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Courtenay funeral provider helps bilked Powell River family

Eric Toneff, of Toneff Funeral Services, provided a free headstone to a grieving family left in a lurch by another funeral provider.

Eric Toneff, of Toneff Funeral Services, provided a free headstone to a grieving family left in a lurch by another funeral provider.

A grieving Powell River family has received some solace after Toneff Funeral Services in Courtenay offered to provide a free grave marker after the family was left in a lurch by a now-defunct funeral provider.

Last fall, Robert Dufour paid Westcoast Funeral Services of Powell River more than $650 for a grave marker that never materialized. After dealing for months with what he calls “lies and excuses,” he says an email from Toneff Funeral Services owner Eric Toneff was a breath of fresh air.

“He reached out and basically said he didn’t like how I was treated or that someone in his industry had completely failed me,” recalls Dufour. “He said he wanted to look after our needs and agreed to supply a marker for no cost.”

“This is the kind of regrettable situation that gives our industry a bad name,” says Toneff. “So when I found out the family had paid for but never received their headstone, I made arrangements to have one supplied.”

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‘Winning’ at online marketing just got easier for Comox Valley businesses

Darcy Lefebvre has just joined RP Copywriting, bringing his online marketing expertise to the local writing company.

Darcy Lefebvre has just joined RP Copywriting, bringing his online marketing expertise to the local writing company.

Since it became part of every businessperson’s vocabulary a few years ago, the term “online marketing” has been fraught with confusion, vagueness and – perhaps most notably – inefficiencies in the marketplace.

“Online marketing, whether you’re talking about advertising, blogging, email or social media, revolves around great content,” says Ryan Parton, a local writer and president of RP Copywriting. “The problem has been that we’ve traditionally had online marketing companies that don’t have those writing skills in-house, and we’ve had writers who don’t have expertise in online marketing.”

This summer, Parton finally bridged that service gap by welcoming longtime marketing consultant Darcy Lefebvre to his team, marrying professional copywriting with online marketing prowess. Lefebvre, who became well known in the Valley as head of Marketing Darcy & Associates, now leads RP Copywriting’s new online marketing division.

“The combination of high-quality content and a clear online strategy can be very powerful,” says Lefebvre, now part of a five-person team at RP Copywriting. “Since we’ve come together, we’ve created a suite of online marketing packages that have been increasing our clients’ online traffic, generating more qualified leads and ultimately helping them land more customers. And the best part is that it all requires very little effort from our clients!”

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Comox Valley hypnotist opens doors in Tin Town

Clinical hypnotherapist Jeannie Spencer, founder of Invision Your Life, has opened a new office in Tin Town, offering one-on-one sessions, HypnoBirthing classes for expectant mothers and even fun-forward children and youth sessions.

Clinical hypnotherapist Jeannie Spencer, founder of Invision Your Life, has opened a new office in Tin Town, offering one-on-one sessions, HypnoBirthing classes for expectant mothers and even fun-forward children and youth sessions.

Master hypnotist Jeannie Spencer, founder of Invision Your Life, has opened a new office in Tin Town, improving access to a unique range of clinical hypnotherapy sessions that have been described as “transformative,” “life-changing” and even “a gift to humanity.”

“I’ve never met a more positive, compassionate and kind-hearted person than Jeannie,” raves one former client. “She helped me trust, believe and love myself. Jeannie’s work not only helped me work through depression, it inspired me to work toward the same incredible career of healing and helping.”

Spencer, a clinical hypnotherapist since 2002, has helped hundreds of people harness the transformative power of the mind. Renowned for her warmth, she’s been called a specialist in creating happiness and is undeniably a catalyst for positive change.

“When most people set goals, they do so at a conscious level, which limits you to less than 5 per cent of your potential,” explains Spencer. “Hypnosis allows you to change the subconscious beliefs that are holding you back. Whether you want to overcome anxiety, addiction, destructive relationships or even improve your athletic performance, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish with hypnotherapy.”

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Cyclocross and Enduro bookend a busy September for cyclists in Cumberland

UROC is hosting three exciting events this month: The CX Criterium and fundraiser party Sept. 12 and the Dodge City Enduro Sept. 20.

UROC is hosting three exciting events this month: The CX Criterium and fundraiser party Sept. 12 and the Dodge City Enduro Sept. 20.

Imagine you’re enjoying a burger and beer at your favourite pub, when suddenly a swarm of lycra-clad cyclists race through the centre of the room, each vying for local bragging rights and the opportunity to become a legend in his or her own mind. That will be the scene next Saturday, September 12 at the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland.

The United Riders of Cumberland are “kicking it old school” in September, with four events beginning Sept. 12 with the fun-forward Cyclocross (CX) Criterium.

“The Cross Crit is a fun warm-up to the Coal Cross CX race the next day,” explains UROC director Erik Holbek. “Racers will cruise the streets of Cumberland, finishing each lap by racing right through the middle of the Waverley Hotel. It’s going to be awesome!”

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How to write sales copy that appeals to goldfish


Ryan Parton, RP Copywriting

According to a recent study, our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds to just eight over the last 15 years. Goldfish, by comparison, are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds.

That’s right – your digital lifestyle has left you less focused than a goldfish.

So what’s a copywriter to do? Given that most people take the time to read only the first 30 to 40 words on a page, you need to work smarter to grab your reader’s attention and sustain it. (He says, grudgingly acknowledging that most of you have already stopped reading this.)

Let’s not panic – writing killer copy that gets noticed is totally doable. You just need to remember the Three E’s of Copywriting and four other little letters: AIDA.

 

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How to write engaging sales copy – 4 tips

customers ahead signRyan Parton, RP Copywriting

A copywriting legend of yore – was it Ogilvy or was it Caples? – once said he could write a thousand word ad and virtually guarantee you’d read every word. How? By writing on the topic “All About (insert your name here).”

If the topic of your own promotional writing is something that everyone finds just as irresistible, then you need no help engaging readers. But if you’re like the rest of us, here are four tips to start you in the right direction:

Show some levity – no one likes reading content that’s dry, monotonous or written with all the joviality of a corrections officer whose daughter you just brought home three hours late from prom. Tossing in some light humour can convey personality and humanize your writing. And as it turns out, humans like doing business with other humans.

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The Valley’s ‘biggest little sign company’ turning big heads

Brandon Galandy Hi-Lite Sign Service Comox Valley

Brandon Galandy owns Hi-Lite Sign Service, “the biggest little sign company in the Comox Valley.”

You might not know him, and may not have heard of him. But unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen his work all around town.

Brandon Galandy is the 30-year-old entrepreneur behind Hi-Lite Sign Service, which touts itself as “the biggest little sign company in the Comox Valley.” Though the young entrepreneur has only been in business five years, he’s earned a reputation as the go-to guy for installing Vancouver Island signage for some of Canada’s best-known companies.

Locally, Hi-Lite has been called upon to install the golden arches of the McDonald’s restaurant at the top of Ryan Road, as well as prominent new storefront signs for Mark’s, Scion and Courtenay’s newest Tim Hortons. Elsewhere on the Island, he’s installed high-profile signage for Hudson’s Bay in Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre and the Ford Dealerships in Port Alberni and Port Hardy.

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Union Street Grill is giving away 2015 MusicFest passes for a song!

Fannie Blanchet and Katie Cummings, of Union Street Grill & Grotto, belt out their favourite tune. If you do the same, you could win MusicFest weekend passes.

Fannie Blanchet and Katie Cummings, of Union Street Grill & Grotto, belt out their favourite tune. If you do the same, you could win MusicFest weekend passes.

Still haven’t got your MusicFest tickets? A downtown Courtenay restaurant is giving away a pair of weekend passes to the Comox Valley’s iconic summer festival – but you’re going to have to sing for it.

Union Street Grill & Grotto is asking music lovers to record a short video of themselves singing a few lines of their favourite song and then post it to the restaurant’s Facebook page. The singer whose video gets the most likes as of July 7 at 9 a.m. will win two weekend passes to MusicFest July 10 to 12.

“You certainly don’t have to be a great singer to win these passes,” says Fannie Blanchet, one of the managers at Union Street Grill & Grotto. “You just have to really want to win them! Musical talent is obviously one way to earn likes, but I don’t have to tell you that there are other ways to attract attention on the Internet!”

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BodyNetix trainers put their money where their heart is

 Women on top: Megan Cofield (middle L); Megan Penney (middle R) and Raida Bolton (bottom R) make up the new ownership team of BodyNetix Professional Fitness Training.


Women on top: Megan Cofield (middle L); Megan Penney (middle R) and Raida Bolton (bottom R) make up the new ownership team of BodyNetix Professional Fitness Training.

For more than 10 years, BodyNetix Professional Fitness Training has attracted a loyal clientele with both effective training and passionate trainers. Now, three of those trainers have put their money where their heart is, purchasing the company and formalizing their investment in the health of their clients.

Trainers Megan Cofield and Raida Bolton have joined managing partner Megan Penney in purchasing BodyNetix from founder Chris Ketch earlier this month.

“I can’t imagine three better women to take over the reins of BodyNetix, says Ketch, who decided to pursue new passions with his new wife Kendra during a recent round-the-world vacation – his first break from BodyNetix in more than a decade. “Each of them brings something unique and special to the table. With their combination of skills, passion and experience, you’re going to see a BodyNetix that’s successful on all fronts.”

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Celebrating weight loss success with a name change . . . and a party!

Tracey, a client of Success Weight Loss, before and after her program. 

Just how much is 15,200 pounds? Think 15 horses or nine old-school VW Beetles. It’s also the number of pounds that a Comox Valley weight loss studio has helped its clients drop since opening its doors just four years ago.

To commemorate that accomplishment, Samudra Weight Loss Health and Wellness has changed its name to “Success Weight Loss.” Past, present and future clients are invited to celebrate alongside owner Kristin Bjarnason and her team at a “Celebration of Name Change” open house on Saturday, June 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at their Sixth Street location between Tulio’s and Atlas Café.

“We wanted a name that mirrored the growth and transformation of both our clients and our business,” says Bjarnason, a registered nurse and weight loss coach. “So we held a name-change contest with our clients, and Success Weight Loss was the winner.”

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