New series puts the spotlight on Calgary-based ‘Alberta Bike Swap’ creators

'The Dreamers’ series follows the entrepreneurial journeys of eight promising Canadian ventures

By Krista Sylvester | December 2, 2021 |12:01 am

Chris and Laura Grant started Alberta Bike Swap to make buying and selling bikes safer. Now, they’re being featured in an episode of a new CBC Gem series.

Photo: The Dream Team by IG Wealth Management

It all started with daring to act on an idea. 

That’s how Alberta Bike Swap came to fruition, launched by Calgarians Chris and Laura Grant, who are avid cyclists. 

They faced a series of sketchy and unfortunate incidents while cycling or attempting to buy and sell bikes, including having the contents of their garage stolen after showing a bike for sale. That’s when the couple came up with the idea for their initiative. 

“We realized there had to be a better way to buy and sell good used bikes… And then donate some of the money for safe cycling, as well,” Chris says, adding that was an important part of the equation for them.  

“We’ve always donated more than half the profit back to the community, the other half stays in the bank to fund more bike swap events,” Laura adds. 

Before they started Alberta Bike Swap, Chris was an engineer and Laura worked in software. They funded the swaps out of their life savings.  

“We also spend 10 to 20 hours a week, year-round on the bike swaps, and spend at least $15 to 42 thousand a year to operate the swaps. The bike swaps are a labour of love, we do them because we both know that bicycles are empowering.” 

Now, the couple are on a new content series focusing on entrepreneurs 

IG Wealth Management debuted a new content series called The Dream Team. Stemming from the Empower Your Tomorrow community program, the eight-episode series is available to stream on CBC Gem, including the episode featuring the Grants. 

“That was such a fantastic event,” Laura says of being included in the series. 

IG Wealth Management gave Alberta Bike Swap $5,000, which the Wards say they are going to use towards expanding the swap and its reach. 

Their advice for fellow entrepreneurs? 

“If you have an idea that is unique to an individual, and it helps others — run with it,” Laura says. 

The Dream Team roster of experts includes Manjit Minhas, a Calgarian entrepreneur and “dragon” from CBC’s popular Dragons’ Den. The Minhas family started its Minhas Craft Brewery in Calgary. 

More about The Dreamers 

The series follows the entrepreneurial journeys of eight promising Canadian ventures who are offered strategic mentorship and advice from the “Dream Team”, a group of highly acclaimed business and financial professionals.

“We are truly committed to inspiring financial confidence and Canadians. It’s what we do with our business, but it’s also how we’re committed to supporting our communities,” explains Kira Conrad, manager of sponsorship and community engagement at IG Wealth Management. 

“We hope to demonstrate through this series that to achieve your dreams, we hope that Canadians will reach out to a network of experts to help them with,” she says.

“In our instance, financial planning and advice and support, to help them realize those dreams.” 

Conrad says IG’s Empower Your Tomorrow program gives Canadians the resources and confidence they need to own their financial future.

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Krista Sylvester

Reporter at Calgary Citizen

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