I grew up in North America's most northern big city and it was there that I was first exposed to design through my work with the fire fighters’ training school, NASA (digital transformation at airforce bases); DreamWorks theme parks, giant screen entertainment - on flat and dome screens up to 5 stories tall; 3D/4D; and high-performance motion simulation.
I have more than 20 years of creative and design experience. I have been part of the design and launch of a new beer from the ground-up using customer insights and data, created live-action, interactive gaming and I have built second-screen sponsorship experiences for the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canadian Football League. I have spent more than 14 years working at some of Canada’s top creative agencies.
When it comes to building powerful brands, entertainment is the magic.
My portfolio of work over these years can be defined by a focus on innovation, experiential storytelling and business performance. I am experienced in creating integrated 360-degree brand communications across all types of media: earned, owned, paid and created. I have been part of innovation, disruption and design at a communications, product and business transformation level.
I have consulted across a range of industries including automotive, financial services, fashion, tourism, hospitality, aerospace, municipal/government, retail, digital gaming and lottery, theme parks, telecommunications, healthcare and technology.
\ PWA's FRIENDS FOR LIFE BIKE RALLY
August 2019 would have been be my third time joining the Bike Rally but unfortunately I will not be able to participate in this year’s ride. Hope to be a member of the PWA Bike Rally again very soon. Please help click HERE to make a donation and support PWA.
\ starsinhearts 2016 - present
An Entertainment Company Focused on Business.
Entertainment is what captivates and holds audience attention. Why does a boardroom need to be a bored room? Traditional slide presentations can have drawbacks. What if there was a better way to get every stakeholder on the same page faster? Why does advertising fail to connect with consumer?
Whether the message is consumer facing or boardroom facing— communication can be crafted in a powerful way using human emotion and multi-sensory creativity.
After spending 15+ years in the advertising business I can say that the biggest advantage to this new method of working is speed. If you can get buy-off on an idea faster, everyone starts making sales faster.
An entertainment focus is a way to look at advertising and this helps you stand out and be a disruptor. This makes advertising more powerful.
How do you make an impression and support global business development?
I work with Miovision Technologies to create digital sales tools. These materials were used to brand and successfully sell intelligent traffic infrastructure to global cities that integrate artificial intelligence with traffic safety.
\ FCB TORONTO 2013 - 2016
How do you reintroduce a 100-year old cracker brand?
I was a Creative Director and Vice President at FCB Global and my team leveraged 3D printing and integrated storytelling to create and launch a new product innovation for Ritz. This work was recognized by Cannes festival on Cyber and Integrated Lions short lists for creative excellence.
Shaking your phone made it snow inside our office.
My team launched ‘The Human Snow Globe’ initiative yielding over 120,000 visits from 60 countries, with no paid media budget. The office holiday card, rewired— using hardware, software and a snow machine.
The following year my team at FCB in Liberty Village brought winter to 120 offices around the world.
A social soap-opera.
We created a content series for Chips Ahoy! that was recognized by Facebook Canada as among its top two campaigns for 2015.
Real-time, bite-sized snacking.
My team leveraged real-time traffic and transit data along with contextual messaging and customer insights to launch a new snack format for Mondelez International. This work was recognized by Marketing Magazine for innovation in digital out of home signage.
Unforgettable. Since 1907.
Oversaw creative development, execution and stakeholder collaboration from the CEO to regional operators for a global multichannel brand campaign for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The campaign included the global creation of more than 50,000 creative assets.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
I consulted at the Ontario Government's Lottery and Gaming Corporation's internet gaming division. I assisted with evaluation and recommendations for optimizing performance within their in-house creative studio, acting as their interim Creative Director and overseeing creative development of the iGaming launch in Ontario. Our launch campaign included 3 television spots (leveraging CGI, live-action and a top-ten recording artist), print, radio, out of home, experiential, digital advertising, the development of brand standards as well as iGaming site design and branding.
\ TBWA\CHIAT\DAY Toronto 2006 - 2013
In 1962, Jay Chiat teamed up with Guy Day to form TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles. Chiat/Day went on to create some very memorable advertising campaigns and was named U.S. Agency of the Decade in 1989. Jay Bertram led TBWA\CHIAT\DAY in Toronto as the President during the more than 7 years that I worked there. TBWA was known for Disruption and Media Arts.
Stars on spikes. A Quarter to 9 inches.
Co-led integrated creative development including a digital second-screen experience— and stadium activations— allowing fans to interact with 9 Canadian Football League teams and have their play potentially run in a CFL game.
We also created a digital experience allowing fans to gain insider access to the stars at Toronto International Film Festival.
Prototype. Test. Learn and repeat.
I assisted Google with the design of their North American Adwords platform, working as an extension of their internal design team through the TBWA Disruption Consultancy.
Good Morning Japan.
I led creative development of a Canadian multichannel campaign for YellowTail wine. At TBWA Toronto, we invited Canadians to have fun and play their wine. Audio clips of people playing wine glasses were collected and we had an internationally-renowned mashup artist mix the clips into a new track. While the campaign was intended for Canadian audiences, the hit went viral. Our YellowTail wine orchestra included a Webby award, my appearance on 'Good Morning Japan' and front page coverage in the Toronto Star business section.
Dream big. Winter Olympic Sized.
Oversaw integrated creative development (television, digital and experiential) for Petro-Canada and Suncor Energy's sponsorship of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics on behalf of TBWA, one of the world's top 10 advertising agencies.
A suntan lotion from Nissan and a sports car designed by Cirque du Soleil.
At TBWA Toronto, I launched a suntan lotion that was distributed at national auto shows marking the launch of Infiniti's first convertible sports car in Canada.
I worked with creatives from Cirque du Soleil to design a custom Infiniti sports car for a Nissan Motors national sponsorship of Cirque du Soleil.
Nissan Versa Nights.
At TBWA I oversaw creation of a game using live-action footage, computer generated environments and a live camera feed to create an experience that educates audiences about the features of the fun to drive Nissan Versa. We reached new records for the time people spent engaged with the brand as part of a multi-million dollar campaign.
Acquisition and retention. Surprise and delight.
Art direction brand architecture design for the launch of Nissan and Infiniti's Canadian first customer relationship program in Canada.
Where does the product end and the brand begin?
Provided integrated creative direction across all channels from digital to physical retail spaces for new residential real estate developments for Minto Communities and Urban Developments. I designed sales centre building branding, floor layouts, video walls and community development identity design. I assisted the company and worked with the CEO and founder to develop their family childhood vacation land that had been in their family for generations. I sat in board room meeting with the company’s owners during good and troubled times.
There’s big real-estate inside our nation’s capital.
Minto is a $2.9 billion dollar real-estate development company. I was creative director for Minto Communities for about 5 years. I worked with Minto divisional CEOs, founders and with the people in hard-hats in the construction sites. I accompanied their CEO Roger and presented a vision for a major new commercial development at a high-stakes meeting at Ottawa’s city hall.
There's a world in your wallet.
Over the course of several years I was Creative Director for TBWA and Visa in Canada. I worked on everything from Visa's sponsorship of the Toronto International Film festival to the design, advertising and branding for Visa's integrated brand creative.
London 2012. Go World.
Go Team Visa.
I worked with Visa to develop a Canadian digital campaign for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Each week, my team and I predicted who would win, sore or celebrate a milestone during the Summer Olympic Games. We would develop several pieces of creative including digital video to cover all our best guesses for sports outcomes and then we would work with our media company to run the right creative option at precisely the right time. When something happened at the Games, we had the right piece of creative ready to run in real time as as part of “go world.” I worked with Visa Canada and Visa in the United States to ensure the campaign fit global objectives for London 2012 creative performance. Visa had high expectations for digital fan engagement for this Olympic Games and so Visa’s global team few to Toronto from San Francisco to discuss our creative work to ensure people took action by liking and following. We debated ways to remove obstacles to fan participation within digital and social executions featuring Olympic athletes and teams. Visa really gets behind an idea when they like it.
Petro-Canada’s National Olympic Sponsorship Platform.
I worked with Petro-Canada to develop Dream Big an integrated campaign platform featuring broadcast television, digital, social and event activations to promote several Olympic Games.
Petro-Canada's Petro-Points loyalty program.
I led the new branding and creative direction for Petro-Canada's Petro-Point's loyalty program for TBWA Toronto. The new design "Happy Returns" aimed to create a more emotional connection using storytelling and the platform was rolled-out to approximately 1500 retail locations across Canada as well as Petro-Canada's Neighbours restaurants and cafes. Our new program included all touch points from point of sale to digital, broadcast and out of home. My team collaborated with stakeholders from across Suncor Energy to bring the concept to life from concept to execution.
They say everyone gets a few minutes of fame... I got 5 seconds when I won our TBWA office lottery in 2007 to make this cameo in this TV spot for a new phone.
\ I SKATED WITH THE EDMONTON OILERS ON A PART-TIME BASIS. MADONNA WOULDN’T DANCE WITH ME.
To be honest I was never “really” into hockey, but I was able to skate 6 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers at Northlands Coliseum when they were really hot and winning Stanley Cups all the time. This was when #99 Wayne Gretzky was still on Edmonton ice, before he went to California. The Oilers always let me get a few pucks in the net. I was there on a part-time basis and to be honest the Oilers picked up a lot of slack— I wasn’t that good. After a game on the ice, sometimes the Oilers would meet me later in the evening dinner and drinks, if they were free.
Another thing that happened was me being photographed as a kid hanging out with Diana, Princess of Wales, a member of the British royal family. This appeared in our local newspaper, and so I was teased at school for a week. I also worked out at a gym owned by Madonna and ended up auditioning to dance with her at a private party she was throwing. I didn’t make the cut to dance with her but I was still invited to attend her house party. She was cool. Before leaving Edmonton, I emailed my design files to a former United States president for his review as at his Texas ranch, as part of a private business deal. After all these years, I still remember his personal email address. This is the sign of a very simple, very creative and very personal four letter domain.
\ McCANN Toronto 2004 - 2006
I worked at McCann Toronto in the direct and interactive division (McCann MRM) as an art director on digital, direct and CRM projects. I worked with General Motors (GMC, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Cadillac, Hummer), Rogers Communications, Sony Stores, Johnson & Johnson, UPS, McNeil Consumer Healthcare (Tylenol, Imodium, Splenda) and Iovate Health Sciences International on MustleTech fitness supplements.
Work and play with as you roam.
Look for a Wifi symbol when you take a laptop.
I worked on a national marketing program with Intel’s Canadian Marketing Manager for Entertainment. I worked with McCann Relationship Marketing to design communications that would differentiate and brand new Intel computer processors for home entertainment and productivity. ViiV and Pentium Duo Chips for home entertainment systems like televisions and laptops would make Intel the brand of choice for consumers buying during the back to school season where new chips allowed laptops to connect to wireless networks.
A back to school magazine was custom designed and distributed across the country in partnership with Canada’s largest home electronics stores. A new generation of chips could allow consumers to work with their laptops from anywhere and watch and download new forms of entertainment on televisions at home. It was possible to use your laptop and connect to WiFi by looking for a WiFi symbol at libraries, cafes and schools. This Intel initiative was launched more than two years ahead of the first iPhone and communicated the idea of productivity and entertainment possible with a laptop or television powered with next generation Intel processors. Who knew that just a few years later mobile phones would be as powerful as these laptops. Who knew that a few years later I would call the iPhone in Canada’s first television spot to launch the phone in Canada.
\ Fuel TORONTO 2003 - 2004
Let’s photograph luxurious beds on a beach at sunrise.
I worked on the Hudson's Bay account as an Art Director. At Fuel Advertising, our team functioned as an in-house creative studio inside the HBC department store headquarters.
I worked on the design and fashion photography direction for catalogues, magazines, in-store signage and advertising for HBC retail stores coast-to-coast.
It was through the in-house creative studio at HBC headquarters that I had the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with HBC retail buyers, HBC creative directors and fashion stylists. We worked efficiently to develop world-class creative using storylines, colour themes and compelling content through design and effective merchandising. I gained experience shooting luxurious NAUTICA bedding on a pristine beach at sunrise. I helped produce 52 weeks of original fashion content produced on location, in a digital studio and within constructed sets. I created content and negotiated design, layout and creative space allocation with national store buyers.
I learned the ins-and-outs of retail and fashion creative. Things like the nuances of what to look for when shooting a male and female version of the same jacket to receiving concept merchandise mockups from Calvin Klein at the loading dock that needed to be pinned and shot within the hour.
Wedding registries are big business.
For him and For her.
How do you best photograph beach towels? How do you effectively position several different colours of the same style jeans? How do new brides respond best to seeing an assortment of china patterns within a registry? Then there’s time we shot flirty bathing suits and springtime with a studio of 25 temperamental infants, dimensional sets, tulips and green grass. One of the most interesting covers I worked on was getting different national retail buyers to work together on a high-profile cover shot. I created a whimsical design of flying teacups and saucers with a bride and groom shot in a fashion tuxedo and wedding dress spinning inside a teacup. This cover was printed millions of times and I was proud of the work because executives at HBC and our agency kept it in their offices for a long time. Years later, I was told by a former co-worker, in a bar that certain people were still using it as an example.
Fire fighting boxer jocks.
I specialized in a lot of the shoots for men’s underwear- I shot TOMMY, DIESEL and CALVIN KLIEN. Most of the female art directors would look after the ladies (bras and panties are big business) and so I handled the men. I came up with innovative new ideas for shots and then selected talent and then worked with them in studio to create eye catching layouts and scenarios. The key is to come up with a new theme and a storyline which isn’t as simple as you might think. We worked with all the top talent agencies in town. Some of my most requested underwear models were actually Toronto Fire Fighters who were models and worked with me when they were off duty. A lot of times I would get the off duty fire fighters to work with my concepts for SPEEDO when we shot men’s swimwear for spring break and summer vacation. But I was always open to whoever the talent agency would present as being able to fit into the “concept” sample of the latest new clothing that was still to be mass produced. Connecting through emotion, texture, pattern, technology and color is my passion. Anticipating what customers want and creating breakthrough designs ahead of others is key. Leveraging a stable core and building a value proposition through design is essential.
The speed, attention to detail, and the ability to translate trends at the speed of light are essential. ahead for on-figure, off-figure and shooting Christmas in July are what it's all about in the world of fashion.
\ CALDER BATEMAN 2001 - 2003
Calder Bateman was my first break into the agency world. I was an art director on a range of clients.
Protect your brain from your bike.
I worked with The Province of Alberta’s Department of Transportation to update the design their provincial bicycle safety program for kids and youth. Colourful marketing materials educated kids on the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet ahead of new provincial laws requiring children and youth to wear a bicycle helmet every time they ride. Illustrated fold-outs of a cartoon brain inside a bicycle helmet engaged kids in an experience. Our agency was responsible for assisting with public relations and speech writing for government officials and press conferences.
16 is no longer Sixteen in Alberta.
I helped design an integrated campaign to communicate major changes to the way new motor vehicle drivers were licensed in Alberta. Alberta Transportation disrupted the way that generations of people living in cities and farms viewed driver licensing. New rules for graduated licensing, drinking and driving, and a different path to complete driver licensing repositioned driving as a privilege to be earned, and not a right in Alberta
Communications needed to be understood and break-through within both urban and rural environments and change the way people viewed getting a licence something that just “happened” between the ages of sixteen and seventeen. An integrated campaign including television, radio, print, public relations, out of home and direct mail were launched before, during and after new laws.
Rebranding Teachers and Firefighters and working with Husquvarna power tools.
I worked with the Alberta Fire Training School, Fire Etc. You can see me pictured below breaking into an oil refinery for the perfect shot for the Fire School’s risk management program. Our agency was responsible for rebranding the school to reflect the concept that it was more than just fire training— ETC meant more and “Emergency Training Centre”. Creative included logo design, original photography, enrolment and admissions marketing for EMTs (ambulance), firefighters and private sector risk management professionals in the oil and gas industry. We designed a quarterly student magazine. Rebranding efforts included new firefighter jackets, pins, shirts and uniforms with the logo design. Coincidently, in addition to the firefighters I also worked with the Canadian branch of Husquvarna power tools— professional chainsaws, the kind of chainsaw that means you know what time it is.
I was responsible for the rebranding of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education, responsible for educating teachers. The disruptive campaign replaced the traditional apple with an orange inside the site of one of Alberta’s oldest schools. Education Rethought branded the faculty for a new era. The University’s professional magazine for teachers was rebranded as “The Orange” and included an orange peel-off wrapper that had to be opened to get into the magazine.
Next generation Farming.
I worked as part of a team to rebrand Olds College in Southern Alberta. Our task was to reposition the province’s most technologically advanced program for educating new farmers. New advances in agriculture and farm automation as well as a hip and younger generation needed a new campaign to represent farming in the modern age. We travelled to southern Alberta to look at the new generation of farmers who were covered in tattoos and listening to the latest music. A campaign that focused on attitude a modern view of agriculture was launched in print and out of home billboards.
Get a province off the couch.
HealthyU was a province-wide heath and wellness initiate to promote healthy eating and exercise. I worked as part of a team on the launch of HealthyU across the province. Creative included radio, a lifestyle magazine, out of home billboards, television and print advertising. I also worked with the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) on a campaign focused on the dangers of smoking and excessive drinking. This integrated campaign launched ahead of new provincial smoking laws.
\ Western CANADIAN clients
Alberta Heath Services
Alberta Art Gallery
Alberta Fire Training School
Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC)
Husquvarna power tools, the Canadian division of the Swedish company— specifically professional power chainsaws, the top kind.
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
University of Alberta Faculty of Education
Olds College (Agriculture Education)
Greater Edmonton Visitor and Convention Association (GEVCA)
Alberta Tire Recycling Authority
The City of Edmonton Corporate Communications - Attractions Branch
West Fraser Integrated Forestry Company (British Columbia)
\ CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF RETAILING AND SERVICES STUDIES 1998-2000
I was Vice President of the University of Alberta Student Marketing Association and was the liaison for Henry Singer Men’s Fashion for the Canadian Institute of Retailing and Services Studies.
Henry Singer Men’s Fashions was a major supporter of the Institute and I worked with this retailer and their agency, DDB Edmonton, on several initiatives.
After my University internship, I was asked to develop the curriculum and teach an evening course in digital marketing to retail professionals and business owners continuing their education at the University of Alberta School of Retailing— ahead of me graduating. It was weird to be able to assign homework when you had homework...
\ University of Alberta school of business 1997-2001
Completed a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing degree from the U of A that included course work in advertising, marketing, consumer behaviour, management science, calculus, film studies, finance, innovation management, organizational behaviour, sales, and law. I transferred into the University of Alberta School of Business as a second year student after attending MacEwan University.
EAI, ERP, CRM, AS/400 Mainframe
from the backend to the front end.
Completed a co-operative education internship focused on marketing and design with an enterprise application integration firm specialized in software and services for mission-critical digital transformation.
I remained with the firm after the internship and was responsible for all creative strategy and delivery at the company over a two-year period.
I worked for organizations such as B/E Aerospace, Liberty Mutual, Holiday Inn Worldwide, CIT Financial, and NASA (digital transformation at space shuttle landing sites). I developed the learning materials, advertising and designed the visual identity system used with in the AI-based Celware software.
I worked on the development of a new brand, visual identity and creative strategy for the software company when we shifted our focus to an AI-based approach to integration. I was a specialist focused on digital enterprise transformation within the healthcare (care providers and insurers in North America) and the telecommunications industries.
About a year after launching our new brand, we received a call from New York lawyers wanting to reach a deal because their client (a global technology giant) was ready to launch a worldwide brand campaign marking a new direction (the campaign was already shot and ready to air) using the trademark tagline we created.
Here’s a snapshot of what worked on during the two years I worked full-time at Celcorp:
Designed the corporate brand and product brands
Designed and help write the sales presentations and demos that were customized for each vertical market we did business with: healthcare, aviation, banking, telecommunications and retail.
Created the analyst demos for Gartner and Forrester Research. These presentations were done years before commercial software release and put together with the CTO and PhD staff. The software concepts were theoretical and solved a big business issue that were often difficult to grasp. You would leave a meeting thinking you understood, but would get back to your desk and realize your notes made no sense. You would often read Fast Company a year later and see an article about the concept you were presenting.
Here’s checklist of what my team and I worked on for an enterprise software release used by senior development professionals:
-I designed all software marketing brochures and managed relationship and budget with print vendors.
-I designed all software technical data sheet and managed relationship and budget with print vendors.
-Industry snapshots for healthcare, aviation, banking, telecommunications and retail (helped write & design).
-USA tradeshow attendance plan (make recommendations).
-USA tradeshow booth design.
-USA tradeshow marketing collateral - web and print design.
-North American digital lead generation (web design) and magazine advertising design.
-Software user experience was linked to the the marketing look and feel- I would design all icons, splash screens and large scale interactive elements within the software.
-Software Golden Masters were burned. I would design silkscreened CD artwork for mass production.
-Jewel cases designed (front and back cards) and shrink wrapped
-I designed the software boxes, did plant press and film approvals and managed the relationship and budget with Ronda from our print house Imperial Printing. Sometimes packaging approvals and press runs would go late into the evening past midnight to meet software shipment deadlines oftentimes Ronda was there till well after 1 or 2am.
-Software licensing keys generated and cards with installation keys, serial numbers and 1-800 support for product installation and support were printed and floated into boxes with shrink-wrapped discs.
-CRM postcard was designed printed and floated into box.
-Website was built from scratch with a marketing and user support section for each product sold and focus on each vertical market.
-3 technical manuals were developed be technical documentation staff and then laid out and designed by me (including cover design).
-Software boxes shrink wrapped and either shipped or stored.
-I would work with Global 500 clients, our sales staff and engineering staff to design effective front-end user interfaces as both integration test concepts and final implementations. I designed front-end experiences for Liberty Mutual Insurance, Holiday Inn Worldwide, BE/Aerospace (known as: Rockwell Collins Aerospace) and CIT Financial Group.
For client design implementations I sometimes worked with the client’s Global CMO, Global CTO/CIO or their internal staff for final design approvals when a solution was sold. I worked with the company to develop and approved design that fit a company’s own brand, look and feel.
Cel Corporation takes over the top floors from PWC.
Edmonton is home to Canada’s tallest tower west of Toronto— Stantec Tower. Downtown Edmonton was home to Cel Corporation where we took over the top several skyscraper floors previously occupied by accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers when they moved. I led creative strategy and design for Cel Corporation and I redesigned the entire Price Waterhouse Coopers space when they moved out with my new brand identity- including the main reception floor 3 dimensional signage which floated alongside a granite tile reception area. I completed this significant redesign while still in university- including the corporation’s commercial office space in Washington D.C. (this included the corporate baseball team’s uniforms for United States and Canadian staff). My friend from University, Michael Yurechuk and I decided to invest in the company after it grew from and industrial park on the south side to one of Edmonton’s tallest downtown towers.
Molson 9 Beer:
Six Packs Edition.
Participated in a one-year special project for the development of a new beer called Molson 9. Activities included working with a Molson brew master to create a custom brew formulation based on consumer insights and data, brand design, packaging and advertising in partnership with Molson Coors.
My Management Science class consulted with a micro-brewery to redesign their provincial distribution network and warehouse locations using weekly sales forecasts, highway traffic data and truck capacity. We had to do this in one hour using a spreadsheet, map of Alberta and a data analysis toolkit. Cold beer had to arrive on store shelves as efficiently as possible and without breaking any highway speed limits.
Pembina Institute for Climate Change:
Leading Canada’s Transition to Clean Energy.
I completed senior Management Science consulting focused on advanced analytics and data modelling. In 1999 I worked directly with staff from The Pembina Institute for Climate Change.
I worked with the Pembina Institute to help quantify and express the true price of carbon within corproate financial statements using management science and economics way before this was mainstream. The University of Alberta’s School of Business’ Management Science team combined world leading oil field expertise, climate change professionals, economics professionals and fourth year undergraduate students using data modelling software. There were no right or wrong answers, we were doing something that hadn’t been done before. We were challenged by The Pembina Institute and had lengthy in-class discussion about our findings.
Alberta has Canada’s largest conventional and unconventional oil and gas reserves and it pumps out way more carbon pollution than any other province in Canada— Alberta has the most and is number ONE. Alberta is the first province in Canada to have put a price on carbon pollution. The money collected through this carbon price or levy feeds a technology fund.
More than 1.6 trillion barrels
are still under Alberta.
How do you get farms and cities to agree that 1.6 is not longer “Sixteen.” Protect each barrel as if your very life depends on it. Pictured above is Alberta’s Fort McMurray wildfire which basically burned the city to ground. We need to work together to take real action against climate change.
Samsung Theme Parks:
My fourth year team completed an extensive management accounting study of Samsung's amusement park business in Asia as part of a Harvard Business School case study at the University of Alberta School of Business. We had to analyze the financials along with supplementary information to decide if Samsung should divest from this line of business.
Then we had to take emotion out of our business analysis process to decide if a major disk drive manufacturer should exit the disk drive and portable disk media market. This was a tough decision and led to a very tense class discussion between students and professors because, at that time, we used disks everyday and we couldn’t imagine them disappearing less than 5 years later.
\ IMMERSIVE SOUND AND DANCE ENVIRONMENTS 2000-2003
Prior to entering University I worked with West Edmonton Mall Parks and Attractions as a Marketing Coordinator. I worked with all of the major parks and attractions inside the world’s largest shopping centre and worked closely with the mall’s advertising manager Jenifer and marketing director, Sarah inside head office before heading to University.
After my second year of University, I completing a year-long management accounting project as part of my Bachelor of Commerce degree for a major nightclub inside West Edmonton Mall. I worked with a team of 4 students from my Management Accounting class for a year on this consulting project. We were allowed access to their confidential financials and we helped management understand the key drivers behind their profits and expenses. We helped nightclub management and front-line supervisors understand how very small business decisions impacted their overall financial performance so they could optimize their performance based on realistic assumptions using a financial model that was created in Microsoft Excel. We had to present one inspring presentation to both Business Professors with PhDs and to people who worked part-time in a night club.
KAOS nightclub acquired the entire West Edmonton IKEA Store space and took approximately a year to redesign with business partners from Las Vegas. KAOS was approximately 300,000 square feet with 5 unique sound environments, a cigar lounge and three dance floors on two levels. There were several high-speed escalators to quickly move people between floors within the Club KAOS. This made it possible to attend many of the unique experiences in one night. KAOS was unique because it had Nathan, a professional choreographer who developed high-energy shows with go-go dancers, lasers and high-impact projections. My friend Shannon was in charge of cigar sales.
KAOS nightclub was 300,000 square feet and a former IKEA store.
We literally brought the dance experience into our accounting class for our final presentation and rocked it with our classmates we dressed as GO-GO dancers, had very-very large speakers that were loaned to us and sexy spread sheets with PowerPoint that were presented our business lecture auditorium. Our professor was not expecting a DJ atmosphere that early in the morning (he eventually told us to cut disco the music) but it was a part of our task to make our presentation inspiring to two audiences. One of my closest friends, Tamara completed this project with me. Tamara went on to work with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) World Markets after graduating with her degree in Finance from the University of Alberta.
My business associate Nick purchased the free standing Paramount Theatre, an art deco movie theatre built in 1950, in the heart of downtown Edmonton. The seating capacity of the original theatre was 1,750.
I stylized the Z logo of the hottest nightclub when my business associate purchased the paramount theatre 2002. I designed it to reflect the specialized bicycle components logo, my favourite bike brand.
Nick hired me to rebrand and design interior spaces within his night club including giving it its name. I did this while I was a student attending Grant MacEwan University. I named the new club the Zone because it was my friend Carlee’s dream growing up to have a nightclub club with that name. I designed the entrance, DJ booth, signage and print collateral. I also created a major out of home advertising campaign that went across the city with Jim Pattison Outdoor. The branding used a stylized brush stroke “Z” as seen above. Two of my associates from University— a Canadian-Russian Model and a member of the Canadian Special Forces Navy Dive team, Justen Lalonde, appeared in the city wide advertising campaign, photographed by Chris Niehaus. The Zone was the hottest nightclub in downtown Edmonton. I’d often head to Edmonton’s Jasper Avenue, the heart of downtown from afternoon classes at the University of Alberta to have closed-door meetings with Nick “The Greek” and his associates in the basement of the nightclub which was the city’s original and historic Paramount Theatre.
\ TICKET Software 1991-1993
The Edmonton Space and Science Centre developed a custom entertainment ticketing, facility management and membership management system. I worked with the head of Management Information Systems at the Edmonton Space and Science Centre and was hired by the software company hired to design and implement the hardware and software (Van Os and Associates).
I worked for 2 years as a part-time consultant on the Advance Ticket Management System (ATMS). I provided user recommendations and testing services because of my entertainment and box office industry knowledge. This revolutionary new ticket sales software could sell tickets up to 30 days in advance, sell facility memberships, accommodate event rentals, currency conversion, gift certificate redemption and sale, educational course sales, provide unique IMAX seat selection and maintain a customer database.
\ director of marketing 1994-1996
Iwerks TurboRide Theatre
36 Moving Seats. 3-Story Tall Screen. Wind Machines.
I took some time before attending University. During my time off, I led the experience design, marketing and advertising for a $1.8 million Iwerks simulation theatre that combined films projected onto a massive 3-story tall screen with moving seats and wind machines. Iwerks Entertainment was founded by Don Iwerks and Stan Kinsey, former Disney executives. Don Iwerks received an Oscar for his pioneering innovation in motion-picture technology.
Our theatre's seats could move up to 3-feet off along three planes— simulating the slightest vibrations to a fall into a volcano. Our theatre was cutting-edge and experiential content was core to our business. The $1.8 million attraction took several years to construct as a free standing building underneath the world’s largest indoor rollercoaster. The giant screen film attraction was unique because it was built and constructed as a free-standing building operating between the tracks of the largest indoor triple-loop rollercoaster on Earth. Special warning marks exististed around the building to indicate where it was safe to proceed without a fatal collision with the high-speed Mindbender. The building took years to construct and did not involve a shutdown of the coaster for engineering and construction to complete.
We created a lush tropical rainforest within our indoor theme park— complete with dinosaur eggs, video screens; this was my first time creating television advertising. Dino Island was a hit. Other ride films based on motion-picture footage included Days of Thunder: The Ride, RoboCop and Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright.
I was responsible for developing corporate sponsorship partners for our motion picture ride attractions. I worked directly with Hollywood film studios like Paramount Pictures/Viacom Canada, Orion Pictures and 20th Century Fox on creative and licensing approvals. I learned how to do this through my many years working with IMAX motion pictures and seeing how film sponsorships and brand integrations were handled at the Edmonton Space and Science Centre (Telus World of Science).
My team worked with Paramount Parks' Canada's Wonderland in Toronto to adapt their Days of Thunder: The Ride from 35 mm film to an 870 motion picture format capable of running at West Edmonton Mall. To achieve this we reached a deal with Paramount, Viacom and Canada's Wonderland to get the Days of Thunder ride film footage, the proprietary motion-control software contained on a computer chip called an EEPROM and the film's brand assets. When these materials arrived in Edmonton, it created a shockwave in the entertainment industry that involved threats of lawsuits and many tense conference calls between Toronto, Hollywood, Burbank and Edmonton.
“I Want to Ride the Rattler!”
A Giant Screen Ride Experience for Learning the Physics Behind Coasters.
I worked with Iwerks Entertainment to bring West Edmonton Mall’s first rollercoaster learning experience and curriculum content to a $1.8 million simulation theatre located in a freestanding building underneath the loops of the world’s largest indoor rollercoaster.
“I Want to Ride the Rattler” assisted science teachers and their students to learn the physics behind rollercoasters using a motion simulation theatre with seats that could move three-feet off the ground, in front of a giant 3-storey tall screen with wind machines.
Iwerks Entertainment developed the educational content and simulation ride in partnership with Six Flags Theme Parks. A learning kit allowed teachers to bring the curriculum into their classrooms before arriving to West Edmonton Mall on school field trips.
The motion simulation experience and curriculum package allowed teachers and students to virtually ride one of The United States of America’s largest wooden rollercoasters before riding The Mindbender rollercoaster inside the World’s largest shopping and Entertainment centre, West Edmonton Mall.
City of Edmonton
The City of Champions.
I consulted with the City of Edmonton's corporate communications team over several years where I developed creative for City parks and attractions including: 3 city-owned golf courses, fitness & aquatic centres, Commonwealth Stadium, Fort Edmonton Park, Muttart Conservatory (Botanical Gardens), Nature Centre and Valley Zoo.
I was responsible for the efficient weekly design and creative development of newspaper ads, event/course catalogues and visitor guides/maps at multiple facilities with complex programming, multiple stakeholders and distinct branding requirements.
Change the Rules.
I worked with a group of investors to open, develop and facilitate the setup of a new NVX 3D film theatre and action sports film in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympic Games. This was the first time I was at the Olympics. I flew Delta to Atlanta and they took over their hometown airport for the games. Delta’s takeover was effective because it was after this trip that I enrolled in Delta Skymiles. Being a Skymiles member would pay off in a few years when I would fly to Las Vegas in a Delta 737 flown by a Delta Pilot and government agent who I would meet and he would give me his business card. In Atlanta I was lucky to see the marketing Coca-Cola put into the Games held in their hometown and they really took over the city with installations, free giant screens to view the games, polar bears and advertising. Out of friendly respect Pepsi was not sold in the majority of retail spaces and restaurants during the period of the games in Atlanta. I was with someone who drank a lot of Pepsi and this story about no Pepsi was retold on several occasions. Our 3D theatre was near the World of Coca Cola museum. I developed the launch creative, advertising, facility graphics and worked with the launch team. I was able to witness a team from Los Angeles, California take an vacant space and install a movie screen and 3D projection system from scratch. Our launch film was created by New Visual Entertainment and was called “Edge of Reality” a live action 3D film focused on high performance athletics including surfing and mountain climbing. Effects like water and athletes appeared in 3D with an intense sound track coinciding with the Olympic Games. Seeing the awesome creative and the scale of the games had an impact on me deciding to pursue a University degree in Business and Marketing the following year.
West Edmonton Mall
104 Football fields in size.
5.3 Million Square Feet of WOW!
Prior to heading to University, I was offered an opportunity through Triple Five Worldwide Developments– the developer, owner and operator of the world's largest shopping centre which is the equivalent size of 104 football fields.
I spent time working inside West Edmonton Mall's head office, working closely with the Advertising Manager, Jenifer and Head of Marketing, Sarah on a broader portfolio that included the mall's indoor waterpark, theme park, NHL ice rink (Edmonton Oilers practice ice), dolphin lagoon, deep sea adventure and indoor golf course. West Edmonton Mall features DreamWorks designed theme parks.
CINEPLEX ENTERTAINMENT 1992-1993
I worked with Cineplex Entertainment at Cineplex Odeon Eaton Centre Cinemas in Edmonton for two years in a brand experience role where I wore a bowtie and suit. I was part of the feature film launches of Jurassic Park and Aliens among many others. I left Cineplex Entertainment to move to a Director of Marketing role at Iwerks Turbo Ride. In this new role, I worked with adaptations of several films that I was part of at Cineplex— but in new immersive and high-performance ride film format.
\ Victoria School for the Performing and Visual Arts 1991-1993
3 point lighting.
3 point layups.
Majored in Visual Art. Instruction in commercial art, television art, design and photography.
Our school’s design and photography studio created advertising for performing arts, basketball tournaments and Alberta School of Ballet. Electives completed in television art included instruction in various roles within our school's TV studio where we produced and aired a daily live morning show.
\ Legislative Assembly of Alberta
I earned my first official government of Alberta blue and gold lapel pin working for Legislative Assembly of Alberta Visitor Services, Office of Public Affairs. I spent my time walking the halls of the legislature providing guests with government tours and historical talks about the artwork, the history, the 5 giant palm trees inside the dome, raised from seeds. The giant palms were an early gift to a new Canadian province from The State of California. My favourite spot was where I met Princess Diana and gave her a bouquet of flowers outside the steps to the entrance to the legislature. My second favourite spot in the legislature was The Magic Listening Spot that most people don’t know about. The Magic Spot was created by accident and is a point in the building where the granite structure reflects and bends sound so that you experience the illusion of water falling above your head (it sounds exactly like you are in a shower) but the sound arrives from a fountain on another level and very far away. The sensation is unique and it’s entertaining to watch how people react to it.
I worked at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta between two premiers (Don and Ralph) and some tense and happy times. I’d often have lunch at the Treasury Board- the people at Treasury knew who I was and they had nice offices in a modern office building across the grounds that could be accessed through an extensive underground tunnel system connecting Government Centre campus. A set of giant mirror periscopes directed natural sunlight into the underground tunnels which took you over a city highway- this was a place I found had the most modern design.
Telus - The start.
Working at the Legislature was my first time experiencing so many adults shouting at each other in a formal setting. Changing economic times in a province built on oil were calling for big changes including the sale of Alberta’s phone company to create what would become Telus. These discussions were underway while I was working at the legislature. Who knew that just eight years later I would study one of Telus’ first annual reports with Telus CEO George Petty in a Finance class at the Univeristy of Alberta School of Business. Although we were laser focused on the numbers, George Petty told Telus shareholders that he wanted to turn the Alberta telecommunications company into one of the worlds "premier communications" firms, he was not bluffing.
It was my first time experiencing a shooter in a building. Even after that we understood the idea that Alberta’s front door was symbolically never locked but always guarded.
I was terrified by The Speaker of the House. I was terrified that my tour group would speak and interrupt the assembly floor. Depending on the mood of the afternoon this could go ignored or cause serious fallout. I was terrified of being called to attention in front of everyone (this did happen from time to time). At this point in my early life this caused severe anxiety to the point that I would sweat under my collar and try to think of excuses to get out of bringing the public and school groups into the assembly gallery. Working here was the first time I wore a tie to work everyday. You never knew what each day would bring and depending on how politics went that day there could be a flurry of cameras, reporters and some drama not expected. You were always asked to jump in, help, or assist depending on what was happening in real time. Government was not a predictable, sleepy place and the people who worked there were dedicated and had been there for many years because they loved it.
There are people inside the government who know everything. They know how to get anything done quickly. If you talk to the right people you can avoid road blocks. A lot of these people are not who you’d expect. Make sure to have a few lunches in the staff cafeteria inside the basement of the Legislative Assembly, the Treasury Board and be sure to check into City Hall every once and a while. These people a life-savers and will save valuable time.
\ Telus World of Science Edmonton 1988-1998
Started as a volunteer and over the course of more than 11 years, left as House Manager.
In Junior High School I did a school report and work experience program at the science centre— and I ended up staying for 11 years. What inspired me about the science centre was the creativity and innovation that happened there. Many aspects of the facility were custom made and one-of-a-kind because we innovated and created what didn't exist.
The science centre had an in-house creative studio, art production, exhibit workshop, photography lab and sound studio. We crafted our own planetarium shows, special effects, interactive exhibit spaces, original musical scores and even our own custom software to run admissions, memberships, ticket sales and seat selection — years before it was possible in traditional movie theatres. We hosted international traveling exhibitions that were not available anywhere else in Canada as well as experiences we created and then leased to other locations around the world.
I had the opportunity to work with the designers, artists, carpenters, audio composer, marketing professionals, IT professionals, scientists and more.
I designed the Edmonton Space and Science Foundation's 1996 annual report for the Edmonton Space and Science Centre's operations because the Science Centre's art production department was too busy producing planetarium shows, exhibits, advertising and marketing content for one of the largest tourist attractions in Alberta. The Executive Director and Finance Department didn't get the numbers ready in time, so he turned to Curtis who worked on it over the weekend. See if you can find a shout-out to Iwerks Entertainment on the cover of the Edmonton Space and Science Centre’s annual report cover. You will only know if you have copies of Iwerks Entertainment’s 1994 Annual Report. I don’t think IMAX Systems Corporation was aware of what I did. Click here to see.
The House Manger is the last one to leave the facility and the first one to arrive. Whether it’s an emergency situation where I meet the fire department at the loading dockS— or just a regular night, I make sure everyone gets out safe BEFORE I DO. The House Manager is ALWAYS the last one to leave.
As House Manager, I oversaw front-line service delivery, building security and was responsible for guest and paid and volunteer staff experience. This included service delivery across: front desk/box office, reservations call centre, interpretive and education programs, space observatory, international exhibitions, radio station, Challenger space flight simulator, giant screen IMAX theatre, and North America's largest planetarium dome. During my time there we had staff of approximately 300 people.
The Edmonton moon rock at the Telus World of Science is a piece of another world. It took Centuries of dreaming and the work of 400,000 PEOPLE to collect and bring it to our planet. Apollo Astronauts Dave Scott, Jim Iwrin and Alfred Worden brought the 3.5-billion-year old rock home.
\ 1984 —