Queen’s Academy of the Arts is a local small business that offers musical theatre programs for children between the ages of 4 to 12 online and in person in Burnaby and Coquitlam. There are after school classes, summer camps and music lessons (voice, guitar and piano) all available on a sliding scale.
Q: I began offering free musical theatre classes in 2013 and registered as a business; Queen’s Academy of The Arts in 2020.
M: Did you always want to own your own business?
Q: I started teaching classes to kids as a passion project and I discovered that teaching and running a business could be a future career. It combines what I love; teaching and working with kids, and the performing arts.
Queen’s Academy was born
M: What was your inspiration for your business?
Q: Since I was little, I’ve loved to perform. My mom put me in classes, but I knew they were too expensive for us, so I withdrew. Only, that didn’t stop me, instead it gave me the inspiration and drive to run my own business.
M: When did you start teaching children?
Q: At age 12, I began offering free musical theatre classes to feed my passion for the arts. And eight years later launched my business. I believe all kids deserve the opportunity to enrich their lives through the arts. But I know some families face difficulties or financial barriers. This is why I have made my program more affordable than competitors and I have also created an inclusive sponsorship program to make classes more accessible.
Accessible Musical Theatre Programs
M: Did you grow up in Vancouver?
Q: I have lived in the Lower Mainland and Burnaby since I was a kid! It is my passion to bring families together through Queen’s Academy and make performing arts accessible to create connection and community.
M: Would you advise others to pursue a degree before opening their own business?
Q: I began running my business teaching my children’s programs while pursuing a Musical Theatre Diploma and Bachelors of Arts Degree at Capilano University. Pursuing an education in the field that my company specializes in has helped me obtain the skills to feel confident in the field. I would advise you to do what will lead you to the most success.
M: What would your advice to future owners with dreams of owning their own business be?
Q: As long as you are passionate and determined anything is possible!
If youwould like to know more about Queen’s Academy of the Arts and their musical theatre programs, voice and music lessons, please visit their website and follow their Instagram.
Now more than ever, it is important to stay connected with our neighbours, local small business owners and strengthen our community. The pandemic has caused many businesses to suffer and some to close.
Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC.’s mission is to empower small businesses to shine by offering digitally marketing, social media management, search engine optimization and public relations services.
We have increased local small businesses’ search engine optimization and raised them within the top 5 of Google searches, written over 30 business and restaurant features to highlight their talent, specialty and expertise.
Some of the Businesses We Featured
Blvd Bistro & Swich Café (Double Feature — same owner)
Fawn Gill Fitness
Daisy’s Sandwiches & Such
Fit Life Coaching
Green Coast Rubbish
Henna by Arneet
Little Pink Door Boutique
Queen of the Closet
Raisu Authentic Japanese Cuisine
Tequila Cocina Restaurant
Connecting with Business Owners
The best part of our work is the connections we make with the people behind the businesses and restaurants we feature all across Metro Vancouver. We carefully select businesses that we truly enjoy whether it is because of the food, product and people or all the above.
We feel privileged to know the inspiring, creative and entrepreneurial individuals that took a chance to follow their dreams, worked hard and succeeded in starting their own businesses.
There is a spark, a light within these men and women. We are uplifted when we interview them and dig into their stories:
Did they always want to own their own business?
What was their inspiration?
What is their advice to others who want to start their own business?
If you would like to read our upcoming local small business features make sure to subscribe to Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC. and also follow our Lifestyle Ezine on our Instagram and Twitter. To inquire about our services, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cahill CPA is a family owned and operated business with over 35 years public practice experience. They offer personal and corporate accounting services, bookkeeping and estate planning.
I first met Crystal Cahill in my Digital Content Marketing Strategy course at Capilano University in 2018. She is in charge of the Social Media for the well respected, North Vancouver accounting firm and married to Jordan Cahill, the eldest brother and partner at Cahill.
I recently had the pleasure to interview both Crystal and Jordan.
M: When was Cahill CPA opened?
C & J: January 1st, 2013.
M: Where is the Cahill family from? How many members are there in the/your family?
C & J: Originally, Wayne Cahill’s family is from Ireland. Our family consists of four brothers! Jordan, Taylor, Braden and Quinn.
M: What was the inspiration for their/your business? How did they/you ALL become accountants … lol.
C & J: Wayne Cahill became a CGA (Certified General Accountant) in 1992, and worked in public practice for many years. Our oldest brother, Jordan Cahill, got his CPA (Chartered Public Accountant) designation in 2012. Wayne, Jordan and Taylor created Cahill CPA in 2013.
Our youngest brother Quinn recently completed university, and also works here at our family firm. They all have an interest in finance and business, and realized their skills in accounting, pursuing their post secondary education.
M: Did Mr. Cahill Sr. always want to open his own firm?
C & J: Wayne feels very proud to have started a family run accounting firm that now has six partners and 15 staff members. We strive to uphold the family values that we feel are important- with our staff and our clients.
M: Where did the Cahills study accounting? Did they all attend the same university?
C & J: Wayne, Jordan and Quinn all attended Simon Fraser University. Wayne completed his CGA designation through the CGA association, and Jordan completed his CA (Chartered Accountant) designation through the CA Western School of Business.
M: What would the Cahills’ advice to future accountants with dreams of owning their own firm be?
C: Working in public practice, especially with a bigger firm, really gives you the experience of what it takes. Gaining the knowledge and experience in a variety of areas is important.
General business, financial expertise and understanding of tax is a huge asset to one day owning your own firm or practice.
Gaining experience in a wide variety of sectors is beneficial. Essentially, knowledge- combined with experience, practical application, and management skills- will all go a long way in being successful in your own practice.
M: Do the Cahills have a philosophy in life or favourite quote(s) that they would like to share with everyone?
I think in business, it’s important to strive for balance. We love what we do, and we love serving our clients here on the North Shore.
We also love being part of this North Shore community and experiencing all that it has to offer. Our partners and staff love spending time with family, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, exploring our local beaches, etc etc!
Having balance in our business and personal lives is so important in an industry that can be so busy and so high pressure.
So- our advice for those starting out in any business, is look for ways to seek balance in your life.
North Shore News Readers Choice- Favourite Accountant- for three years in a row.
We are proud to have grown to the team we are today. From 3 family members in the beginning- to now a firm of 21.
We now have a partnership of 6. Janice Tai became a partner in 2015, and we also recently added two new partners to our firm- Matthew (who has worked with us since the beginning, in 2013) and Tony (who has been with us since 2018).
If you would like to learn more about the Cahill CPA family practice or need to contact them for your tax returns, estate planning, or bookkeeping, please visit their website and follow them on their Instagram.
MY MISSION: To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote entrepreneurs, both male & female and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.
To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of a business, art, or a NEW YOU …
I “met” Cindy Stibbard via Instagram. We started following each other and became a part of each other’s online communities. I have met a few other Local Business Owners this way last year. And especially now during the pandemic, building community and networking has shifted to mostly online interactions.
M:What’s your story? Where were you born, where were you raised? What was your childhood, growing up years like?
I was born in Toronto, Ontario but I grew up in Tsawwssen, British Columbia with my parents, two brothers, one sister and a house full of cats and a dog!
I held numerous part-time jobs as a teenager delivering newspapers for the Delta Optimist, working the drive-thru at McDonald’s, a clerk at Phamasave Drugs, a server at a local Chinese Restaurant and a dancer on the BC Lions Pride Dance Team until the Grey Cup in 1994.
In 1993 I graduated with Honours from South Delta Senior Secondary School. I then attended Simon Fraser University while I worked part-time at Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver during the day, and served at Earls Tin Palace in West Van at night.
M: What did you want to do when you grew up?
C: Growing up I always wanted to be a TV news anchor. I thought that it would be a fun job and I used to set up mock newsrooms with my siblings. We would pretend we were reporting on the day’s events.
M: What did you studyinuniversity?
C: I really wanted to go to Carlton University or Ryerson because they were known for their broadcasting programs; however, my family’s finances didn’t allow it.
I started out pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Communications at SFU. When I realized that it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in, I changed my majors to Psychology and Education and followed the path to become a teacher.
After completing a B.A. in Psychology, I went into the PDP (Profession Development Program) for teachers and completed my B.Ed with specializations in Learning Disabilities and Primary French Language.
M: When did you move to Vancouver? Why did you move to Vancouver?
C:My family was transferred here about 36 years ago, when I was 8 years old, from Toronto. My dad was in the construction industry and development was thriving in BC, so we settled in Tsawwassen about 40 minutes outside of Vancouver.
M: When did you start your business? What was your inspiration?
C: Actually, getting divorced was my inspiration for starting both of my businesses. StudySpot Vancouver came first in 2019 – an Executive Function & Academic Coaching business – spawned out of my decades of experience in the field of Education.
I knew I was going to have to go back to work, after being at home for 11 years raising my kids. I wanted to develop something that would allow me the flexibility to continue to raise my kids, become self sufficient, and at the same time support students in an environment that didn’t confine me to the four walls of a classroom.
While I was going through my divorce, I was faced with many people around me going through a similar experience and I wanted to be able to help them. That’s when I discovered the CDC Intensive Divorce Coaching Training program and dove right in.
It opened up many new doors of opportunity and empowerment for me as I walked the path of entrepreneurship as a newly single mother. Nothing has been more life altering and powerful to me than pursuing my career aspirations during what has been the most difficult transition of my life.
M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?
C: I absolutely LOVE connecting with women who empower other women. There is nothing like the support of women when we truly embrace each other, our strengths, and our bonds.
Through this journey the last 2 1/2 years, I have grown substantially as a person and have made connections all over the world with people who have changed my perspective of myself and who have given me the courage to believe that I can do anything in this life of mine.
M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making? If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?
C:START UGLY. I was always the type of person who needed to have all my ducks in a row before beginning anything. Everything had to be in place, I needed to have loose ends, tied and processes followed and systems set up. But what I have discovered in my entrepreneurial journey is that none of that really matters at the beginning.
If you have a dream, or a passion that you are afraid to start, know this – it doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you START! And it’s HARD work, really hard work. It’s many hours of unpaid determination day in and day out, but if you’re in it for the right reasons, if you truly love what you are doing with your soul… If you are confident with your WHY and your vision is rooted in passion and the genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of others, then success will follow. Start ugly, as long as you start!
M: Any last words? What’s your favourite positive/motivational quote or book?
C: My favorite quote of all time comes from an unknown source but it is one that has resonated deeply with me for quite some time… I have it framed over my bed and I read it every day:
“It’s impossible,” said pride.
“It’s risky,” said experience.
“It’s pointless,” said reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the heart.
Cindy Stibbard, BA, BEd, CDC, CHCC, ABA of StudySpot Vancouver is a Certified Divorce, Career, & Transition Coach. If you would like to learn more, you can follow her on Instagram.