London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020

Airshow London appoints new executive director

London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. WeeklyPhoto: Holly Doty is Airshow London’s new executive director

A LOCAL EVENT planning professional has been appointed to lead Airshow London as it gears up for its future productions.

Holly Doty, founder and president of Connect Dot Management Inc., was announced as Airshow London’s new executive director earlier this week. Founded in 2003, Connect Dot is a full-service project and event management company that provides our corporate and public sector clients with event services including logistics, contract negotiation, sponsorship, vendor management, speaker coordination, budgeting, public relations, committee coordination and onsite execution.

“Holly will oversee all operations and departments for Airshow London and will report directly to the board of directors,” said Airshow London board chair, Jim Graham, in a released statement. “As an event expert with a proven track record of execution, we have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead the organization to even greater success.

“This renewed leadership will allow us to successfully implement new strategies and great improvements,” continued Graham. “We are fortunate to have someone as experienced as Holly to step up to lead Airshow London as we prepare to host the USAF Thunderbirds in 2020 and the US Navy Blue Angels in 2021.” London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. Weekly


Norma Jean’s closes its doors

London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. WeeklyPhoto: Norma Jean’s at 1332 Huron Street shut its doors last weekend

NORMA JEAN’S, ONE of the city’s most active bar venues for live music, has closed its doors.

Located at Huron and Highbury Avenue since 1993, the venerable rock club hosted its final performances last weekend, and staff was informed the venue was shutting down permanently.

According to a story published by CTV News London, sources close to owner Theo Karouzas said he had been struggling to make the venue financially viable over the past couple of years. In addition, after responding to an alarm notification in the bar last month, Karouzas was beaten by two suspects attempting to steal an ATM.

The Forest City London Music Awards and Allstage Music Promotion are partnering to host a Norma Jean’s celebration and staff benefit concert, planned for February 8 at Union 10 Distillery. The business has been listed for sale. London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. Weekly


Old Oak development receives federal boost to help tackle affordable housing 

London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. WeeklyPhoto: Construction has begun on Old Oak’s Centro development, which will include affordable housing units

ON WEDNESDAY OF this week, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. announced a $130-million investment in affordable housing in London via the construction of two towers in the downtown core (northwest corner of Talbot and Fullarton streets) that will add a total of 420 apartments to London’s housing stock.

The project, being developed by Old Oak Properties Inc. and dubbed Centro, is receiving the funding through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative, a National Housing Strategy program delivered by CMHC that supports rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families struggling in expensive housing markets across the country. The funding comes in the form of a preferred interest loan.

Of the new units, 110 units (26 per cent) will have rents lower than 30 per cent of median household income in London. In addition, 84 of the units will have rents that fall at or below 70 per cent of the 30 per cent median income in the area and provide affordable housing options close to public transit and services for modest- and middle-income individuals and families.

“Old Oak is grateful that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is providing a loan for this exciting new project,” said Jeff Martin, Old Oak’s chief financial officer. “This will be a landmark development for both London and Old Oak. Standing at 40 storeys and 129 metres, the Centro tower will be the tallest building between Mississauga and Calgary providing hundreds of high-end, affordable rentals.”

Construction of the towers is already underway and is expected to be completed in about three years. According to CMHC, the rental arrangement will stay in place for a period of 10 years. London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. Weekly


New survey aims to assist local golf industry

London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. WeeklyPhoto: The ninth hole at Highland Country Club, one of the area’s 13 private golf clubs

A WEBSITE DEDICATED to the local golf industry and marketplace, LondonOntarioGolf.com, has launched a comprehensive golfer survey to help define local golfer habits, attitudes and preferences.

The 2020 London & Area Golf Survey aims to provide both operators and participants with a detailed snapshot of the state of the game locally to help support the long-term sustainability of the game and the local industry as a whole.

“The City of London and surrounding areas have seen much growth since the last comprehensive survey was conducted in 1991—and even since 2003 when it was determined London housed three times as many golf courses as our then-population could support,” said LondonOntarioGolf.com publisher and editor, Jeffrey Reed.

In London and surrounding counties, local golfers have access to 13 private golf clubs, 123 semi-private and public clubs, 20 stand-alone, outdoor golf practice centres, numerous golf ranges housed at local clubs plus a growing number of indoor golf simulators and practice centres.

“Golf growth has remained stagnant in recent years, according to the latest studies from golf’s governing bodies, including Golf Canada,” continued Reed. “Consider, too, that no longer are prospective members knocking down the doors of local private clubs—they’re all fighting for new members, too. The game has changed.”

According to Reed, the biggest detriment to growing the game today is a lack of time. “All major studies point to this, whereas in the past it was always lack of money, now the second largest factor in why the game has not continued to grow in popularity.”

Reed said that by putting the results of the new survey in the hands of the local golf industry it is hoped that club managers will have a much stronger definition of their customer base, how to better serve them and ultimately how to grow the game.

“Demographics, spending habits, a wish-list of improved club amenities and even plans for future involvement in the game are all addressed in the survey. Answers to all of these questions will assist the local industry.”

The 10-minute survey, featuring 54 questions and open to all area golfers, will remain live until September 30,2020. London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. Weekly


Featured Business Event

London Inc. Weekly 01 • 10 • 2020  London Inc. Weekly

2020 State of the City | January 22, 7:30 to 9:15 a.m., RBC Place London

The London Chamber’s State of the City Address is held annually and is a one of a kind event to mark the beginning of a new year. It sets the tone for both mayor and city council as they set out to tackle the important issues that face our municipality. It has become a must-attend event for the London business community drawing an attendance of over 1200 people.

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