58 entries categorized "About Us"

Building Canada’s Electric Highway: Charging Up in Stewiacke, NS

Last week, we opened the first of over 50 sites that will make up Canada’s Electric Highway™ in Stewiacke, NS. This site is one of two sites being built in Nova Scotia; the other will be in Halifax. We were pleased to host several special guests, including Mayor Wendy Robinson and MP Bill Casey along with several electric vehicle owners and members of Next Ride.

Guests at Stewiacke, NS EV Charger Opening

Mayor Robinson spoke about how she was pleased that Petro-Canada has chosen Stewiacke to kick off Canada’s Electric Highway. She and the town council have been looking for ways to help Stewiacke and its residents become more sustainable, and is happy to see Petro-Canada providing leadership in this area.

MP Bill Casey addressed the importance for Canada to move forward in tangible ways to a low carbon future – supporting electric vehicles is one of those ways. The federal government was proud to support and contribute towards this initiative.

Below is a video of the launch of the site where you can view the full remarks from our guests.

And below are some photos of the event.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the event! We’ll keep you up to date as we open more sites along Canada’s Electric Highway!

- Braden H.


Electric Vehicle Charging Sparks Opportunities for More Than Drivers

It’s been a few months since we announced the completion of our first electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The EV fast chargers at our Milton, ON stations are the first in a coast-to-coast network of more than 50 stations being built this year.

Petro-Canada EV Charger in Milton

These chargers offer opportunities for more than Canadian drivers. The owners and operators of the stations where the EV chargers are being installed are keen to get on board. We spoke with Mathi Valautham, the operator of the Milton station:

I was so excited when I heard that our station had been selected to have the network’s first EV fast chargers. When we first launched, we initially had four to five customers a day, but those numbers have quickly begun to multiply. It’s been a learning process for me because it’s a completely new offering for my customers, but I am eager to learn more about electric vehicles and charging because I believe this will be a part of Canada’s mobility future.

You can hear more from Mathi, as well as from the project lead and one of our technology experts, in the video below.

Have you tried out the EV charger in Milton? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

- Braden H.


First Nations-owned Petro-Canada Stations: A strong investment and source of pride

In a recent PumpTalk post, I mentioned how local Petro-Canada owners don't just operate a gas station, but are important contributors to their communities – among other things, they build playgrounds, inspire local immigrant women to become entrepreneurs and donate their time to charitable causes.

This community aspect of Petro-Canada stations is especially evident in sites that are First Nation owned and operated. The Ochapowace Nation recently opened a new Petro-Canada location in Pilot Butte, SK. It is the 30th First Nation owned and operated site in our network - something we are very proud of.

Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada

One of our long time First Nations sites is owned and operated by the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc (TteS) Band, in the Kamloops area of British Columbia. The Kamloops Indian Band Development Corporation (KIBDC) partnered with Suncor to convert an existing gas station to the Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada in 2012. The Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada has been a very successful business, winning Kamloops Chamber of Commerce 2014 Aboriginal Business of the Year. 

I had an opportunity to discuss with Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, the Tk’emlups chief, how the Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada fits into her band's economic and community plans.

Chief/Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir
Chief/Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir - Photo Courtesy of Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc

Q. What were the goals when you set out to open this station?
A. We knew that we wanted an investment that would maximize its return as well as provide a growth opportunity. We also wanted to provide employment opportunities for our membership. Partnering with a recognized fuel brand like Petro-Canada helped us build a strong relationship with TteS band members.

Q. How does the station fit into your economic development plan.
A. We want our business investments to generate revenue that we can re-invest into new business opportunities for our members. The Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada helps provide that revenue. Our economic plan also calls for opening businesses that meet tourism needs as well as creating employment opportunities for band members. The Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada fulfills these aspects of the plan. The TteS Petro-Canada, boasts astounding numbers during our PowWow Event, serving thousands on a daily basis.

Q. What has this station meant to the community?
A. Band members are proud to be employed in our businesses that have relationships with large corporations like Suncor and Petro-Canada. Plus, they are proud of the community ownership of a successful business that has won awards through the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce as well as the BC Achievement Foundation who named it Community-owned Business of the Year in 2016. Also, the Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada gives our indigenous youth entry-level employment opportunities to help them succeed in moving along their career path.

Award Video about the Tk'emlups Petro Canada/Carwash courtesy of the BC Achievement Foundation

Q. Is there anything else that you would like us to know about your Nation and/or the business?
A. We are pleased that Petro-Canada respects our culture by creating initiatives for indigenous people. Whether it is through indigenous bursaries or contributions to a cultural park, we are happy with these programs that promote strong relationships between our membership, indigenous people and Petro-Canada. Regarding the Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada in particular, all revenues are utilized for growth and for programs and services that are offered to TteS membership. We are very proud of the legacy it is creating.

Thank you, Kukpi7 Casimir, for taking the time to share the success of the Tk’emlúps Petro-Canada and the positive impact it is having on the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc (TteS) Band!

- Rose R.


Honking Around: Behind the Scenes with Penelope and George

The other day when I happened to glance out my window, a 3-person camera crew passed by, filming two actors walking and chatting. It could have been a documentary, a romantic comedy or a bank commercial. We get it all here in Vancouver, aka Hollywood North. This camera-crew-pass-by has been the closest I've gotten to the action. Though last summer the Netflix show Travelers spent a couple of days filming in a house two doors down and I got to buzz the craft table that was set up on the sidewalk.

My on-set aspirations were finally realized when Vancouver (well, Surrey) was the chosen locale for Petro-Canada's latest commercial shoot. I was delighted to have the opportunity to witness some "movie magic". Spoiler alert: a lot of the magic was seen through monitors while sitting in the "keep the clients and agency out of our way" bus. Not as glamorous as I pictured it in my head.

On the day I was on set, two commercials were shot. The first, an English spot called “Goose”, stars a goose that is very interested in keeping our country clean. The second, a French spot called “Apprentissages”, highlights how we can help teach our kids to be independent and responsible.

One of the reasons Vancouver was chosen is because our spring can come quite early. Not this year! This is what Vancouver looked like the day of our indoor shoot.

But, after a couple of days of clean up and some last-minute weather-related good luck (our elusive Vancouver sun made an appearance), this is what our site in Surrey looked like on the day of outdoor filming. You can see the reflective screens for lighting the shoot.

I was really impressed with the snow removal team. They washed the snow off the driveway and the buildings as well as clearing it out of the trees. In the “Goose” commercial, you can see a nearby house in the background. This is the house before snow removal.

This is the house as seen in the background of the commercial.

And here you can see how clean the station lot is. Looks just like spring. Magic!

One of the most interesting parts of the shoot was how the trainers worked with the live geese. There were five people responsible for the well-being of the geese while they were on set. First, the gentleman on whose land the geese reside, looked after their transport and general care.

Then, there were three professional trainers, each with over 25 years of film experience, who worked with the geese during the shoot to try to get the responses that the director wanted. They had a lot of tools at their disposal, including bird call whistles. They would also climb on a ladder to try to get a higher eyeline from the goose.

And finally there was a representative from Movie Animals Protected (MAP), a company that monitors treatment of animals on film sets, to confirm the geese remained comfortable and were not put under any stress.

Here are Penelope and George, resting between takes. They are a bonded pair and have had several sets of goslings together. In the final commercial, which you can see below, it looks like only one goose made it in. But they are actually sharing acting duties. George was a master of honking – you see him in the first scene. Penelope, the calmer of the two, excelled at the disinterested walk away – you see her in the closing shot. 

But great technique wasn’t reserved for our animal actors. During the shoot with the kids, the director encouraged them to play in-between takes: jumping jacks, push-ups, balancing games. This really helped them get out of “actor mode” and into “kid mode” resulting in really natural interaction in the commercial. You can see it in the commercial below.

 

Those were the highlights of my day on-set. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get any shots of the resplendent craft services table, although I did snag a gluten-free muffin and a smoothie. Have you had the opportunity to be on a film or commercial set? Share your stories in the comments below!

- Rose R.


Celebrating Indigenous Achievement and Leadership

Ah, award season. We've had the Oscars and the Grammys. And the Junos and Geminis are coming up. But one award program that deserves a lot more press is the Indspire Awards, an event that celebrates the accomplishments of extraordinary First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals.

Since 1998, Suncor, proud owner of Petro-Canada, through the Suncor Energy Foundation, has supported Indspire, an Indigenous-led registered charity whose vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. In addition to recognizing Indigenous people who have made significant contributions to Indigenous education, art, culture, business, health, law, sports and public service in Canada, there are also three youth awards to First Nations, Inuit and Métis role models.

Students at the Indspire Suncor Youth Luncheon

The Indspire Awards were held this year in Calgary on February 22 and it will be broadcast on APTN as well as on CBC, including CBC's Gem Streaming service, on Sunday, June 23. For a taste of the celebration, check out this video of the amazing opening number: Come and Get Your Love by Pat Vegas, his son PJ Vegas and the Northern Cree Singers.

The Indspire Awards gala was also part of the itinerary for 20 Indigenous youth who gathered in Calgary to participate in this year's Indspired Youth Experience. The youth participants are selected by their communities because they stand out as future leaders. Some of the highlights of this year’s event were The Walrus Talks youth leadership event, the Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering, and the Suncor youth luncheon with Indspire award recipients.

Since 2003, Suncor has brought over 300 Indigenous students to this multi-day experience focused on leadership and learning opportunities that are grounded in culture and reconciliation.

Suncor also supports Indspire through bursaries and scholarships, including the Petro-Canada Award for Indigenous Students, a bursary awarded to high school and post-secondary students to help with their education.

Congratulations to this year’s Indspire Awards winners!

- Rose R.