BC Business Magazine - - Celebrating 45 Years -

1981: Back then, he is sim­ply Tony Mandl: a wine rep with a flair for mar­ket­ing. In 1981, Mandl and two part­ners take con­trol of Mis­sion Hill Win­ery and help put Okana­gan wine on the global map. He's added a cou­ple of syl­la­bles to his name–now An­thony von Mandl– and sev­eral mil­lions to his bank ac­count, thanks to one big for­mer in­vest­ment: Mike's Hard Le­mon­ade.

1983: Don Mat­trick is 17 when he co-founds Dis­tinc­tive Soft­ware Inc. and starts cre­at­ing games for the Ap­ple II com­puter. Elec­tronic Arts Inc. buys Dis­tinc­tive in 1991, and Mat­trick be­comes pres­i­dent of EA'S world­wide stu­dios, es­tab­lish­ing Van­cou­ver as a gam­ing gi­ant. The Burn­aby na­tive, who's since had stints at Mi­crosoft Corp. and game de­vel­oper Zynga, makes news in 2015 with the $51-mil­lion sale of his Point Grey manse.

1983: A gi­ant of B.C.'S forestry in­dus­try–cana­dian For­est Prod­ucts, pri­vately held by the Pren­tice and Bent­ley fam­i­lies–goes pub­lic and changes its name. Can­for re­mains the sec­ond-largest pro­ducer of di­men­sional lum­ber in Canada, while B.C.'S rich­est man, Jim Pat­ti­son, is its largest share­holder.

1988: One of the wealth­i­est men in Asia, Li Ka-shing, pays $320 mil­lion for the site of Van­cou­ver's 1986 World's Fair. The pur­chase of the Expo lands is widely con­sid­ered the deal (or steal) of the cen­tury, with Concord Pa­cific De­vel­op­ments Inc. gen­er­at­ing bil­lions from the en­su­ing con­struc­tion. Com­bined with the Bri­tish han­dover of Hong Kong in 1997, Concord Place (as it be­comes known) helps usher in a new era of Asian in­vest­ment in B.C. 1988: Think Pac-man, but for util­i­ties: In­land Nat­u­ral Gas buys the Lower Main­land gas divi­sion of BC Hy­dro and changes its name to BC Gas. Af­ter be­com­ing the prov­ince's dom­i­nant dis­trib­u­tor of nat­u­ral gas and gob­bling up ri­vals, BC Gas re­brands it­self as Terasen Gas; Texas ti­tan Kin­der Mor­gan pur­chases Terasen in 2005, then sells it to For­tis Inc. two years later. It's For­tisbc En­ergy Inc.– for now. 1989: Forbes mag­a­zine la­bels the Van­cou­ver Stock Ex­change the “scam cap­i­tal of the world.” While lo­cal lights de­fend the VSE as an im­por­tant source of seed money, the in­ter­na­tional spot­light on its less savoury as­pects–money laun­der­ing, shady pro­mot­ers–proves fa­tal. Ten years later, the VSE dis­ap­pears, rolled into the Toronto Stock Ex­change.

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