Flipping the bird and the house

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Take the corrupted business out of house owning

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. February 17, 2016

I moved many times when I was growing up. It has always been a bittersweet memory. Those experiences of packing all my belongings, changing schools, and saying goodbye to old friends still make me reflect, wondering what life I could have had if I stayed in that neighbourhood. I never blamed my parents for moving, because I can be certain that moving wasn’t their first option either. They were doing it for financial reasons, not to punk me.

My family, like many, took their financial wellbeing seriously, and there are few investments more impactful than real estate. But above all else, a house should be a home. However, there are many—especially in Vancouver—who are trading real estate like Pokémon cards, another bittersweet childhood memory. But I digress. House flipping, the act of buying a house and re-selling it over a short period for profit, is a worrisome obstacle for young people entering the housing market.

For me, I see the place I live as a space where I spend my days relaxing, entertaining friends, and living my life. I don’t think of it as a denomination of a fluctuating market. Perhaps I should, but I don’t, because I never want to derail my life just to make money. Many people think differently. Many people would consider me a schmuck for living in an affordable neighbourhood.

In a recent announcement from BC Assessment, since 2014, 368 single-family (detached) homes have swapped owners twice or more. These houses, not surprisingly, are set in high-profile neighbourhoods: Dunbar, Heights, Point Grey, etc. But let’s be honest: every neighbourhood in Vancouver now is high profile, since nearly all single-family homes are valued in the millions.

Not only are these homes worth a lot, they are also in high demand. People are willing to pay more to live in Vancouver. So savvy—and rather despicable—people are willing to take advantage of that for a profit. That is the prime reason for house flipping, rich people trying to get richer.

Greed fuels the market in Vancouver and the people nourishing this corrupted form of business are the realtors, who are knowingly selling the properties for more than they were previously sold for. This way, the realtor and the brief owner make a profit. Here’s the kicker—it’s all completely legal in BC. While the asking price is visible, the sale price remains private, hidden from the public. This is one reason why it is a corrupted market. If there is no transparency, there cannot be any trust.

The province of BC is now intending to tax the house flippers not just through property tax but also a capital gains tax, but that does not solve the problem, it just makes house flipping a legitimate business. Yes, you can blame it on those who don’t flip houses, saying that they have zero business acumen, but just because you can do it doesn’t mean it is ethical or good practice.

A house is a home, and many people of my generation will go through most of their lives without having owned one. This is a tragedy. This is especially true when we see millionaires making easy money while overvaluing the market, and creating an unstable place for all of us to live.

Vancouver’s viaduct variables

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What shall we do with the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaduct?

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. November 11, 2015

Now that the filming of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool has ended, I guess we can start talking about how awful the Vancouver viaducts are. If you are unfamiliar with these viaducts, they are the two roads that connect Prior Street, Strathcona to Expo Boulevard, Stadium/Downtown. It’s the big concrete bridge that runs alongside the SkyTrain from Chinatown to Rogers Arena.

Built in the 1970s, the viaducts were designed to be an entry point into the urban core of Vancouver. I’ve taken it to and from the city as long as I can remember, and it has never—ever—been a pleasant experience. Now, with the inception of the bike lanes, the viaducts are hazards left, right, and centre. And let’s not forget about it also being a seismic calamity waiting to happen. So when the city council voted to replace the ultra thin, unsettling Hot Wheel tracks with a six-lane, ground-level road that offers neighbouring areas more space for parks, residential, and commerce, I was all in.

But once the viaducts are torn down, what will ultimately take their place will be high rises. Let’s not lie to ourselves, we are running out of room in Vancouver, and building upward seems to be the only feasible solution. While some people have a problem with that initiative, I don’t. Done correctly, buildings can be as beautiful as the waterfront. Buildings can become the ripples of the city, where the waves are the ripples of the ocean; both can be majestic and encapsulating to look upon.

The problem with so many big cities is that their infrastructures end up fencing people from one corner away from people in another corner. Basically, crossing the road becomes a great hassle, so people don’t do it. This creates a divide, which eliminates cross-community engagements. The viaduct truly makes it difficult to traverse. Nevertheless, we should not make the same mistake. The great big cities of the world—London, Paris, and New York—have channels that connect pedestrians, not just vehicles. In Hong Kong, people never have to touch the solid ground; there are walkways connecting to every part of the city, some call it a “pop-up city.” I digress; we shan’t be one of those, albeit it does sound cool to live in such a futuristic metropolis.

Those designing the new roadway systems are assuring us that it is going to be better. I believe them, because honestly, I don’t see how it could be worse. I fear that one day we are going to be like Los Angeles with layers upon layers of highways. With the demolition of the viaducts, I can feel relieved that at least for the moment we are taking a step away from that.

You might like me when I’m angry

Rage Room

Why the ‘rage room’ is a therapeutic blessing

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in the Other Press. September 16, 2015

We live in a society where we have to walk in line, talk politely, and eat with our mouths closed. We put so much pressure on ourselves to stay civilized that often we forget that we are animals. The way we bottle up our rage, stress, and frustration is one of the reasons why we have such an internalized, yet explosive, brand of suffering. When we erupt we do it in the most self-destructive ways: we burn bridges, sabotage ourselves, and mostly likely hurt our loved ones. Talking only does so much, writing in our journals only does so much, and even drugs and alcohol can only mute the pain temporarily. What we need is a safe environment to let it all out.

The rage room is the latest trendy stress-relief activity and I think it’s about time. Toronto has its very own, and I think Vancouver should venture into that market as well. Basically, the rage room is a confined space where you, the paid participant, can release your anger on inanimate objects. The same way dogs love to chew and cats love to scratch, humans have an innate desire to see things break and go boom.

Why not go to yoga, relax in a hot tub, or get a nice massage? If you like trendy, why not go lie down in a float spa? Why not go exercise for an hour or two to get the sweat out? While those activities will relieve stress, it offers a solution from one side of the spectrum. Relaxation has a certain flavour and destruction has a different one. It’s like wanting a White Castle burger and settling for a hotdog from Hot Dog Heaven.

Let’s say your favourite hockey team lost and you feel pissed. You don’t want to go do yoga. You want to smash this lamp here. Let’s say you found out that your ex-girlfriend is dating a richer, nicer, better-looking guy, you don’t want to read a nice book in the bathtub, you want to smash this lamp here. Of course we—controlled, well-mannered humans—never actually follow through with our destructive thoughts, but the fact that many of us have them makes me believe that we need a place to release it.

While a rage room is a fairly new concept, and may only be advertised as a fun thing to do on a Tuesday afternoon, I believe that there should be a rage space for every coffee shop. Just a place where we can walk into, bring something we want to destroy, and leave with the satisfaction that we can still make an impact in this world. We can still alter the outcome of a physical entity, without hurting another human being, of course.

Not everything in life will go your way. Sometimes the Canucks will lose. Sometimes your boss will not acknowledge your efforts. Sometimes your partner will belittle you at a party. Sometimes your life will seem like it’s spinning out of your control. That’s because we are forced to place meaningless objects on pedestals. We worship objects. We shouldn’t. Smash it. Smash it before you find yourself downtown smashing the window of The Bay or flipping over a cop car.

Burning bridges

Image via BC Gov on Flickr

Why closing public infrastructure for amusement is always a poor idea

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. July 7, 2015

June 21 was a day of many activities. It was Father’s Day, National Aboriginal Day, and of course, International Yoga Day. In Vancouver, the plan was to close off the Burrard Bridge and have one of the biggest outdoor yoga events in the world. Om the Bridge, sponsored by lululemon, YYoga, and AltaGas, received enormous backlash as the big day approached. Celebration turned into hostility and mockery—at one point, Premier Christy Clark posted a photo of herself in front of a Tai Chi centre with a caption calling out “yoga haters.” Not surprisingly, the event collapsed as sponsors bailed.

I don’t have any problems with large gatherings of people doing yoga as long as I’m not required to participate. What tends to bug me is the misuse of public infrastructure and taxpayers’ money. Needless to say I’ve never been a big fan of parades, and the money spent on an event like Om the Bridge could be better used maintaining the bridge itself. It’s not because I’m not flexible or that my Chaturanga pose needs significant work, I just think that if you want peace and harmony, closing off a major artery on a busy day is a bad idea.

That is not to say that all International Yoga Day events are failures; in fact, many large cities with greater congestion than Vancouver pulled them off. Paris hosted their event beneath the Eiffel Tower. New York yoga fanatics joined together in Times Square. It’s a little ridiculous both how chill and how stuck-up our city is. Vancouver is like a spoiled brat. You throw a party for it and it’ll just end up throwing a tantrum back, stating that it deserved more gifts and cakes.

This city just can’t handle large-scale events, because Vancouver always has to create mountains out of molehills. Remember when the Canucks were in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins, and the city decided to build a big outdoor screen so that we could all gather together to cheer for the team? The result was billions of dollars of destruction and four goals in the Canucks’ net.

One of Vancouver’s most annoying traditions is the Celebration of Light. For years, residents of the West End have had to deal with hundreds of thousands of rambunctious people coming into their neighbourhood, taking up parking spaces, blocking off streets, and making a mess. All for what? A few nights of bullshit fireworks, polluting the sky with smoke, and disrupting the peacefulness of summer. It’s true that the Celebration of Light is a great opportunity to get your friends together, spend the day on a crowded beach, and then mosey on home via two hours of transit, but it’s really just a large-scale corporate handshake.

A city functions through organized chaos. Someone is always unhappy with something, be it transit, the weather, or some dumb event. I love this city, it’s full of diverse people, but somehow whenever we try to plan a party, a group has to cry and make it all about themselves. Our events become more polarizing—alienating instead of building the community.

BC Ferries strong arm commuters with sea-leg proposals

Illustration by Ed Appleby

Why empty threats will not save money

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. November 17, 2014

The problem BC Ferries faces is a common one: many transportation enterprises have been known to lose money. But the way they are handling it is classless, knowing that they have a monopoly. Commuters traveling to and from the island do not have another alternative, and to act as though keeping the Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo route, one of the most popular routes for BC Ferries, is doing the public a great favour, well that is as if BC Hydro decided to turn off the power in the middle of the night to save money, since well, nobody needs electricity while they sleep, right?

BC Ferries’ clever tactic was to present a whole bunch of despicable proposals. Then, when everybody got pissed enough, they gave us an indisputable alternative: fare increase. Wow, didn’t see that coming. Thanks.

In a viral open letter to BC Ferries posted on Facebook, Campbell River resident Sean Smith explains his frustration claiming that he doesn’t understand why BC Ferries is presenting itself as some sort of luxury cruise ship, embarking on an exotic destination. BC Ferries at its best is a vessel for a weekend getaway, and for most people who use it, it’s an overpriced Sea Bus. Smith goes on to say that the vessel does not need a fancy restaurant, it does not need a marketing department, and it does not need bold advertisements in Rogers Arena. We don’t see ads in public areas telling us to ride the bus do we? What BC Ferries needs to do is get off its high horse and act accordingly.

The government doesn’t want to pay for the ferries anymore and for many who live on the island that is just ridiculous since many of the island taxpayers support infrastructure in the Lower Mainland, and the demand to cross the strait is as high as ever. Someone at some point in the office of BC’s Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry messed up. But it doesn’t seem as though the government is trying to fix the problem; rather, they are subtly adjusting it, turning our attention in another direction. Maybe this whole business is just to distract us while Enbridge takes over. Conspiracy alert!

What we need now is a private organization to stand up and see the opportunity. There is a lot of growth on Vancouver Island, a region in our province larger than many island nations in the world, and connecting it with the rest of the country can only be seen as a benefit. After all, there is a bridge linking Prince Edward Island, a landmass less than half the size of Vancouver Island with approximately six times fewer people, to the mainland.

The solution is right in front of our eyes but for many who make the choices, it’s too big of a commitment. By having the BC Ferries as a scapegoat, the public will have something consistent to complain about. There will always be problems for the government; why not centralize it? Why not foreshadow the worst and act as though they have saved the day by doing nothing except raising the price? Nice trick. Now do your job.

Raw food and nudity

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Naked sushi and other gimmicky dining might not only be for acquired taste

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. Sept. 23, 2014

Toronto-based restaurant, Naked Sushi has brought—the somewhat traditional and somewhat taboo dining experience—nyotaimori to Vancouver. Critics in the feminist camp were quick to address it as “sexist,” “discriminatory,” and “gross.”

Although sushi is an acquired taste for Westerners, eating it off of a naked human (usually female) body seems to go against every human custom in the world. But after hearing about the platters’ discipline—how they splash cold water on themselves to lower their body temperatures and how they stay completely still during the two-hour long experience—I’m able to see the artistic value of Naked Sushi.

I don’t imagine many little girls dream of being serving dishes when they grow up, the same way girls don’t aspire to be strippers. However, those who do choose to pole dance would tell you that in order to perform skillfully, the dancer not only needs to be attractive, but also well-practiced, athletic, and artistic.

But the question remains: would I eat sushi off of a naked human body? Yes, I would and I wouldn’t even consider the five-second rule. It’s true that I might be nurturing a culture that objectifies women—after all, I would be much less inclined to eat off of a man’s torso, double-standard acknowledged—but there is nothing wrong with using natural resources. If the opportunity arises where I am invited to partake in such a unique experience, I won’t decline.

Keep in mind that the models are not being mistreated, and they are willingly offering their bodies to be decorated with food. The caterers have strictly prohibited lewd acts, both physical and verbal, and sanitation is always the overriding factor. When it comes to restaurants, sultry servers have always been a key attraction for patrons. Do I know that the waitresses at Earls or Hooters get more harassing comments during their eight-hour shifts? Of course not. But would I be surprised if they do? No.

Food brings people together and pulls others apart. That’s the beauty of dining: everyone has a different taste. I enjoy gimmicky restaurants, at least the idea of them. I personally get tired of the same old meal every day, so I’ll take anything that allows me to refresh my senses—whether it’s just turning off the lights in Kitsilano’s Dark Table or allowing me to create art while I eat at Yaletown’s Raw Canvas. New experiences are what life is all about, and with three meals a day, there isn’t much to lose.

I don’t believe Naked Sushi is sexist or discriminatory or even gross, but I do believe that it’s not for everyone. After all, not everyone likes sushi. Not everyone likes nude models. Not everyone likes to break out of their comfort zone. But hey, everyone has different tastes, and that shouldn’t be condemned.

Speaking of the horny devil

Opinions_Dick devilWhy provocative art is healthy for the city

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. Sept. 16, 2014

On September 10, Vancouver commuters travelling past Main and VCC Clark got a chance to admire the newly erected statue of the Prince of Darkness—briefly. While some found good humour in the statue, others clearly had penis envy after seeing the nonchalant exposure of the red devil. With one hand up giving some weird Spiderman web-slinging symbol and the other one placed suggestively close to the large member, it’s not surprising that many people were upset and the statue was removed. However, a petition to “Save the Devil!” is now surfacing online and the number of supporters has passed 666 in less that 24 hours.

Phallic and nude monuments and statues have been around since the dawn of man. From the statue of David to the world-famous Haesindang Park in South Korea, the highly touted male appendage had been an inspiration for artists for generations. Nevertheless, Vancouver has once again shown itself to be a prudish, stuffy group with a snobby belief that in order to be a “world-class city,” the only monuments worth presenting are those of animals and of Douglas Coupland’s head with gum all over it. If Gum Head is art, then surely Horny Devil—the name I’m giving it in this article—is art too. What’s the difference?

Let’s be honest, there are much more pertinent things to worry about than those blasted devil-worshippers corrupting our children. If a devil statue with a large penis is going to upset you on your way to and from work, maybe it’s time to ask yourself why. Art is supposed to “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable,” but most artwork around the city is so forgettable that it might as well be fire hydrants, garbage cans, or those mystery grey boxes painted with foliage.

When seeing something like the Horny Devil, I get excited—no, not in that way. I feel as though some cultural progression is happening. We get so focussed on what we have to do on a daily basis that we forget what we are: horny, sinful animals. The devil statue reminds us that we are all the same on the inside.

I, for one, would much rather look at the devil than at an empty podium. What the hell is that podium used for anyway? What is that little public square used for? I don’t know, but I guess freedom of expression is not one of them.

I applaud the person or group that constructed the Horny Devil. After all, the city is full of CEOs and thought leaders, but we need more artistic rebels. We need people to break us from our status quo, refresh our memory, and allow us—as a collective—to grow. The Horny Devil does not have to be a display of immaturity, but the general reaction is a perfect example that we, as a city, are not mature enough to handle it for what it is. The Horny Devil is a reflection of ourselves and we are not ready to embrace it yet.

Warning signs ignored

 

Lacklustre earthquake should alert us, not relieve us

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By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. July 3, 2014

I didn’t crawl under my table during the 6.7-magnitude earthquake near Vancouver Island on April 24. In fact, I didn’t even notice until my social media erupted with comments concerning the swaying of homes and buildings.

I walked away from the situation slightly relieved that the worst that had happened was the reminder that I was spending too much time on the Internet and that I was so unprepared for natural disasters.

But give me a break, it’s hard to think about the collapse of my city when I’ve got so many other immediate things to worry about—that’s right, I’m saying that I’m not the only one who didn’t go under a table or quickly locate the emergency kit. If you did feel the shake, you were probably too busy enjoying the novelty to notice what it was. Preparing for an earthquake is just not a human instinct.

Still I don’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t anticipating “the Big One,” the name of the megathrust earthquake that was prophesied to hit the Pacific Coast of Canada and the United States in the (very) near future. Images of Japan, Indonesia, and Chile remind me that earthquakes are nothing to joke about. Should it hit with the force predicted, my life would shift, like if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness. At this current state of preparedness, I just hope to survive if the Big One hits.

The earthquake earlier this year was a reminder that our government, our emergency teams, and we citizens are never going to be ready for an earthquake. There is just no such thing as “ready.” There is no saying when it would hit and where you would be. Sure, there are protocols to follow after the incident and there are measures to be taken to mitigate damage, but aside from that it’s a crapshoot. I believe natural disasters occur with the consistency of lottery tickets—you might be lucky enough to survive or you might be less lucky.

Individually, we cannot do much after an earthquake, but together we can pump money into funding that will help us survive in the aftermath. Emergency Management BC currently supplies $6.2 million of funding to “emergency services.” There is no plan to increase the figure since no one can really assess the damage before it occurs. Money is one thing, but having experienced teams prepared is another.

Civilians need to know what to do after the earthquake. What would people downtown do? What would people on the coast of Vancouver Island do? What would people sleeping at home do? What about the people commuting on a highway? The government should go into some length explaining the proper procedures following the quake and the aftershocks.

We need a plan we can all follow, because cluelessness will surely lead to chaos. I am often clueless without my social media—and lord knows I won’t have that after the Big One knocks out my Wi-Fi.

Hiding under the table is one thing, but we need to know what to do once we emerge.

Adopt-A-Pylon

Pylon and traffic cone overpopulation yields new campaign

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in The Other Press. June 3, 2014

Since the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver’s pylon and traffic cone population has quadrupled. This sudden boom has caused concerns for many, as these “safety” markers have literally overcrowded our urban streets, highways, and pedestrian walkways.

Such escalation in pylon population has urged many to act. The crisis paved the way specifically for Adopt-A-Pylon, a company with the philosophy that pylons deserve a home, they deserve care, and, most importantly, they deserve to be treated like giant megaphones for children and drunken passersby—that is what they are really meant for. Fun!

Homeless pylons and traffic cones have caught the attention of Devon Détourer, founder of Adopt-A-Pylon. “Seeing all those innocent cones treated in such a way is disgusting,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Other Press. “We should feel ashamed. We drive by and we look at them with distain and pretend like there aren’t a thousand of them just living in the streets, cold and wet… and most of all forgotten. Pylons are a reflection of our society. And Russia is laughing at us right now.”

Détourer is urging British Columbians to band together and open their homes and wallets to traffic cones. “Each night—on your drive home—just grab a pylon from the street and take it back. Give it some love; after all, we all deserve love. If each person does this, there won’t be anything stopping us from getting to where we want to go, and we all want to go towards a happy future.”

Recent Adopt-A-Pylon supporter, Beatrice Oliver said, “We ignore it, plain and simple. We think that pylons and traffic cones are there to make our lives terrible, like garbage cans or fire hydrants. We get angry because the government spends taxpayer dollars buying more and replacing the old ones. Is that how we treat stuff? As soon as they break we buy a new one? Ask your grandma how she feels about that logic, ask your pet goldfish, or ask your stepson. Adopt-A-Pylon’s initiative is easy to grasp, just like pylons. You take one home, you change its life forever, you give it a reason to be. Pylons are not obstructions, they are life changers.”

The trend has made its way through Commercial Drive and all the way to Kitsilano, but has yet to gain traction in less pylon-liberal areas such as Burnaby and the Tri-Cities, where heavy highway construction and urban growth has bred more pylons.

Port Moody resident Fitso Chung spends many hours working as a labourer alongside pylons, traffic cones, and even some wet floor signs. He understands that there is a problem.

“They’re the hardest workers on the team and the lowest paid,” said Chung. “While I’m on break, they’re there. While I’m in the porta-potty, they’re there. I don’t know if Adopt-A-Pylon will change the social stigma. I think what they need is a union. Pylons are not second-class citizens. I believe adopting them is a step forward, but the road is long and we have a long way to go.”

The pylon population is projected to increase by another 28 per cent by the end of 2016, but the support for Vancouver’s forth-largest majority (behind hipsters, yuppies, deadbeats, and tech entrepreneurs) will undoubtedly increase as well. Which offers hope to people like Détourer and those participating in Adopt-A-Pylon.

“We’ll find a way,” said Détourier, “and pylons will help us. I understand that not everyone is a born pylon-lover, but give it a chance. Sign up today or do it anonymously and see where it takes you—maybe to Maple Ridge, maybe to North Delta.”

25 Innovative Technology Companies Showcase Talent and Celebrate Community At NextBC

On May 15, the top 25 tech companies in BC gathered together on the second-floor concourse of The Telus World of Science to showcase their latest innovative breakthrough and to celebrate the influencers and visionaries of the future.

NextBC, presented by DigiBC, the Digital Media and Wireless Association of BC, invited out a diverse collection of game/life-changing companies, from experienced money managing tools [Payfirma] to digital health advances [Conquer Mobile] to HD cameras in the exosphere, shooting perfect images of the Earth [Urthecast].

“At DigiBC we recognize that technology is changing our lives in so many ways,” said Howard Donaldson, President of DigiBC. “Our objective is to promote innovation and that is really what inspired this event.”

NextBC was designed not only as a conference with keynote speakers and panelists, but also as an award show, highlighting the company that has excelled and continues to show great potential.

The top 25 companies, at the end of the night, were chiseled down to five. From there a panel of judges were selected to ask important questions that focuses on four factors that include; breakthrough or rapidly advancing technology, the potential for broad impact, the potential for significant economical impact, and disruptive impact that transform how people work and live. The five companies chosen were: General Fusion, D-Wave Systems, Avigilon, Urthecast and CapTherm Systems.

 

How many years from commercialization do you think you are?

“Eight years,” responded General Fusion’s representative. “We want to build a power plant; that is not something you can whisk up in an afternoon.”

“Hopefully in the next few years we’ll demonstrate the physics that the power plant is based on, which when we compress this very hot gas, we can make fusion energy,” he continued. “Demonstrating that will take around two years, but this will not be a power plant, this will be a test that can show that it can be done. After that we need to build a piece of hardware, which will take some years and a lot of money, and just raising the money will be difficult to build a power plant like that.”

 

What is disruptive about your business model?

“We have the ability to stream data from space in utterly new and innovative ways, disrupting how it was done for everyone else,” said Urthecast’s representative. “We can democratize the view of Earth for free for anyone with Internet connection. That free platform that we put out to everyone in the world allows us to generate huge numbers of eyeballs. And those eyeballs can in turn be monetized much like the classic model of Internet companies.”

“I’m happy to say that we are very profitable,” said Avigilon’s representative, “and we are the fastest growing software company in North America. We go to market through certified Avigilon dealers. We directly sell to them and they sell to stadiums, transportations, etc. That’s pretty disruptive because a lot of our competitors mass produce to market distributors, and they dilute their product and their pricing model.”

 

Why are you here in Vancouver?

“From a national level, the support for research and development in Canada is second to none,” said CapTherm’s representative. “We feel really fortunate for the support we received from national research councils and scientific research and experimental development. We do utilize the ETC tax credits, we got a substantial portion off the pie last year and overall I couldn’t find a better place to run the company out of.”

“As you might imagine quantum mechanics take some pretty smart people to do what we are doing,” said D-Wave System’s representative. “So when we started the company here, we were able to attract some of the world’s best physicists to work on the dream that we had. People have come from all around the world: a lot of European countries, all over the States and across Canada. They always had this dream and that’s why they are here.”

When it was all said and done, the tension had built and the drum roll had fizzled out, General Fusion was awarded the Gold honours, D-Wave System with the Silver and Avigilon with the Bronze—and Fusion Pipe Software Solutions took the People’s Choice Award.