BCB MayJune 2022_LR

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/1468031

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Page 7 of 83

READ THIS Just a hunch: leading a business isn't about to get any easier. Rise Up: Leadership Habits for Turbulent Times, by Ali Grovue and Mike Watson, offers a way forward for anyone who wants to build resilience and create an environment that lets their team thrive. Senior consultant and president, respectively, at Vancouver-based Ignite Management Services, Grovue and Watson highlight six habits worth developing: trust, inquisitiveness, humility, optimism, courage and discipline. (No pressure.) Their book includes several case studies of leaders who seized the opportunity to grow. Figure 1 Publishing 128 pages, hardcover, $24.95 £ a brand he co-founded with his partner, Nehiyaw/Saulteaux artist Casey Desjarlais, in Van- couver six years later, in 2015. "We were making designs on a cracked-up iPhone with no data, drawing logos on napkins when we went out for supper," Bear recalls with a laugh. Like his music career (sparked by a need for healing), Decolonial Clothing was born of necessity: the couple was ex- pecting a daughter. "I had a re- ally hard time finding a job, or finding anyone who would give me a chance," he says. "And me and Casey always wanted to create something together—to build something for our future and for our children's future." Bear and Desjarlais started selling their hoodies, T-shirts, crewnecks and accessories on Facebook and at markets, offi- cially launching the Decolonial Clothing website in May 2020. The brand's graphic designs range from tributes to Indig- enous historical figures like Big Bear and Goyahkla (Geronimo) to simple calls for justice (the Fuck Colonialism hoodie says just that). In less than two years, they've generated more than $500,000 in revenue. "We want to use what we have as a platform, as a vehicle to drive home what we have to say to as many people as possible while empowering Indigenous youth," Bear explains. And in his and Desjarlais's newest venture, empowerment comes first. The couple recently incorporated Landback Re- cords, an Indigenous-led music label located in the upstairs of Decolonial Clothing's ware- house. They plan to use it as a recording studio and mentor- ship space for aspiring BIPOC artists, where interested youth can learn the ins and outs of both the artistic and business side of the music industry. Landback Records' goal is to support BIPOC artists and, ultimately, get land back for Indigenous folks. Literally. "We're putting a portion of profits into Landback Society, and we are investing in real land—real estate—where we will build healing lodges, housing structures and safe cultural spaces," Bear explains. This is a big undertaking, but according to the entrepreneur, it's hap- pening fast. "We have already laid a lot of this groundwork," he says. "These plans, we're not talking five years down the road; we're talking more like one to two years." Also contributing to the reclaiming of land is the Circles Festival, an annual music event that Bear and Desjarlais founded in 2021. (That makes three enormous endeavours in the past two years, if you're counting.) Last summer's festival brought thousands to Chinatown's Andy Livingstone Park, where the artist lineup included Drezus, Rudegang Entertainment and, of course, Dakota Bear. For the 2022 festi- val this August, Bear is in talks with 40 (Drake's producer) and Jessie Reyez. "We're anticipat- ing 10,000 people," he says. A star-studded event only means more funding for the cause. "That's what land back is about," Bear notes. "The reve- nue we generate, we're putting back into the community." Healing generational trauma and breaking cycles of addiction is paramount in Bear and Desjarlais's work: through their art, Decolonial Clothing, Landback Records and the Cir- cles Festival, they're providing leadership and opportunities for Indigenous youth. Bear himself struggled with substance abuse as a young adult and became sober in 2017. "I started walking on what we call the red road—for Indig- enous people, it's a good path," he says. "We can feel the effects of residential schools without ever having to be in one," he adds, noting that his healing journey is what prompted him to gear his work toward social activism. "I no longer wanted to be a hip-hop artist that was just pursuing music, or an entrepreneur that was just pur- suing clothing," Bear says. "I really wanted to help." £ ( the informer ) G O F I G U R E Head in the Game A host of local innovators aim to help sports pros and weekend warriors play faster, higher, stronger—and safer by Melissa Edwards 800,000+ adult British Columbians regularly participate in sports TOP ORGANIZED/GROUP SPORTS IN B.C.: 18% football, soccer, volleyball, ultimate, baseball, rugby, lacrosse or field hockey 16% golfing, bowling, lawn bowling/darts or croquet 10% badminton or tennis 7% hockey, broomball or curling 25,452 British Columbians were hospitalized with a sports- related injury in 2015-19 7,700+ working-age BCers visit an emergency room for concussion each year Up to ½ of athletes with a concussion don't report it The Vancouver-developed HeadCheck app helps 3,000 sports organizations— from the CFL to Kamloops Minor Hockey—prevent mismanaged concussion It takes 6 minutes for the NeuroCatch platform developed by Surrey-based HealthTech Connex to assess a potentially concussed or recovering athlete's brain for auditory sensation, basic attention and cognitive process (the ABCs of brain function) ISTOCK 8 BCBUSINESS MAY/JUNE 2022

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