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John Thomson  

Wendy's DreamLift to Disneyland participants deplaning.  (Photo: Courtesy of Wendy's - BC Southern Interior)
Wendy's DreamLift to Disneyland participants deplaning. (Photo: Courtesy of Wendy's - BC Southern Interior)

Here and there

Edited by John Thomson - Story: 60059


Now that the party is over and all of us who participated in the 17th annual Wendy’s DreamLift day can really let it all sink in about what really happened on that happy day. Because everything worked like a well made watch, it certainly looks like another flight to Disneyland for the children will take place again this fall, probably in December. It was a bang up day with lineups that seemed to never quit. The orders through the drive-thru were huge as more and more organizations ordered their lunches for their staff. When I went into work in the Harvey Avenue Wendy’s I couldn't believe the lineup of people and it was just past the lunch hour!

In total $109,382.45 went into the fund - that is $10,000 more than the previous year. It brought the total raised over 17 years to just under a million dollars and the people who support this cause should be proud of themselves for two reasons. They helped to send the next airplane load of young people to Disneyland and they ate well.

It’s a classic promotion because everything counts to the total. John Tietzen
the franchise owner in the Interior donates all the money from the food to the fund, his staff of dedicated people give all their wages to the pot right from the owner and management down. Then there is the people who come to support the event and volunteer for all the jobs. They’re so proud to be there and be a small part of the this big picture of happy kids entertained like they have never been entertained before.

It just makes you feel so good!

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As I have told you before, I like to watch The Dragons on CBC TV every Wednesday night at 9 pm. It’s entertaining and some people get help with their business ideas. But I have learned that most of the deals that are made do not go through as we think they did after the Dragon shakes hands on the show with the presenter.

One story I just read about was the Victoria teacher and entrepreneur Kathryn DeSilva who we thought had walked off the show with a $250,000 deal for a piece of her educational software company. The deal with Arlene Dickinson was never completed despite all the due diligence and many meetings.

Nothing was happening and DeSilva walked away.

I don’t know how many deals have really been completed and are working because the CBC never tells about what goes on after the curtain is closed.

For sure we know that Dragon Brett Wilson of Calgary has started a separate company to operate his new business opportunities because he believes in giving people with entrepreneurial vision to get their chance in the spotlight.

Wilson has done more than 15 deals since he signed on, committing between $3.5 million and $4 million in capital.

I would think you would find out if all the information was available - that maybe twenty five per cent of the deals are ever completed as we see them. The show is still entertaining.

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We are about to get a chain of factory outlet malls like the U.S. Two companies, Tangler Outlet Centres from the U.S. and RioCan, the Canadian mall owner, are talking. These malls are typically 350,000 square
feet that is similar to the Ikea store in Port Coquitlam.

The partners are not saying but unofficially malls will be built where RioCan has property already and that will mean Calgary and Toronto will be first, then Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and Winnipeg are mentioned.

Will we ever see anything like this in the Okanagan? Land would be a problem for most developers but there is native land available I’m sure. These type of malls are a tremendous tourist attraction and the right mix of retail in a situation like this would draw people from across the border as well. It is quite an attraction and nothing is impossible these days.

Now we have at least two large outlet malls in Canada with the Cross Iron Mills in Balzac, Alberta just outside Airdrie and Vaughn Mills north of Toronto. Ivanhoe Cambridge, a major Canadian real estate company, developed it. It's the first Mills-type mall to be opened since Pittsburgh Mills in 2005 and the 2007 demise of the predecessor, the Mills Corporation. Completed in August 2009 the mall is the largest single-level shopping centre in Alberta containing approximately 1,178,002.4 sq ft of retail and entertainment space. There are 17 anchor tenants in the mall.

The other outlet mall is in Vaughn, Ontario just north of Toronto and was the first enclosed outlet mall in the country. Also built by Ivanhoe Cambridge. Vaughan Mills opened on November 4, 2004, and was the first regional enclosed shopping complex in the Greater Toronto Area since the Erin Mills Town Centre opened in 1990. It has almost 1.2 million square feet of retail space. Thirteen anchor stores.

Ivanhoe Cambridge were involved in the property that was originally the Central Park Golf Club, and Staburn Properties Group of Vancouver who built the Central Park Shopping Mall in Kelowna.

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I wanted to quote this piece from writer Ben O’Donnell of the Wine Spectator magazine on Icewine and the fake stuff that is available in China and is threatening the sales of the real VQA Icewine in China.

“Winemakers across the globe are betting that China is the market of the future. The growth in wine consumption and importation there is incredibly rapid. But like any new frontier, the Chinese wine market is a little wild and largely uncharted. One market segment in particular shows the potential problems—ice wine. Canadian winemakers are crying foul over large amounts of counterfeit Canadian ice wine for sale on Chinese store shelves. One importer estimates that 80 percent of ice wine sold there is fake.

There are a number of ways to make fake ice wine. Some on Chinese store shelves is simply water, sugar and honey in a bottle. Slightly more sophisticated examples are made from white table wine with sugar added, while others are legitimate late-harvest wines—grapes are picked late, but not frozen, and the wine is cheaper in Canada than ice wine. To ape red ice wines, red table wine is simply reduced, to increase viscosity, and sweetened.”


Possible signs of a counterfeit icewine:

  • By using the term “Ice Wine” instead of the VQA-regulated “Icewine,” fraudsters can skirt VQA rules.
  • There is no VQA label.
  • No vintage is indicated, which defies VQA requirements.
  • The grape variety is not listed, also against VQA rules.
  • The wine is not attributed to a particular producer.
  • The wine is lighter in color and less viscous than real icewine.

    Read the entire story in the Wine Spectator magazine.


  • The preceding article represents the best of what has recently come across John's desk. Highlighted items may include extensively unattributed passages provide by the subject of the article and readers should treat such feature and benefit claims accordingly.



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