Langley Horse Federation Workshop

The Langley Horse Federation is taking on a new lease of life as a vehicle to boost the horse industry in Langley.  In this it is supported by the Township of Langley and by its Mayor, Rick Green, who is a well-known horseman.

Its most visible and well-known presence up till now has been the "Spirit Of The Horse Memorial Garden", which is situated in Campbell Valley Park at 1200 208th Avenue, Langley, B.C.  That was started by Joy Richardson, one of the key movers and shakers on the Langley horse scene.

Now the Langley Horse Federation will be holding a “Team Up For Success” workshop from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm on Saturday September 18th, 2010 in the Banquet Room at the Langley Events Centre.  It puts forward the following challenge:

Langley, “the Horse Capital of British Columbia”.  Factual statement or idle boast?  With approximately 6000 horses and an estimated $125 Million annually in direct, indirect and imputed economic benefit, great credence can be attributed to that statement.  Almost every sector of the economy is impacted: tourism; retail; hospitality; horse facilities; agriculture; and the list goes on.  What would you like to see happening in the horse community in Langley?

The workshop will suggest a number of initiatives for the horse industry to consider and encourages members of the horse community to get involved. Two in particular caught my eye.

Public relations and marketing initiatives
Can we raise the public and political profile of the horse industry by:

  • establishing a formal, ongoing relationship with media in the Lower Mainland to promote positive coverage of horse industry events and issues
  • establishing a relationship with tourism Langley for marketing initiatives
  • establishing a lobby group to work with local government and regulatory agencies to make sure the horse industry and horse community has a ‘voice’ in the discussion of issues affecting them
  • work with local council to encourage land use policies that further establish and support equestrian activities
  • encouraging close and ongoing communication between Langley horse clubs, and horse industry sectors like boarding stables

Educational initiatives
Can we educate members of the horse community by encouraging the development of:

  • equestrian and farm management courses at Kwantlen College or through community education programs
  • a series of specialty clinics held by high-caliber clinicians

Can we educate members of our community about horses by:

  • introducing books about horses into school reading programs
  • organizing school field trips to horse and riding stables

One sector of the industry that can play an important role in both of these initiatives is that of therapeutic horseback riding.  There are several fine centres offering such services in Langley including VTEA  and PRDA.  As an example, VTEA is hosting a free horsemanship demonstration by Jay O Jay on Saturday August 28 that will help on both of these initiatives.  (Details are on the VTEA website.)

Learn How To Connect With Your Horse In Langley BC

As the Horse Capital of BC, where better to learn about connecting with horses than in Langley.

Mark your calendar because there is a free demonstration of how to start connecting with your horse.  The details are as follows:

It will be given by Jay OJay, the celebrated horseman, now based in Langley  who helps fine riders and their spirited horses get connected.  He will be demonstrating just what is possible with his own very young horses, Casper, Junior and Grace.

When Saturday August 28th from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: VTEA Riding Center (Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association)
3330 256th Street
Aldergrove, BC  V4W 1Y4
Schedule: 1:30  –  1:50           Working with Casper
1:50  –  2:10           Working with Junior
2:10  –  2:20                   Intermission
2:20  –  2:40           Working with Grace
2:40  –  3:00           Q and A with Jay O’Jay

The demonstration will be given in a round pen  in the arena, which is being generously provided by a close neighbour,  Dare’s Country Feeds, 25236 Fraser Highway, Aldergrove (Telephone: 604-856-1611)

Jay OJay with young horses

If Jay OJay is a new name to you, you can find all about him, his training methods and his training DVDs on the Jay OJay website:

Jay O’Jay is a horseman who specializes in developing a respectful relationship and connection between horse and rider. His passion is the Western discipline of Reining, but through his clinics, videos and demonstrations, he aspires to teach “transferable skills” to riders and horse owners of all disciplines and experience. Those skills, based on the ability to earn respect and gain control of the horse, are the central elements in Jay’s “common sense” approach to his training program.

Jay has nurtured the natural gift he has for working with and connecting with horses – as well as people. With a personal mission to improve everyone’s relationship and experience with their horse, he shares his respect for the horse with enthusiasm, patience, and passion.

To contact Jay OJay, call 778-686-9115 or e-mail him at

This is a show not to be missed, so make sure to be there on Saturday August 28.

You And Your Horse: Connections In Langley, BC

Making Connections

Connecting with others is a key priority in these stressful times.  Despite the frenetic pace of life for most people, they will still set aside some time to be in touch with their loved ones and with their friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

Writing letters used to be the way, but few now do that.  For most the short message (or even a tweet) that Facebook or Twitter make so easy is a great way of saying ‘I’m here’.

Connecting with a Horse

Many horse owners find a particularly important connection is the one they have with their horse. If you want to understand more on that, there are lots of resources on the Internet to explore what can be involved in that.  Connecting With Horses on the VTEA website (more on them below) is a good compendium of some of the ‘movers and shakers’ in this rapidly developing field.

Langley, Horse Capital of BC

Langley is often said to be the Horse Capital of BC so it is not surprising that you will find some shining examples here of how people are connecting with their horses.  The relationship between a horse owner and his or her horse is complex when the best possible connection is being achieved.  After all, the horse is a prey animal, fearing constantly about attacks by predators, while we humans are by nature predators.  Overcoming that barrier is something that requires the right attitude and gentle persistence.


If you want to see connections between horses and their riders that work, there is nothing better than visiting one of the establishments that provides therapeutic horseback riding programs to special needs children.  One such in Langley is VTEA (Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association) at 3330 256th Street, Aldergrove in Langley, BC.  You can read much more on what they do at their website at

Jay O’Jay

Perhaps you have not caught up with the latest news but a celebrated expert on You and Your Horse: Connections is now resident in Langley.  That’s my way of explaining what he does, not his.  He believes that the nature of the relationship between the owner and the horse is critical and in some cases may present serious challenges.  However, rarely do you have problem horses.  All that is missing is that the owner and the horse have not yet developed a  mutually-satisfying relationship.  You can read more on his thinking and what he does at his website at

Two upcoming events

If you want to see Connections with Horses in practice, rather than just reading about them, then two events are coming up very shortly that are ideal opportunities.

Jay O’Jay Open House

Jay O’Jay will be holding an Open House where you can see him in action demonstrating how you make connections.  It’s free, refreshments will be available and it is taking place on Sunday 20th June at 1:00 pm.  You can find that at 8575 240th Street, Langley BC.  Just park carefully along the roadside and wander in.  Sorry but you should leave your dog(s) in your car (with the window slightly down) or at home, since those predators can be distracting.

VTEA Annual Horse Show

A week later on Saturday June 26th, VTEA is holding its annual Horse Show.  It runs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm or later so there’s lots of opportunities for you and your children to pop in.  You will see how the special needs children have developed the connections with their horses and a fun time is guaranteed.

Members of the BC Hot Rod Association will also be present with some of their cars so there’s something for anyone.  You can even become a member or renew your membership for the coming year.  It’s only $5 but that and your involvement in whatever way you can will help strengthen some of the very best connections with horses you will ever see.

Happy 150th Birthday, British Columbia

Happy Birthday, British Columbia, the Vancouver Sun proclaims today.  Today British Columbia is officially 150 years old. Sincere congratulations to all in B.C. as they commemorate this important anniversary. It is an incredibly beautiful and resource-rich land.


The Sun salutes some of this city’s oldest companies that have adapted and grown with B.C.  The oldest is The Oppenheimer Group, which is as old as the Province.  In 1858, four Oppenheimer brothers followed the gold rush to British Columbia and founded Oppenheimer Bros. & Co. in Victoria, to provide food and supplies to thousands of fortune seekers.

They are now one of North America’s top fresh produce companies bringing in and delivering over 100 varieties of produce from more than 20 different countries. The  business is managed by a team of professionals located in over a dozen offices throughout North and South America.

marketplace iga

The multibillion-dollar H.Y. Louie Co. Ltd. started in 1903 and now has flowered into an energetic family business.  Today, Brandt Louie, the grandson of the founder, heads a $4-billion empire, employing 8,000 people in four different businesses: food wholesaling, the IGA food chain, London Drugs and an import-export division.

purdys chocolates

Vancouver’s most famous chocolate company, Purdy’s, has also been around for more than 100 years. It began in 1907, when Richard Carmen Purdy began selling chocolates he made in his own kitchen from his Robson Street store. He quickly attracted a loyal following from chocolate lovers who passed on their taste for Purdy’s Chocolates from generation to generation.

These three are only a small fraction of the companies that have prospered and grown throughout British Columbia’s 150 year history.  With the 2010 Olympics the future is certainly even more promising.

Related Books:

BC Wine Tops The World

Mission Hill icewine 2006

British Colombia has many fine wines, many of which are entirely consumed within the province. Those which are available outside the province are getting increasing attention. For example, B.C.’s Mission Hill Winery 2006 Reserve Riesling icewine has been named the world’s No. 1 icewine by the International Wine & Spirit Competition judges.

Mission Hill owner, Anthony von Mandl, received the International Icewine Trophy at a ceremony in London attended by 800 members of the international wine community. Dan Zepponi, Mission Hill president, commented, “This really puts the Okanagan and the Canadian wine industry on the world map.”

The comments of Jamie Goode, one of the attendees who certainly knows his wines, are typical of the accolades it received:

Very, very sweet and grapey with aromatic grapey, raisiny notes. Massively concentrated, viscous palate is supersweet, rounded and full. A huge wine that’s still in balance, if even a little overpowering.

Although it was always a pleasure to live in Qubec with its cheeses that received world renown, it is even more pleasurable to live in a province where such fine wine is available.

Some Relevant Books

Island of White Rock

If the Island of White Rock as a brand is not sitting easy with the general populace, it appears that the White Rock BC Council may be having equal difficulties, according to the Peace Arch News. The Whisper presentation in open council ? which was to happen in May ? is to be rescheduled to take place sometime in July. Whisper is the brand strategy consultant from California who suggested this as a brand.

There are other White Rock islands

Another strike against the brand is that others got there first. In the state of Hidalgo some 100 kms northeast of Mexico City and about 50 kms east of the pyramids at Teotihuacan, there is a 16th century Franciscan monastery spectacularly sited on a huge former pyramid dedicated to the chief Aztec deity Huitzilopochtli and designated the “Island of White Rock“.
White Rock Island
Another White Rock Island is currently the subject of a dispute between Malaysia and Singapore in The International Court of Justice at The Hague. This piece of bird-whitened rock (also called Pedra Branca or Batu Putih) is located at the east-side entrance to Singapore.

Nearer home, an islet lying in San Pedro Channel off Southern California is also called White Rock Island. Its undisputed owner is now Mrs. Helen K. Morton of San Francisco. It is located under the lee of Santa Catalina Island and consists of two acres of level tableland formed of whitish rock, sheering out of the sea and covered only with stunted growth.

Owning the brand on the Internet

The real test of whether a brand works is whether Google acknowledges it. So what turns up if you do a Google search for White Rock Island?

Someone is going to be very happy. #1 on the list currently is Bob White Masonry, of Rock Island, IL. Clearly finding a brand that will really perform for White Rock, BC seems to be more complex than one might have thought.

For another example of a group in search of a brand trying to swim against the current, check out Creative Accountants Need King Canute.

Branding White Rock BC

The White Rock Re-Branding survey raised some serious concerns for Pauline Mott, which she expressed in a comment on our post on White Rock identity (Canny for the Bairns).

Her comments have now also appeared as a Letter to the Editor in this morning’s Vancouver Sun. She is far from alone in her views. Lance Peverley has expressed similar reservations in an article entitled Slogans are more than just words. This re-branding urge is fine but you have got to do it right.

What Is A Brand?

By coincidence, Terry O’Reilly on CBC Radio this morning in the Season Finale of The Art Of Persuasion was discussing Six Remarkable Brands.

The images below illustrate these six examples. Most people will instantly recognize the six ‘brands’ he was talking about.

The Beatles
polar bear
Las Vegas
Mohamed Ali, Boxer

It is a question of instant recognition and knowing exactly what that brand stands for. The brand is not some slick marketing packaging. It reflects reality.

The Magic Is In The Product

That heading is a quotation from William Bernbach, one of the founders of DDB (Doyle Dane Bernbach), one of the major US advertising agencies. It was said more than 50 years ago but it is still true.

I’ve got a great gimmick .Let’s tell the truth.

No matter how skillful you are, you can’t invent a product advantage that doesn’t exist. And if you do it’s just a gimmick, it’s going to fall apart anyway.

Developing A Credible Brand For White Rock

There are many millions of people who know and love White Rock. How do they think of it? How can you capture their perceptions in a brand? One approach is just to ask people what word do they think of when they think of White Rock. There is even a website, brand tags, that tries to combine such word choices. By now it covers many major brands although the results are not very impressive.

The Whisper Branding Strategy Consultants were a little more elaborate in their study for White Rock. Among other things they asked a series of questions, If the City of White Rock were a motor vehicle what would it be? and on through … a food, … a song, … a famous person, … or a colour. Unfortunately from first impressions it would appear that those who know White Rock do not relate to this new brand.

Pauline Mott wrote to me and said that for her White Rock is:

A walk on the beach, a stroll down the pier, fish and chips with an ice cream cone chaser – that’s the great White Rock experience. This is what makes it special – making happy memories for generations of families.

If many of White Rock’s fans see it that way, then the brand must encompass that. Perhaps Canny For The Bairns if translated from the original Scottish might just work.

White Rock, BC – Canny For The Bairns

White Rock is not just a pretty place.

White Rock is looking for a new identity as Pete McMartin tells us in the Vancouver Sun this morning. Perhaps the City of White Rock could do more to sell its charm but the reality is beloved by many already.

White Rock Beach is famous for its 1,500 ft. long pier, its 2.5km long beach promenade and of course the large white rock which weighs in at 486 tons and is a glacial deposit from the coastal range.

White Rock BC

In some ways it reminds me of a place close to my birthplace. That was Seaton Carew on the North-East coast of England.

A splendid promenade connects the Marina with one of the Victorian’s favourite North-East resorts. Seaton Carew with its miles of broad golden sands and safe sheltered bathing is still the perfect venue for a traditional family day out at the seaside. Enjoy good flat beaches to fly kites and build castles, rock pools to hunt shrimps and amusement arcades that flicker and sing.

In those days marketing was all about getting the right slogan or tagline. Seaton Carew proudly proclaimed that it was Canny For The Bairns. For those unaccustomed to the lingo, that translates as ‘the kids will love it’. Seaton Carew seems to have lost the slogan on the Web according to a Google search for the phrase, since the bairns now seek more excitement, to be found only at Flamingoland, Yorkshire in the UK.

The standard Vekoma corkscrew coaster. Dated, and dull, the ride is notoriously rough on necks. It is nevertheless a classic, worth a ride.

Certainly White Rock does not want to appear in any way dated or dull.

Buy Me

This whole business of new identities is really about marketing. How can White Rock get a new brand? That is what Montreal has been struggling with in recent years. How can you rebrand something as complex as the city of Montreal? What is really needed is a reason for people to buy – what the experts call a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

David Taylor of the brandgym works with some great brands like T-Mobile, Hellmann’s, Bertolli, Top Gear, Peroni and Mars and he today is suggesting a brand should communicate a RTB. That’s Reason To BUY, not Reason to Believe. It all sounds like USP by another name.

Hear the Buzz

White Rock now has a re-branding report funded by a $70,000 grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities. It was prepared for them by Whisper who are Brand Strategy Consultants. Perhaps the report will help them define a new Reason To BUY. However it may be that Whisper has more to offer than just a new RTB. Perhaps White Rock needs a whisper campaign.

As it says on the Whisper Home Page:

Brand strategy boils down to eliminating the need for advertising and PR. By establishing an engaging brand that consumers are drawn to, you can stop chasing them.

Creating that level of engagement requires that you change and take ownership of the conversation in your industry. Own the conversation. It’s the only brand strategy you need to focus on.

It is what people are calling Buzz marketing now. Find ways of getting into the news. Spread the word. Use the social media. When people on Facebook or in their blogs are telling their friends about White Rock BC, then the City Council will know that $70,000 has been well spent.

Related: Unique Selling Proposition or Point (USP)

B.C. Sport Fishing Online

BC Salmon, Halibut – great eating and sport

Sport Fishing represents one of the “big five” activities that draws international visitors to B.C. — along with skiing, golf, wine and food, and outdoor adventure, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun. British Columbia generates about $1.2-billion in revenues from the recreational fishing sector, so this is really big business.

Currently the average participant’s age is close to 50, according to Don Peterson, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. president. So industry and government are working to attract more young people to the sport. As Peterson says, “It’s definitely a challenge to get more young people into the sport. Urbanization, the electronic age and the popularity of videogames mean that young people are just not getting exposed to these outdoor experiences any more.

The Society now has a a new website — — where experienced or newbie anglers alike can get the information they need to prepare for a fishing trip anywhere in B.C. The website offers online fishing licence purchases, along with information like fishing basics, where to fish, where to learn, and what you need to get started. Experienced fishers can use the site to stay abreast of fish stocking reports, hot spots, fishing clubs, special events, and provincials statistics and regulations.

For more information to help you get that salmon or halibut, you may also find the references below useful:
Fishing BC Online
Game Fish Species of British Columbia
BC Recreational Freshwater Fishing
BC Outdoors magazine
British Columbia Online Fishing Magazine

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Canadian Business – Changed Perspectives

True North, strong and free.

For over twenty-five years, the ‘other bloke’ has been involved in and observed Canadian business from a Montreal base. For at least the last ten of those years, the physical location has become less and less important to businesses and the online presence plays a much bigger role in what identifies a company. This is complemented by the staggering advances in Information Technology (IT) and in telecommunications. For so many businesses, they can if they wish participate in a global economy and enjoy the global opportunities. Whether they wish it or not, they are also subject to global competition.

These deep reflections are triggered by the fact that the ‘other bloke’ has now moved from Montreal and will be living in Langley, BC. That in no way affects the bloke’s online presence. Strategic Marketing Montreal will continue to function as before and its North American customers will see few changes apart from some e-mail addresses that will change. Montreal has a big footprint in the online world and there is much to observe and comment on. Standing back ‘a little’ will allow a more dispassionate view of what is going on. It can also be better seen in a pan-Canadian context.

Moving from Montreal to Langley, BC, we followed the TransCanada Highway all the way with a U-Haul trailer containing our treasured belongings. Following that highway is an experience that no Canadian should miss. It’s the only way to fully experience the size, grandeur and the beauty to be found in Canada. Although the journey was fairly rapid, it also gave an opportunity to meet folk along the way and get brief glimpses of what’s important to them in their very different communities.

Now we’re settled in Langley, which is a most welcoming community surrounded by the natural beauty of the Fraser Valley. It’s a very different physical location, but we’re back to that same online world with even greater opportunities to be aware of the evolving scene. We hope our faithful readers will find that the Other Bloke’s Blog continues to improve as we observe Canadian business online.

Some Relevant Books