Old Chicago in YEG

On November 23, the Parlour in downtown Edmonton will play host to “Old Chicago in YEG” and transport guests back to the iconic Roaring 20s, an era now immortalized for its glamour and sophistication. Often remembered as the time of Prohibition or the setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, The Great Gatsby, the 1920s were a time of burgeoning modernity, illicit nightlife and unforgettable sartorial charm. In the first of a two-part series, you’ll learn more about what society was like during the 1920s.


The 1920s, also affectionately known as The Jazz Age or Roaring 20s, were a time of sweeping social change and political evolution. Urban populations grew exponentially, with more Americans living in cities than ever before, and the economy experienced a period of fiscal prosperity. As opposed to the Great Depression of the 1930s that followed, the ‘20s were an affluent time that pushed the proverbial envelope, causing both controversy and celebration.

Consumer Culture

The ‘20s introduced mass culture to consumers, which meant purchasing consumer products such as ready-to-wear clothing, home appliances and radios—the catalyst for an influx of radio programming across the United States. But the arguably most important consumer product of the era was the automobile—particularly the Model T Ford, which in 1924 could be purchased for a mere $260.

Gender Roles and Fashion

A ubiquitous symbol of the ‘20s is, of course, the flapper. The iconic female figure is characterized by a short bob haircut and glittering fringed dresses. At the time, a flapper was a controversial young woman who indulged in allegedly “unladylike” behaviour such as smoking and drinking. While not all women prescribed to this lifestyle, they did
experience newfound freedom during the ‘20s. Women could vote for the first time, and many went to work at white-collar jobs, which allowed them to participate in the burgeoning consumer-driven society.

The Jazz Age and Prohibition

The accessibility of automobiles during the ‘20s gave young people the freedom to access entertainment unavailable to them in previous times. Jazz bands provided the nightly soundtrack at dance halls, and the genre’s rising popularity wasn’t stifled by older generations objecting to its supposed “vulgarity.”

Of course, one of the most notable aspects of the Roaring 20s was Prohibition. It may have been a time of modern innovation, but alcohol sale and consumption were strictly stifled. On January 16, 1920, the infamous Volstead Act shut down every liquor-driven establishment in the United States, and the liquor trade was driven underground—quite
literally—which was the beginning of illegal speakeasies and bootlegging. Those who supported Prohibition believed that eliminating alcohol would reinstate some of the values of earlier times, but it was abolished in 1933.

Now that you’ve got a primer on the Roaring 20s, stay tuned for the next instalment, which will provide some history about the Parlour, which was built 111 years ago.

Our Valued Partner: Katherine Deypalubos of RBC Dominion Securities

Businesses that partner with EOCC are members of our team; they come together to co-host the events that we are so passionate about, and they believe in our vision to connect and inspire the Edmonton business community. This month’s Featured Sponsor has been with EOCC since the beginning. We are excited to present Katherine Deypalubos, our valued partner.



Three Words for Katherine

“Sociable, strategic, and resourceful,” she said, with confidence, when asked what three words describe her best. Katherine Deypalubos of RBC Wealth Management is a chartered investment manager, past volunteer youth leader, not-so-secret wine aficionado, and a dedicated partner of EOCC. Having moved from Montreal to Edmonton four years ago, Katherine has experienced the recent growth of YEG. For her, being a part of its transformation and being able to easily connect with professionals from diverse industries, is the best part of living and working here.


“What I love most about it is that I can connect people together. I can speak with the movers and shakers of the town and I can strategize and help with their financial well-being.”

As an Investment Advisor, Katherine devotes time to understand her client’s situation, whether that be crafting or assessing a retirement plan, or calculating the potential tax implications on a particular estate. Having the advanced tools to project those numbers, and understanding the big picture communicated by the client, allows her to then strategize, plan, and implement different courses of action to preserve wealth. It’s because of this that, in her opinion, the number one quality an advisor should possess, is curiosity.


“You have got to be curious first and foremost and have that desire to dig. You have to be able to ask the right questions in hopes to get an honest answer to be able to see the complete picture. Only then can I implement wisdom and knowledge to craft the best strategy and solution for my clients.”

Building trusting relationships is therefore a katherine-1significant aspect of her job. When sitting down with a new client, she explores their expectations, evaluates whether she can reasonably fulfil them, and then works on developing a relationship that will have the basis of mutual understanding. When asked who her favorite clients were, she said,

“For me, it’s all about the attitude. I know it’s a little bit deep, but my favorite clients are ones who have a great outlook on life, and they feel that I can add value to their current situation. They appreciate my expertise and they feel that they need it. And so I deliver.”

Katherine greatly values transparency, honesty, and delivering good service. Part of that good service is staying informed. In order to do so, she spends a couple of hours per day reading, and also attends conferences because of that curious mindset. She likes to interact with portfolio managers face to face and “pick their brain” about where the global opportunities lie from their perspective and where they think the economy is heading.

It’s all about Relationships.

Katherine exemplifies her self-designated descriptors: social, strategic, and resourceful. From an overhead perspective, we see that she strongly values her relationships and is strategic about the ones she is a part of. Both her decision to work for RBC, and her partnership with EOCC are well justified.

With RBC

“I wanted to work for the best of the best, so I did my research. When it comes to assets under management they had the largest. What did that tell me? That told me that a lot of Canadians have trusted this particular firm to manage their money for them. Continued trust is a big factor in the business.”


“It’s a friendship. There’s a different type of affinity that you develop for the other sponsors as you get to know them more and find out how everyone wants a stable, humble and consistent growth knowing the hard work that it takes to achieve that. We’re almost like a team of different businesses facing the world.”

For more info on Katherine check out her website, connect with her on Linkedin, or look for her booth and strike up conversation at our next event; ice-breaking hints can be discovered in the short Q/A below.

7 Great Reasons to Attend a Networking Event

Business networking mixers are important to the long-term professional and entrepreneurial success of most individuals. These events provide a relaxed atmosphere to chat with like-minded people, and the conversations that happen there can lead to career opportunities, and potential ways to collaborate.

Yet networking is more than just self-promotion or trying to grow your business. Its true purpose is to expand your network of friends, connections, and customers. Networking events are a great opportunity to practice and refine your sales pitch, and start relationships that will lead to strategic referrals, alliances and cooperation.

Finally, networking is about building and nurturing relationships, gaining credibility and trust, and showing off your professionalism, knowledge and expertise. Going to networking events gives you a closer look at future trends, industry obstacles and potential solutions. This information can in turn give you an advantage over the competition. (cognitomedia.com)

Below you will find a list of 7 great reasons to attend a networking event:


  1. Increase Your Visibility – Establishing top of mind awareness is critical in any marketing campaign, and make no mistake about it, attending business networking events is a key marketing strategy if done properly. Make sure your face and your message get in front of the same people on an ongoing basis.
  2. Socialize – Human beings are social animals and need that type of stimulation available when interacting face-to-face with others. Today, as more and more people work out of their attics, basements, or spare bedrooms, it has become increasingly important for us to socialize, and recharge our batteries.
  3. Start Relationships – Contrary to popular belief, very few people walk away from a few hours spent at a business networking event with a fistful of contracts. Meeting people at the networking function is merely the important first step towards reaching your client attraction goals. Follow-up is key to deepening the relationships that will increase your bottom line.
  4. Connect With Key Influencers – Instead of going to every business networking event in town, select the networking events you attend wisely and attend regularly. Do some research. Find out which organizations attract the people you want to meet and you will get the biggest return on your investment of time.
  5. Stay Current on Trends – Attending networking events given by your professional association—or associations related to your target market—allows you to glean information about current and future trends. The information you gather at these functions can easily give you a leg up on your competition.
  6. Hone Your Marketing Message – Use business networking events to practice and refine your elevator speech. Make sure it conveys in 30 seconds or less what solutions you provide, for whom you provide them, and the benefits of doing business with you.
  7. Recruit Talent – If you are looking to expand your business and hire staff, business networking events are a good starting point for your exploration of the marketplace. You will be able to enter into conversations with potential employees and get clear on what your needs are.

EOCC Community: Bru Coffee + Beer House

Coffee shops and places to grab a cold beer are not in short supply, but how often do the two come together under one roof? Bru Coffee + Beer House, located in the heart of Oliver, has become the answer to this since it opened its doors in 2015, offering visitors high-quality coffee, local beer and a venue suitable for socializing or meetings. Bru achieved early success, claiming the 2015 Best New Café prize from Where magazine and amassing a dedicated following of regulars, which has only since continued to grow.


The Backstory

Owner Tina Wang is no stranger to coffee shops or bars, but she often found the former uninspiring and the latter too loud. As a solution, she decided to formulate a concept that would combine the best of both worlds.

“I think there are many young professionals who want to have meetings, but they don’t know whether to bring their meeting to a coffee shop or a bar,” she says. “At Bru, everything is here. I want to focus on high-quality coffee, drinks and food.”

Wang’s goal is also to educate people about quality coffee and local beer. Bru supports local breweries and family-fun businesses, offering a unique selection of brews—of both varieties—stand apart from the usual suspects populating menus around town.

What’s In A Name?

Wang originally wanted to use her middle name, lan, which translates to “Blue” and would have dropped the “e” to be “Blu”. The name eventually evolved into “Bru,” a nod to Wang’s initial concept while capturing the essence of the business.

“The logo is also simple, but the coloration represents what we do,” she explains. “One side of it has the colour of coffee and the other side signifies beer. I didn’t like the colors at first, but it grew on me because of the meaning behind it.”


Standing Out From The Crowd

Wang’s key components of success are quality, transparency and supporting local suppliers. Everything prepared at Bru uses natural ingredients while avoiding preservatives and added sugar. The business maintains a strong emphasis on transparency, educating visitors about where Bru’s products come from and providing information about ingredients.

“Everything is made with a health-first focus,” Wang says. “I have strong values, and everything at Bru revolves around my values.”

And while Bru focuses heavily on using local products wherever possible, Wang would like to branch out and explore unique beer offerings from further afield as well. She notes Aphrodisiaque by Dieu du Ciel from Quebec as one such example.

“We support them because they don’t have their own brewery, and they are from Quebec,” she says. “We like supporting businesses like us. We help each other.”

The Key To Success

Wang’s best tip for aspiring business professionals is simple: keep learning. Industries are ever-changing, and it’s imperative to keep up with new trends and learn new ways to improve your business.

What’s Next For Bru

In the coming years, Wang would like to see Bru be a driving force in elevating Edmonton’s coffee and beer scene while helping consumers make smart choices about what they eat and drink—and exposing them to new breweries and coffee roasters along the way.

“I want to educate people and inspire them.”

For more info on Bru Coffee + Beer House check out her website

Haven’t checked out the next event on November 23? Click here

The Importance of Community Investment

There is a plethora of responsibilities a business has to manage at any given time, from routine day-to-day operations to budgets to client meetings and balancing deadlines, but community investment shouldn’t fall by the wayside.

Community investment goes beyond goodwill; it means a business recognizes its responsibility to people and society. Recognizing this responsibility means a business uses its resources and influence to impact the community in positive ways.

Where to start

What’s good for a community is often good for business, and if a company can recognize its role within a community as an employer and service provider, citizens stand to benefit. Consumers also do more research into businesses they support, and strong community investment can often contribute to growing your customer/client base.

Of course, the best kind of investment comes from a genuine desire to help others rather than focusing strictly on business gains. Research community organizations that align with your company’s values and could stand to benefit from your involvement, be that in the form of staff doing weekly volunteering, assisting in the development of new programming, mentorship or regular donations—financial, supplies or even pro bono services

Employee Morale and Retention

Beyond benefiting local organizations, community investment has been shown to boost employee engagement and retention—particularly if they are able to make meaningful contributions to an organization that resonates with them. People want to work for companies that have a strong reputation in the community, and investing in that community will make strides in establishing that. The ability to volunteer within the community also opens avenues for employees to take on leadership opportunities and develop skills that will improve their performance in the workplace.

Strong Community Relationships

The development of a business and relationship development go hand in hand, and community investment ensures that your company is building and maintaining strong partnerships. Community investment provides endless opportunities for networking and encouraging other businesses to get involved, which only further benefits organizations in the community that need assistance most.

Investing in the community can also help build more personalized relationships with your client base. For example, if your company volunteers with a local charity you can host events and invite your clients to participate. This allows you to interact with them on a more personal level and strengthen your relationship outside the office.

Encouraging Inclusivity

Community investment is a key way to foster inclusivity. Anything that can be done to benefit a community is a step towards building an inclusive economy in which all demographics stand to benefit. Inclusive community investment initiatives can assist in supporting economic independence, fostering entrepreneurship and small business development, for example, all of which will help strengthen the local economy and create opportunities within the community.



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