla is evaluating the feasibility of a lithium hydroxide refining facility on the gulf coast of Texas. Tesla said the plant would be focused on the devel- opment of “battery-grade lithium hydroxide” and be “the first of its kind in North America,” according to a newly released letter to the Texas Comptroller’s Office. The company would process “raw ore material into a usable state for battery production” and then ship the lithium hydroxide to various Tesla battery manufactur- ing factories, the application said. Tesla said that it is still “evaluating the feasibility of this project” and “only very preliminary development activities have begun.” No engineering, construction or procurement construction contracts have been negotiated or signed and no regulatory permits have been obtained, Tesla said.






INNOVATE CYBERSECURITY SUMMIT November 6th – 9th, 2022 JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa | Scottsdale, AZ USA The Innovate Cybersecurity Summit offers a New Standard of Cybersecuri- ty Education. Every session is built on direct experience. Every talk is built on specific here-and-now takeaways. Every piece of advice is agnostic of specific tool or technology. You will have Elite Networking oppor- tunities as this event provides more direct, quiet and valuable access to one of your most underutilized resources: each other. We give CISOs the time and space to talk. Plus they have reversed the tables on your typical expo - literally. CISO attendees will have a booth, and sponsors have 5 minutes to engage with each. These short, focused meetings allow for CISOs to quickly vet out emerging technologies in an efficient manner. For more information on this event go to

NATIONAL ERGONOM- ICS CONFERENCE AND ERGOEXPO November 8th – 11th, 2022 Paris Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV USA The National Ergonomics Confer- ence returns this year and brings the Ergonomics community together for the industry’s longest-running con- ference and trade show. This event gives the attendees the opportu- nity to learn from the Nation’s top Ergonomic and Safety executives with over 40 educational sessions, keynotes and workshops and is proud to offer thought-provoking ideas and tangible strategies to help ergonom- ic and safety professionals improve productivity, product quality, and profitability, all while reducing work - place injuries. Visit the ErgoExpo to compare a broad range of cutting-edge products, from office seating and exosuits to patient handling and work automation solutions. For more information on this event go to

GLOBAL AESTHETICS CONFERENCE November 4th – 7th, 2022 Loews Miami Beach Hotel | Miami Beach, FL USA The Global Aesthetics Conference (GAC) was created by Dr. S Randolph Waldman and Dr. Renato Saltz to bring together Key Opinion Leaders from the four core aesthetic special- ties – Facial Plastic Surgery, Dermatol- ogy, Plastic Surgery, and Oculoplastic Surgery – in a collegial and apolitical environment. It is the only true Multi- specialty event in the world that is not organized under the banner of a large corporate entity. So come join us at the world-class, AAA Four Diamond rated South Beach venue, the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Take a few days out of your practice to engage and network with colleagues from around the globe and we guaran- tee that you will not only gain valuable insight and tips for your practice, but you will enjoy both a fun and collegial experience! And be sure and bring your entire staff. Like you, they will learn, have fun, and bring new ideas back to your office to increase your business and improve your practice.

COAST FASHION TRADE EXHIBITION October 3rd - 4th, 2022 Miami Ironside | Miami, FL USA COAST premiered at a boutique hotel in Miami Beach in 2007. This B2B Contemporary Ready to wear and Accessory Fashion Trade Show that has grown from its initial 30 designers and showrooms to a maximum of 400 exhibitors for men’s and women’s contemporary clothing and accessories. COAST hosts two annual events in Miami and a Swim event in Ft Lauderdale. Previous shows have been held in Boston, Chicago, New York and Nashville. COAST is the premier Contemporary Fashion Trade show in Southern Florida. Retailers who attend come from Southern Florida, the Caribbean, and as far North as New York. The event prides itself on making shopping easy for all retailers. COAST’s exhibitors are estab- lished as well as emerging brands and all brands are screened for participation. For more information on this event go to https://www.coastshows. com/-miami

GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL October 6th – 8th, 2022 The Colorado Convention Center | Denver, CO USA Celebrating 40 Years of Craft Beer! The Great American Beer Festival is the premier U.S. beer competi- tion and America’s favorite beer festival and cultural phenome- non! Don your finest costume and pretzel necklace and join us for GABF’s 40th anniversary. It’s going to be epic and the event will be showcasing the finest examples of more than 100 beer styles from over 500 Breweries. For more information on this event go to https://www.greatamerican-

WORLD DAIRY EXP October 2nd - 7th, 2022 Alliant Energy Center | Madison, WI USA World Dairy Expo is a must-attend event for everyone in the global dairy industry. It serves as a forum for dairy producers, companies, organizations, and other dairy enthusiasts to come together to compete, and to exchange ideas, knowledge, technology, and commerce. For more information on this event go to https://worlddairyex-

WANT TO HAVE YOUR EVENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT? Send an email 4 weeks in advance to with all the details of your event.





Edson, which sits along the Yellowhead highway – a vital transportation route just a little over an hour east of Jasper National Park – has long seen its share of work boots in the community. Today, the town is positively booming. Construc- tion on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion saw an influx of thousands of workers almost immediately after the project received its final approval in 2018. And with work on various natural gas pipeline expansions and development of the $1.5 billion Cascade power plant, the economy in the region is expected to continue to stay heated for years to come. This is great news for the town’s business leaders, who were impacted significantly during the sus -

by Mark Cooper COMMUNITY BALANCE F or Edson Mayor, Kevin Zahara sharing


his community’s experiences with natural resource development is an obligation he hopes will help protect and strengthen the economic fortunes of rural Canada. That’s why the mayor of the West Central Alberta town that sits in some of the most pristine rolling woodlands in the continent takes every oppor- tunity to speak to fellow elected officials and business leaders across the country about the transformative powers responsible oil and gas development can have on communities. And the great care – often above and beyond regulatory requirements – that is taken to protect the environment. “There’s a false narrative out there about

Canadian oil and gas through the various anti-Al- berta energy campaigns over the last decade, so connecting one-on-one and talking directly with leaders in other communities is really important for me,” said Zahara. “I think it’s important to not only speak to politi- cal leadership but also business owners and res- idents who need to understand the full story.”





tained commodity price crash of 2014 and the steady decline of coal mining in the region. “Prior to the Trans Mountain expansion project, the atmo- sphere in the community was very bleak,” said Zahara. “It was slow. It was quiet. And people were unsure what the future had in store.” Hotels are now at near full occupancy; the housing market is hot with limited inventory and businesses have a steady flow of customers. ACTIVITY FUELING OPPORTUNITY Doug Brown, general manager of Edson’s Bannister GM, said the dealership saw a 600 per cent increase in traffic in his service shop in January of this year – something he credits to the temporary workers in the region – and he has had several truck fleet orders come in from the energy companies oper - ating nearby.

“Prior to the Trans Mountain expansion project, the atmo- sphere in the community was very bleak,”

“We have hired 20 per cent more staff than we had initially since August,” said Brown. “It has also given us opportunity to promote internally up the food chain and fill the voids in the entry level jobs. So, it’s been beneficial all around.” The optimism helped cement Brown’s decision to acquire another dealership in town. “You don’t spend that kind of money as a private business without having significant confidence everything is headed in the right direction.” ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION CRUCIAL FOR THE COMMUNITY A problem Edson rarely encounters is environmental degrada- tion from development, said Mayor Zahara. That’s good because residents of this community – a gateway to the pristine Rocky Mountains – demand companies go above and beyond when it comes to protection of natural areas.





“We are an industry town. We are proud of the fact that we are an industry town but there’s much more to our story,” said Zahara, noting Edson is recognized as a provincial leader in waste management and is hoping to spearhead a network of electric vehicle charging stations among several other green initiatives. “You see a lot of the oil and gas companies that have taken very strict environmental policies, over and above government regulations. Solar panels at lease sites are now a common practice and sharing of roadways between oil and gas and forestry companies is becoming standard.” Fearmongering over oil spills is something that comes up now and again, mostly by outsiders opposed to the Trans Mountain expansion. But Zahara will often remind people the original Trans Mountain pipeline has been operating safely without a significant incident in the region for almost 70 years. Bannister GM’s Brown also shakes his head at the misinformation. “We are an industry town. We are proud of the fact that we are an industry town but there’s much more to our story,”

“I can guarantee you that there is no develop- ment anywhere in the world that even comes close to the environmental standards that have been put on these projects,” he said. REMOTE WORKERS FITTING IN WITH RESI- DENTS, BUSINESSES Perhaps the biggest thing Zahara talks about to his colleagues across Canada not as experi- enced working with industry is how much oil and gas workers become part of the community. “Many remote workers did their Christmas shopping in Edson because they live here six out of seven days of the week with very little down time,” said Zahara. “They go to the Junior A hockey games. They support legion events and all sorts of different things. It has been a huge benefit to have them here.” Some even come and work at local businesses like Urban Image Spa, said owner Lise Pavich, who is training a hydrovac truck worker on the pipelines to become an esthetician. The increase in industrial activity in recent years has benefitted the spa with more demand for services in non-traditional times such as late

evenings and weekends, noting some appoint- ments as late as 10 p.m. Pavich, who has been in Edson since her school years, said the best thing about living in the area is the region’s many natural spaces, something she recognizes industry strives hard to protect. She’s heard stories of projects shutting down for a full day because somebody found a frog, sala- mander or bird’s nest on a site. “We joke about these things because never in my life would I think that they’d shut down a full day of a project because of a frog. But when I hear these things it’s impressive.” COMPANIES GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITY What also constantly impresses Mayor Zahara is how much companies give back. “They know their reputations are reflective of what they do in the community,” he said. For example, he points to one oil and gas company that filled sheds throughout Edson’s green spaces with equipment for kids to play with like frisbees and basketballs.

“They didn’t want any recognition of it. When I said, ‘Let me just do a thank you,’ they said ‘Absolutely not. We want to do this quietly and we just want to make sure that it’s okay that we do this,’” Zahara said. “They live here, they understand our communi- ty and it’s very, very beneficial. They’re the first to help out whenever we need help,” he said, noting a $10,000 corporate cheque that arrived the day after the town’s food bank was broken into. These are the stories and anecdotes Zahara says are important to his colleagues across the country to know, who may be hesitant about a natural resources project or pipeline. Because without the economic growth these projects provide, the long-term existence of many rural Canada communities will be threat- ened. “I am careful not to ram it down their throats, but I tell them to build the relationships with compa- nies, make an opinion for yourself, but speaking about our experience in our community it has been incredibly positive.”

“You see a lot of the oil and gas companies that have taken very strict environmen- tal policies, over and above government regulations.”






HOW MUCH WILL THE PROJECT COST? by Dan Monk W ith inflation hitting generational highs, labour shortages and a booming housing market, it is time to discuss where prices are today for various renovations. I do not have a crystal ball and do not know exactly where the economy or the construction industry is headed, however, I do have knowl- edge of where we are currently. The question is routinely asked of the renovator during an initial

visit with clients and most contractors would prefer not to answer without setting down and doing calculations. I will attempt to answer this question for bathrooms, kitchens and basements and additions. Please remember an “estimate” is just that, it is based on observations, contractor knowledge and experience, product allowance and scope of





work. This is why estimates often vary between contractors and it is always a good practice to get two or three estimates from trusted and pro- fessional renovators for your project. It is import- ant to use check references, confirm insurance and use your instincts; if a price is too good to be true, it usually is and if a contractor can start at short notice, during this busy time, this could be a red flag. I will always ask a client for their budget value as this allows me to make suggestions on how to stay within their means. Having a budget is important, but sometimes a client’s budget is simply unrealistic and the scope of work may need to be altered or more money must be sourced to achieve their desired renovation outcome. So, let’s talk about project budgets for the most common home renovations. BATHROOMS A bathroom renovation can vary from the basic demolition and installation of new fixtures, acrylic tub surrounds, and vinyl flooring with a budget from $15,000 to $18,000 to more complex bathroom renovations with the demolition to the studs, tile tub surrounds and floors will cost approximately $20,000 to $24,000. Maybe you are looking for a larger more detailed ensuite with a custom shower, vessel tubs and heated floors that will cost approximately $26,000 to $34,000 plus. A bathroom renovation is possibly the most expensive room per square foot (sq ft) in your home. Bathrooms are the most popular renova- tion because they add immediate beauty and function to your home, plus the moist environ- ment and daily use by multiple people cause bathrooms to simply wear out over time. KITCHENS The kitchen is often referred to as the “heart of the home” and for good reason. It is where we gather to cook, eat, do homework, and always host a good “kitchen party” or two with friends and family. Very much like the bathroom, the

approximately $25,000 to $35,000. However, a more extensive kitchen renovation could encompass, removing walls (structural or non-structural), installations of new tile or hardwood floors, solid surface countertops, built-in appli - ances, under-cabinet lighting, and larger more elaborate cabinets can double or triple the basic kitchen renovation requiring a budget from $50,000 to $100,000 plus. The kitchen renovation is often the greatest renovation investment a homeowner can make since the room is so critical to the daily function of the home.

size and scope of a kitchen renovation can vary greatly depending on what you are looking for. A basic kitchen renovation would include removing and installing new cabinets along with new vinyl flooring and laminate countertops. Your basic out-and-in type of kitchen renovation will cost





BASEMENTS For those wishing to add value to their home, finishing an unfinished or renovating a dated basement to create additional living space such as bathrooms, bedrooms, laundry, work-out areas, family theater or maybe a separate living space for an In-law suite for the parents or young adults looking to live at home. If zoning allows, a rental income apartment can be the best investment in building functionality and home equity. As you can see from the list of options, the cost of a basement renovation can vary depending on your desires. In my experi- ence, starting from scratch, an entire basement renovation (600-1000 sq ft) with a 3-piece bathroom will cost approximately $75,000 to $100,000 and then some. When considering a basement renovation, it is important to rec- ognize you are adding functional and valuable living space to your home and this adds value to the existing space.

ADDITIONS It is a challenge to provide a price estimate or even a range for a home addition as there are so many variables; foundation type, number of stories, and interior usage (kitchen, bath, etc.). Let’s assume a 4-8ft foundation wall, concrete basement floor (unfinished), and a single-sto - ry addition completely finished. For this type of space and project, I will typically use a “ball park” value of $300-400 per sq ft of living space, however a smaller sq ft can actually cost more per sq ft then a larger renovation. I always rec- ommend clients spend the time and invest money on a set of professionally prepared plans to allow clarity to the renovator, therefore a more accurate estimate. The above estimates are based on my personal experience. Remember, good planning, product research/selection, establishing a reasonable budget, and selecting a reputable and knowl- edgeable renovator will go a long way to achiev- ing a successful renovation.





I am here to tell you that we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel! Most real estate agents would agree that home prices are falling, and overbidding is reduced. Mind you there are still pockets where a home in the most desirable area is still seeing the bidding wars but for the most part, things have settled down also thanks to the Bank of Canada with the 2022 rate hikes to Prime the market is cooling off. What is prime you ask? Well, prime is the benchmark that the Bank of Canada has set for interest, this controls most financial things in Canada, such as mortgages, Lines of credit etc. Why is this important you ask? Well to cool the housing market and reduce inflation among other things, I am sure. So, with all of this happening I can see why first-time home buyers are getting discouraged and not knowing where to start, so I will lay out a plan that could get you back on your feet and into your dream of home ownership! What the Banks want to see when they receive an application and understanding what they are looking for is super important in the approval process. Banks well any lender for that matter, want to see you can pay your debt, simple. Do you have a steady job, making a consistent income and how do you manage your money for debt repayment? This is the main objective for any financial institution.



by Tamara Vallis

I thought long and hard about what to write for this article and I thought I would share my tips and tricks for First-Time Home Buyers, especially in this market. True these last few years have been challenging or some would say frus- trating. Writing multiple offers, getting outbid over and over or paying a crazy amount of money for a modest home. It is a fact that the housing market and prices of homes in Nova Scotia are insane, however neces-

sary to continue to boost this beautiful place we call home. The Maritimes has seen some drastic changes with the pandemic and how that impacted property values in the market. We were at one time the safest place in North America, how crazy is that to say! So naturally, we became a hot destination for people to move to, which should not be surprising considering we had low property values, pandemic safety (for a minute) and one of the most beautiful coasts and places to live in the world. All of this and many other factors played into creating a buying frenzy and sadly first-time home buyers were pushed out of the marketing in most cases. Now we are seeing a lot of buyer fatigue and disappointment plus this has caused havoc on the rental market as many that were looking to purchases homes are staying renters and with more and more people needing rental properties it is now driving those prices up also and causing another big issue which is affordable housing especially in the HRM.





A credit score is not always the key, meaning if you have a great credit score but not a lot of activity the banks will question why. I like to call credit a necessary evil. You need to have it and you need to use it but mainly you need to respect it. Things not to do when it comes to your credit are always to pay your bill on time and only use your available credit to 75% if you have it at a limit or close will also impact your application. When providing your income, I see a lot of people putting a rent payment to them in other income from a close relation living with them, or boyfriend or girlfriend that is helping pay the rent on their application. We cannot use any of this income because it’s not guaranteed or claimed on your taxes. Some exceptions to this rule are if you have a rental unit in your home and you have signed a lease and proof of deposits to your account for rent payment; this also must be a unit, not a room. Child tax credit or support payments must be proven as well, for child tax we will need your CRA statement and for support, you need to have a court order and proof of the deposits as verbal agree-

ments are not always accepted as this is not guaranteed. Tips and under-the-table income are also not accepted unless it is claimed on your income taxes. No one can escape the government when applying for a mortgage and you can also have no back taxes owed either. Credit and income are the two most valuable things on a mortgage application. So, what happens when you finally have an accepted offer? This is where the fun starts in my opinion. You need to prove all the above meaning, we need your notice of assessment (NOA) for the past two years, your T4, bank statements, letter of employment, and pay stubs; and if you send in old stubs and bank statements you will get them back along with a request to send the your most recent and redacted bank statements or balance screenshots are not accepted as we need to see line by line history. I will be honest that most of my clients find this the most frustrating part, but a mortgage is a lot dif - ferent from a car loan, or any loan for that matter. Consider this, if you were asked to lend hundreds of thousands of dollars wouldn’t you want to know everything about the person who is asking? Well, the banks feel the same way.





Well, they are 1.5% of the cost of your home deed transfer tax, lawyer fees, municipal tax adjustments, and oil or propane adjustments. I also encourage my clients to save an additional 2.5% on top of their down payment for this. Yes, buying a home is expensive, but for many it is well worth it! People always say if I can afford my rent why can I not I have a mortgage, simply put you can walk away from your rent and move. You cannot do that as easily with a mortgage unless you wanted to sell or foreclose. Your rent also includes things like property tax, water, maintenance and heat in some cases, which all can add up over time. I know this seems like a lot but don’t worry! You will have a team of experts behind you every step of the way! They are as follows

A real estate agent (make sure you choose wisely) is a person you will spend a lot of time talking to so you will want one that understands your needs and wants, one that will be honest and one you can reach easily and also has the same vibe as you! A mortgage professional like myself! Brokers have a different touch than mortgage specialists. We are reached easily and help you every step of the way from the frustrating parts I mentioned above to the day you get your keys! Don’t get me wrong you can get this at your local bank branch, but they have a lot less time for you in some cases due to staffing issues etc. Brokers also have more solutions as we have an array of products for every situation including private lenders and alternative lending whereas the major banks just have one or two.

Down payments are another tough one, you need to prove that this is your money and you have got it legally, not borrowed, not laun- dered. We need to see how you got it. Chances are if you just randomly got 20K in your bank account and no proof how chances are it will not be accepted. You can, however, use a down payment in the form of a monetary gift from a loved one, Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or any other registered investment or just from your blood sweat and tears and diligent savings, but please make sure you have a 90-day history of you having this money. The reasoning for this is to show you can manage your money and you did not get it from some cartel aka money laun-

dered, stolen or gained these funds from illegal activity. Therefore, we need proof via bank statements not redacted. The government is also here to help if you need it with a few first-time home buyer incentives like the down payment match program, down payment loan and first-time home buyers tax credit. Also, some lenders will offer a no-down payment product or cash back to help with closing costs. I can help you with all of these if you need the help, just reach out to me. On the topic of closing costs, in addition to your 5% down payment you also need to have money for closing costs, what are they you ask?





gutting we did before we left the 3700 sq ft house was not sufficient to fit it all into our new 1500 sq ft home. Lesson learned! Moving into a small space with a transport truckload of belongings that fit perfectly into a larger home can be chal - lenging and overwhelming. Looking around at the never-end- ing boxes and, what seems like in the moment, monster-sized furniture and trying to find a home for it all mentally, can be exhausting. As with every other project we take on here at Trim Design, we start off the same way… pick your battles, lay them out in an organized fashion, and check one box at a time. In my experience, there are a few ways to approach the initial unpacking and sorting. Some choose to unpack the necessi- ties and run the excess boxes right down to the basement or storage unit to sort through over time. Others choose to go all the way as soon as the moving truck pulls out of the driveway; digging into each box, emptying, sorting, and dealing with the

DOWNSIZING: SMALL PROBLEM, BIG SOLUTION DESIGN OF THE TIMES S ummer turning autumn 2022 and it’s go by Megan Callahan

time. We packed up our family of two adults, 3 little kids, and two big dogs into the SUV. We jammed, and I mean jammed, our life into a 26-foot U-Haul and hit the road for a cross-Canada trek to start a new and exciting chapter. No big deal in the big scheme of things, life is just a bunch of mini adventures waiting to be experienced! Fast forward 2 weeks… Our new house sale has closed, and we get to step foot in it for the first time. Technology is amazing and saves so many air miles when you can trust your rock star realtor (shout out to Chalsey Bugeaud of Iron Reality!) to facetime us day in and day out, showing after showing. So, once the trip was over, it was time to unpack. We quickly realized that all the downsizing and





overflow as they go. I wish I had the sorting skills to be one of those people. But no. MINIMIZE The word minimalistic is very subjective depend- ing on whom you ask. I have experienced this firsthand in the home staging world. I quickly learned that a general explanation of declutter- ing, minimizing, and packing up doesn’t work. Every single one of us has a comfort zone that we live in. Even when we push our limits and move past that zone, we eventually shift back there to some extent. So, when it comes to moving your life from a large space to a small space, reach far outside that comfort zone when it comes to looking at what you need in your space to live comfortably! The person who moves every 3 to 5 years while living the Scandinavian design dream with very little excess approaches a minimalis- tic methodology very different than the trinket collector who has been living in a well-kept and well-loved home for 25 years. Their hearts are in the same place, but the end results are lightyears apart. To each their own. We are all different and unique and amazing in our very own way, so we always need to make sure we rock that! With that being said, whatever setup you previ- ously had, it’s now time to remove a few layers of stuff. What is stuff, you ask? Right now, I’m not talking about décor. I am talking about the household items that are generally tucked away in case you need them. The backup, the over- stock, the one-offs. All of this takes up space. When you have space, it works out well. When you have minimal space, it tends to quickly take over and the ‘neatly tucked away’ turns into the ‘quickly piled high’. Once you get the background items sorted and the overflow is out of sight and out of mind, the fun visual items are much easier to set up to perfection. From furniture with storage ability to decorative storage containers, you can neatly and invisibly use every nook and cranny in your house to stash away the background items. An ottoman that doubles as a trunk is a great place to tuck away board games, electronics, or books to choose from on a rainy Friday night. For the parents in the crowd, this ottoman is a game changer for

chucking all the toys in just moments before your company walks through the door. Instant organi- zation! Or the appearance of it anyway!

Side note: On the topic of linen closets, no matter how much space you have, the linen closet is always the default black hole for com- forters we never use, the lone top sheets without the matching fitted sheets, the mattress covers that no longer fit any beds in the house, and the 89 pillowcases that are just there as decoration. No matter the space you have in your house, gut this closet regularly! Under-bed storage, whether it’s built-in drawers or storage containers, can open up bedroom space that would otherwise be filled with dressers.

A decorative woven cotton rope basket filled to the brim with throw blankets and pillows will look like a great décor addition to the already cozy living room, but it also is saving two shelves in the linen closet for other linens.





As the boxes get emptied, the main spaces of the home start to get cleared out and visuals start to become clear. These are a few key points to keep in mind when decorating a smaller space. Let’s look at the layout. Having a small amount of space immediately makes smaller furniture come to mind. This generally doesn’t transform into the desired look. Use standard-size furni- ture and with proper placement the room will look larger with those pieces. My advice to others, which was also what I repeated to myself while setting up our new home, is to visualize a blank slate. Don’t compare it to your last home, don’t compare it

to other rooms in the house. Treat it as its own space that you want to happily live in and make it yours. Always add your own spark, whatever that may be. You can be as bold or as minimal as you like when it comes to decor, just own it. Large artwork, bold paint colours, beautiful focal pieces, large room-filling area rugs, layered with accent rugs, and the list goes on. When I conduct home staging consults, I always explain to homeowners how important it is to showcase small spaces like closets and the pantry. For buyers, these spaces are often very important for storage and organization and it’s easy for sellers to give them a glimpse of the full

potential of that space. The most effective way to open up an otherwise tight area is to keep the floor clear. This same rule applies to any small space, including a living room or bedroom. Open up traffic ways, keep floor space empty, with exception to furniture and décor. Let every piece own its place in the room. A glass end table with an open bottom, floating shelves, a sharp looking fold up desk, an ottoman coffee table with space between the bottom and the floor. These small changes work wonders with opening up flooring. When space allows, keep your furniture off the walls. For smaller spaces, keeping furniture away from the walls will give the appearance of ample space. Don’t be afraid

to play with the furniture layout. The same design rules apply for any size room – make sure there is good flow and loads of char - acter. As I always suggest for any new design project no matter how big or small, step away often. Leave the room and walk right back in with a fresh set of eyes and see what you like and dislike at first glance. Don’t lose sight of the look you are trying to achieve or be intimidated by lack of space. Confidence is your key to success! Follow us on Instagram for more tricks of the trade! @trim_designnl





EARL GREY MULE VODKA | 6.9% ABV Black Diamond Distillery | St. Albert, AB, Canada The award-winning Black Diamond Distillery is located in St. Albert, Alberta, co-owners, Andrea and David Scade feel strongly about producing all their own alcohol. They don’t believe that true craft spirits can be produced using shortcuts like flavour additives or mass-produced spirits. While certainly not the most profitable or effi - cient means of production, they have strived to stay true to the quality and authenticity of what they produce, using natural, pure, organic (when possible) ingredients. The couple is proud of what they create and never waiver from the truest form of their craft and are focused on the belief that their customers deserve the best experience we can give them, their friends and family. Spotlight on Business Magazine had the honor to feature Black Diamond Distillery in our August 2020 Issue ( view/637833/44-45/) and know that they are a good thing as they head for this award-win- ning distillery as they expanded their market exposure. Black Diamond Distillery’s Earl Grey Mule is made with all-natural ingredients; filtered water, Earl Grey Vodka, ginger-pepper syrup [water, ginger, black pepper, beet sugar] and lime juice. This perfectly mixed ready-to-drink canned cocktail is ready for any event. We hope you love it as much as we do as we know that we will be ordering more of these that is for sure!!!


by Lee Ann Atwater

I t has been a long time coming but the summer of 2022 saw the return of family and friends getting together at the cottage or weekend barbeques on the deck. Plus, it saw us get back to day trips to the beach, bonfires, and the much-needed return of festivals of all types after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus and enjoying a few adult beverages with the ones that we love. ~ While celebrating life getting back to normal, well as normal as it gets around here, this is what we had in our cooler this summer as we put together our Ultimate Craft Case from the Summer of 2022 project. Some have stood the test of time from the Ultimate Graft Cooler last year and there are a few new ones that were a huge hit with the team this summer as we compile our must-haves for your coolers, ice box or fridge for summer and the rest of the year.





ZOMBIE RUM | 7.0% ABV Black Fly Beverage Company London, ON, Canada

ISLAND TIME LAGER | 4.3% ABV | 15 IBU Breton Brewing | Sydney, NS, Canada What happens when two friends who always shared a passion for homebrewing come together? Well after brewing batch after batch in their kitchens, garages, and driveways (of which their neighbours often mistook as lobster), they honed their skills over the years while working in professions, until their entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and the process of several years of dreaming and planning for what would become Breton Brewing Co. in June of 2015 with keg and growler sales. They were welcomed throughout the community of Sydney and Nova Scotia with open arms. A year later, in 2016, Breton launched its cans in the NSLC, and has since expanded to Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador. Breton Brewing Co started with just 3 employees and now has grown to an amazing team of 20+ people with 14 different beer offer- ings like their Island Time Lager. Spotlight on Business Magazine was fortunate to speak with Bryan and Andrew the founders of Breton Brewing when we features the company in the February 2019 Issue (https://online.flip - and although the labels on the can have changed, thankfully what comes inside is as clean and refreshing now as it was then and why it has been one of our favorites long before the Ultimate Craft Cooler Project was even an idea and one that we always have on ice. This Munich Helles Lager is brewed with care, to be enjoyed in good time. Savour the bright, malty character of this clean, refreshing beer that regardless of where you drink it that’s you to a happy place of swaying palms and sandy beaches.

Black Fly Beverage Company, Ontario’s first micro-distillery was founded in 2005 by husband & wife Rob Kelly and Cathy Siskind-Kelly after being awarded the first Distillery License granted in Ontario in over 100 years. Like the iconic Canadian insect after which the company is named, Black Fly started small with the determination to fly under the radar and deliver a mighty bite. Since that time, Black Fly has successfully developed and launched a line-up of unique premium spirit beverages that speak to what today’s consumers are looking for; innovative “Not too sweet” quality ready- to-drink beverages. Their vision was to create more natural and less sweet premium spirit beverages using quality ingredients and with your first sip of their, Zombie Rum Mixed Drink you experience the exhilarating taste of blended aged rums and real lime, apricot and pineapple juices that has been lightly sweetened with cane sugar. Forget to put them in the cooler, no problem their non-breakable, resealable bottles with wide mouth open allows lots of room to add ice so you can enjoy right away while the others are on ice in the Ultimate Cooler.





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