MRSB at East Coast Music Week

Our Accounting & Audit team shares their personal experiences from this exciting celebration of music 

When we heard that the ECMAs were making their way to PEI this year, we were as excited as anyone. Well before the festivities began, MRSB Accounting & Audit decided to volunteer as a team with East Coast Music Week. We were soon sending emails back and forth with an ECMW organizer and putting together a schedule of staff participation.

Now that it's all over, we can look back with a smile to some great memories made. In case you’re thinking about giving some of your time to next year’s ECMW (or maybe PEI’s next hosted one), here are some thoughts on the experience from our volunteers, who did everything from artist registration to filling seats…

One of the performers, Irish Mythen, told us we were AWESOME!  It was my first time volunteering at an event like this and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Karen Zakem

I had a wonderful experience volunteering at the ECMAs.  I was a bit nervous beforehand as I was placed on merchandising. My task was to sell t-shirts and CDs from the various artists participating at the ECMAs.  My apprehension came from the fact that I was not familiar with a lot of the talent being showcased.  That fear was short lived as a lot of the individuals for whom I was selling merchandise actually came up to the table to see how the sales were going so I was able to meet a number of them and learn a great deal about their music.  Also, I was able to actually hear a number of the bands perform from where we were set up.  The east coast truly has an abundance of extremely talented individuals.  They were all very friendly and very appreciative of the volunteers.  One of the performers, Irish Mythen, told us we were AWESOME!  It was my first time volunteering at an event like this and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

 Oh and I got to meet Jimmy Rankin!!

Darlene Eldershaw

I was assigned to the registration table where the artists received their passes, goodie bags and tickets for events. This was also where festival goers picked up their pre-purchased passes.  Although the shifts I worked were not very busy the people I met were very nice, both artists and festival goers!  My co-volunteers were great to work with, too.  I also spent some time at the door of the Songwriters Circle, which was a blast as I got to meet and talk to a lot of different, interesting people. We were also able to enjoy some great music throughout our shifts. 

Linda Hicken

I worked three shifts at the merchandise table and had a great time! The booth was located not far from the Opportunity Stage in the lobby bar area of the Delta, so we were lucky to hear many different artists perform.  I heard some very talented people that I might never have had the chance to otherwise.  My co-volunteers were lots of fun and we met many of the artists when they dropped off their CDs and other items to sell and then again on Sunday when they were picking up what was left. They were happy to chat and everyone I spoke with said that they had enjoyed a terrific weekend.  A few artists gave CDs as a “thank-you” which was unnecessary, because I totally enjoyed myself!  

I found a notebook on the floor under the merchandise table on Thursday night that belonged to an artist, Kim Wempe.  It had some notes and lyrics to a song in it! .... I found her on social media and sent a message to let her know... and received a reply later that I had “saved her life!” Just PEI hospitality in action.

One story – I found a notebook on the floor under the merchandise table on Thursday night that belonged to an artist, Kim Wempe.  It had some notes and lyrics to a song in it! After checking the schedule, and finding out that she was playing at the Globe that night, I ran down the street and left it with another volunteer to give to her. I found her on social media and sent a message to let her know it was there, and received a reply later that I had “saved her life!” Just PEI hospitality in action.

Kevin Cusack

I took in a couple of Eastlink All Access live TV shows. It was interesting to see how a show is put together and all of the moving parts it takes to bring it to your TV. From the stage crew to the lights, director, audio personnel and the hosts, everyone must be ready to do their part for a successful show. Although a little camera shy, some may have seen me in the live studio audience on Eastlink TV when the cameraman would do a panoramic shot of the audience. I was the good looking chap in the third row!

Bev MacLaren

Even though we are in our busiest season at MRSB (tax time) it was great to get out into the community and volunteer at the ECMAs.  I had an opportunity to meet some wonderful people as all the other volunteers I worked with were very friendly. I also took time to enjoy some of the east coast talent at one of the venues and had a wonderful time.

Valerie Ostridge

I really enjoyed the experience of volunteering with the ECMAs. The other volunteers were friendly and helpful as I had no experience with procedures involved. The ECMA staff were always quick with a smile and a “thank you”.

Sheri Chislett

I had a great time working with both my fellow volunteers and with my colleagues from MRSB Group! During the weekend I worked at registration for artists (where they picked up their info) and also at the marketing table. Both areas were a little slow at times but there were lots of people around and I heard some great music from the lobby of the Delta.

So there you have it – if you’re looking for fun, some fast friendships and lots of good tunes, try your hand at being an ECMW volunteer. It was well worth our time!

Lift off! PEI is flying high, just in time for one of the most exciting years in our history

MRSB Group's Managing Partner Shaun MacIsaac on the importance of flight to Prince Edward Island and his new role with the Charlottetown Airport Authority

As a small province, Prince Edward Island is lucky to have quick and convenient access to the rest of Canada via two major travel routes. The Confederation Bridge has now been connecting Islanders to ‘the mainland’ for over 15 years, while the Charlottetown Airport experienced another record year for airport traffic in 2013.

As a business owner I believe that the Charlottetown Airport is critical, both to our local economy and to our way of life here on PEI. Our small airport offers big opportunities to local businesses and organizations in the way of national and international connections, not to mention the ease and comfort of travel experienced by Islanders looking to visit family or take that dream vacation. In many ways, especially with the growing globalization of the world economy, the airport is what links the Island to the economic opportunities that lie beyond our waters.  It is also part of what allows visitors to enjoy the sights, tastes and sounds that make our beautiful home what it is.



2014 marks the fourth year of my involvement with the Charlottetown Airport Authority (CAA) and my first year as Acting Chair. The mission of this visionary organization is to be Prince Edward Island’s gateway to the world and to act as a catalyst for economic growth. I believe we can accomplish this through a set of strategic priorities and goals, which include enhancing existing air service to and from PEI, delivering the best ‘small airport’ service possible to passengers and engaging our local community.

Obviously 2014 is a very exciting year, with the 150th anniversary celebrations kicking off and predictions of a tourism boom that will benefit small and large business alike. As a PEI 2014 corporate sponsor, and an organization that believes in the importance of helping to make this event the best it can be, the Airport Authority is currently working with the airlines to increase access to the Island. I don’t think there’s much doubt that Prince Edward Island is the place to be this year, and we want to make sure that everyone has the chance to see what we have to offer.


The High Cost of Distracted Driving - Business Matters newsletter

Here's an excerpt from the April edition of CPA Canada's newsletter, Business Matters

Employees who drive while distracted create substantial financial and other risks for their employers.

Distracted driving laws are now the norm in all provinces within Canada. Of the three territories, Nunavut is the only holdout. In addition to levying fines, the majority of the provinces and territories have imposed demerit points. 

Even with fines and demerit points, many drivers are not convinced that distracted driving affects their ability behind the wheel. A March 3, 2014, news release from the Ontario Provincial Police stated: 

In 2013, distracted driving fatalities surpassed both impaired and speed related fatalities in fatal motor vehicle collisions investigated by the OPP. A total of 78 people died from distracted driving-related crashes compared to 57 deaths in impaired driving related crashes and 44 people who died in speed related crashes last year. 

Both owner-managers and employees should be concerned about these figures, not only because of the unnecessary loss of life, but also because a laissez-faire attitude could ultimately cost owner-managers their business and employees their jobs. 

To read the rest of this article, as well as others from this month's newsletter, visit our News page here.


If you haven’t thought about a Business Continuity Plan for your business, now might be the time

IT Manager Cory MacEwen and HR Manager Kathryn Mills on implementing a plan that will keep your business running in the face of natural disaster or online threats

Here in Eastern Canada we are lucky enough to say that the majority of nature’s tantrums don’t really apply to us. Earthquakes, tornadoes, even large-scale flooding are less actual threats than concepts we store under the ‘not us’ category. And when most Islanders hear phrases like ‘cybercriminal’ or ‘malware attack’ our minds are more likely to conjure the last James Bond film we watched than a real and present danger.

While we may live in a relatively protected part of the globe, this unfortunately doesn’t mean we get off scot-free in the realm of threats to business safety. We live in a fast-paced technological environment with a high reliance on the exchange and storage of data. Regardless of whether you’ve faced trouble before, preventative measures need to be in place here and now in order to manage unexpected emergency situations and to maintain business continuity. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is similar to an insurance policy – paying money up front to prevent loss later. And the losses can be staggering: revenue, client trust and assets, to name just a few.

Despite recent warning signs like changing weather patterns, increased security caused by hacker attacks and large network outages, the numbers indicate than less than 50% of businesses have implemented a Business Continuity Plan. More alarmingly, it is estimated that of the 50% that have gone ahead with a plan, less than 20% have actually tested it to ensure it is effective for full and prompt business recovery.

MRSB Group has a detailed plan in place to prevent or minimize business downtime that may result from something small like a short-term power outage, or something as extreme as a disabling natural disaster. Here are some steps you can take in staging your own BCP:

  1. Assign staff members to plan, implement and keep current your BCP: In our case, MRSB’s partners tasked our HR Manager and IT Manager with putting the wheels in motion.
  2. Meet with the experts: We consulted with other local businesses, suppliers and the Prince Edward Island Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) to gather useful information.
  3. Devise your strategy: A good BCP includes specifics like who will take responsibility for what during an emergency, whom staff can approach with questions or problems and the steps that each staff member can take to cope with various scenarios.
  4. Draft your plan: Make sure you include a quick reference contact sheet, a fuller list of contacts, emergency phone numbers, checklists for staff, inventories and a building floor plan that indicates exit routes, alarm pulls and fire extinguishers. At this phase you may also need to make some changes around the office like purchasing needed IT equipment, arranging on- and off-site backups and checking inventory to ensure that every part of your business adheres to the new plan.
  5. Communicate to your team: Your BCP should be saved in an easily accessible place, with at least one printed copy saved in a location outside the office. Every staff member should have access to the plan and be at least generally familiar with it. If you have assigned staff to specific roles in the case of emergency, make sure they are each fully aware of what this responsibility entails.
  6. Ensure your plan remains current and up-to-date: A Business Continuity Plan is an ever-evolving process. Staff and location changes mean that whoever was responsible for drafting the original plan should take it upon himself or herself to keep it updated as needed.


Also important to the success of your BCP is intermittent testing of the new equipment, company roles and regulations you’ve so carefully put into place. As long as everyone in the company is on the same page and knows their responsibilities, you should be fully equipped to deal with whatever life – or the Internet – decides to throw at you.

If you’d like to learn more about MRSB’s Business Continuity Plan, contact Cory MacEwen or Kathryn Mills at 902-368-2643.