Feature presentation: Klipfolio celebrates new office in former World Exchange theatre

Bigger downtown space will allow successful Ottawa-based software company to continue growing

It seems like only yesterday I was watching the screening of Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell at the World Exchange Plaza movie theatre while dipping into a bag of licorice.

Gone now are the venue's cinematic glory days; the theatre closed in 2013 and sat empty for years until Ottawa-based software company Klipfolio came along.

The space is now home to the rapidly expanding leader in cloud-based business intelligence dashboards. Klipfolio held an open house party Thursday to show off its bright, airy and spacious new digs. Nobody worked the room better than Snickers, a beautiful Bernese mountain dog who was at the pooch-friendly office that day. 

Guests included members of the tech community, neighbouring businesses, and professionals who helped Klipfolio re-locate to 111 Albert St., as well as transform the space into a workplace that is fun and productive. The company had outgrown its former address on Gloucester Street. 

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From left, Klipfolio CEO and co-founder Allan Wille with co-founder and chief experience officer Peter Matthews at a party to celebrate the company's new office space, formerly home to Landmark Cinemas, in the World Exchange Plaza. Photo by Caroline Phillips 
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From left, architect Reggie MacIntosh with Linebox Studio principal partner and senior architect Andrew Reeves, designer and project manager Melanie Neault and partner and senior technologist Marc-André Richer at the open house party hosted by Klipfolio at its new office space in the World Exchange Plaza. Photo by Caroline Phillips
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From left, Lynn Owen, principal of project management at corporate real estate advisory firm Cresa, with project manager Kristine Duyan and managing principal/broker Martin Aass at the open house party for Klipfolio's new downtown office space in the World Exchange Plaza. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The new open-office design means there are no cramped cubicles or managerial offices to hole up in. There are still quiet areas available, as well as private phone and meeting rooms.

Other observations: Many of the walls double as dry erase boards, the space is full of plants and potted trees, there’s a private video gaming room and the former snack concession is now a kitchen and eating area.

As well, one of the large walls is covered with original artwork by Toronto-based graffiti artist and muralist Peru Dyer Jalea.

The new office space, and its lack of physical barriers that isolate team members, is seen as a better fit with the way the folks at Klipfolio work together to drive innovation and decision-making.

“We are such a collaborative interdisciplinary company,” CEO Allan Wille told OBJ.social. “We really wanted this to be a space where we could grow and add more people.”

Klipfolio, which is on a hiring binge, currently employs 90 people in Ottawa and another five in Pune, India. 

The party included a scavenger hunt that rewarded successful participants with their own Klipfolio T-shirt.

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From left, Stephan May, managing director of WelchGroup Consulting, with its director of business development, Bruce Raganold, and senior associate Sami Kabir, Welch LLP, attended the open house party for Klipfolio's new office space at the World Exchange Plaza, held Thursday, April 26, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Klipfolio
From left, entrepreneurs Nick May, founder of REMAY, Angella Goran, president of SokJok, and David Kerr, CEO and president of ZINation, attended the open house party for Klipfolio, held Thursday, April 26, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips

As for the former theatre, there are a few old movie reels that the company has held on to. As well, you can see from permanent markings left on the floor where the popcorn machines — that filled the air with that salty-buttery smell — had once been.

Guests included Mayor Jim Watson, who got a personal tour from Wille. Other attendees included sisters Angela and Monica Singhal from family-owned Richcraft Homes. They were interested in seeing the finished work because they have hired the same Ottawa-based architectural firm, Linebox Studio, to redesign its headquarters in the St. Laurent Business Park.

Klipfolio
From left, Jon Milne, director of marketing for Klipfolio, with Mayor Jim Watson and Klipfolio CEO Allan Wille, at the company's open house party at the World Exchange Plaza on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips
Klipfolio
From left, Monica Singhal and her sister Angela from Richcraft Group of Companies at the open house party for Klipfolio, held Thursday, April 26, 2018. Photo by Caroline Phillips

— caroline@obj.ca