December 2019 - January 2020 Best Cities for Work in B.C.

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1184822

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Page 9 of 71

10 BCBUSINESS DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 PORTRAIT: ADAM BLASBERG; ALEC JACOBSON: MARK THIESSEN/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC I wasn't always a city slicker, but I've got- ten used to the conveniences and plea- sures of urban life. Sure, my hometown of Vancouver has its problems, from rising traffic congestion to ridiculous hous- ing costs. Such shortcomings helped push it down six more places from last year in our sixth annual Best Cities for Work in B.C. rank- ing (p.29), to a lowly 37 out of 46. Throughout the metropolitan region, high property prices are driving workers and their families to other parts of the province, notes Andrew Macaulay, who compiled the list. But I'm not about to give up on Vancouver just yet. I love its lattice of bike paths, its 230 parks, its long, sandy beaches—big contributors to quality of life. No doubt, readers from the other cities in our ranking feel equally passionate about their own communities, some of which are growing thanks to relatively low home prices. Real estate is just one topic up for discussion in "10 Views on 2020" (p.49), our attempt to gauge what the coming year might bring for the B.C. economy and the businesses that drive it. Thank you to our six expert panellists—Jock Finlayson, Iglika Ivanova, Val Litwin, Erica McGuinness, Pete Molenaar and Bryan Yu—for sharing their insights. Whistler, which again claims the No. 2 spot on the Best Cities for Work list, is also the focus of "Ski Lesson" (p.40). In this feature, Steven Thren- dyle tracks Vail Resorts' management of Whistler Blackcomb from its 2016 acquisition by the U.S. titan. Things didn't go smoothly at first, thanks to uncooperative weather and some ticketing bungles. But as Threndyle explains, Vail has integrated Whistler Blackcomb into its worldwide network of moun- tains, which skiers and riders every- where can access by purchasing an Epic Pass before the season starts. Although some locals grumble about higher ticket prices, the company has also spent big on upgrading the resort's lifts and made efforts to support the community. Vancouver may not be perfect, but at least it has John Fluevog, who's marking 50 years as an independent shoe designer and retailer. As I learned during a recent chat with Fluevog ("Sole Survivor," p.20), he thinks it's important that retail brands be part of their community. We're promoting a similar message of social responsibility with our first annual Business of Good Awards, whose winners will be honoured in the March issue. Hope to see you there. Nick Rockel, Editor-in-Chief bcb@canadawide.com / @BCBusiness ( editor's desk ) Meet some of the key players in B.C.'s Indigenous business community I N F E B RUA R Y Civic Pride C ON T R I B U T OR S Vancouver writer Steven Threndyle ("Ski Lesson," p.40) has reported on skiing since the '80s. "I think I paid $300 for my first Whistler season pass back in 1985," recalls the two-time winner of the North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA) Hirsch Award for Writing Excellence (Magazine). "I certainly feel the pain of casual skiers who drive up from Vancouver to ski at Whistler for the day." Alec Jacobson ("Risky Business," p.59), who recently moved to Vancouver from Colorado, is a photographer, writer and National Geographic Explorer who focuses on human-driven stories. He was excited to shoot a portrait of Michael Wrinch in his home cheese-making laboratory. "I've visited cheese caves all over the world," Jacobson says, "but I've never seen anything quite like Michael's operation."

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