Bright Side of Business: Burovision makes learning inspirational for deserving students

The Burovision team is behind the Get Inspired! program, designed to refresh the interiors of schools and community centres. 
Editor's Note

The Bright Side of Business is presented by Star Motors.

Each year for the past 15 years, the team behind Burovision has come together to give back to the community through its Get Inspired! program, designed to refresh the interiors of schools and community centres.  

“We will typically choose a school that is obviously underfunded, needs a bit of a facelift, or has a higher population of children that need special attention,” says Gillian Oxley-Harper, president and partner with Burovision, a single-source commercial interiors partner for contract furniture, construction, project management and installation services.

Last year, Burovision partnered with the Crystal Bay Centre for Special Education. Founded in 1972, the centre serves 96 students between the ages of four and 21 who are living with moderate to profound developmental disabilities.

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The team’s decision to support Crystal Bay was “unanimous,” said Gillian Oxley-Harper. Photo provided

In July 2022, Oxley-Harper’s team met with Crystal Bay’s principal and vice-principal to tour the facility. Typically, Burovision meets with a number of organizations, says Oxley-Harper, but in the case of Crystal Bay, “it was unanimous that this was going to be our 2022 project.”

During the tour, the Burovision team learned about Crystal Bay’s culture, teaching practices and the challenges that the school faces. “(We saw) the dedication and the passion of that staff,” Oxley-Harper says. “They were so involved with these kids and giving them a better life.”

By July 15, the Burovision team members had rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work. On the docket for a make-over was a multipurpose room used for teaching life skills, the music room, the library and the teachers’ lounge.

For the music room, Oxley-Harper says the team opted for bright, fresh and neutral colours to create a welcoming environment. “We had to be very cognizant that there’s a colour palette that kids on the autism spectrum respond better to,” she says.

It was the library, however, that made the biggest splash. Located in a portable space in the school’s yard, the library was always a challenge to access in the winter, especially for students using wheelchairs. “We really made it clean and fresh and bright, with all types of different seating,” Oxley-Harper says. “We made it a place where (everybody) would want to go.”

Oxley-Harper said the team prioritized fresh, bright design for “somewhere everyone would like to go.” Photo provided

Kati Mackie, vice-principal at Crystal Bay, says the library is being used daily, that students are making “beautiful music” in the music room and that they’ve enjoyed the new “living skills” room, where the space mimics a “mini-apartment.”

“This is really beneficial for our students as it gives them an opportunity to prepare for the transition to after-school life,” she says. 

Mackie adds that “working with Burovision was extremely positive and the new spaces have been well-received by staff and students alike.” 

When it comes to its Get Inspired! programs, the Burovision team pulls out all the stops, approaching every school like a regular client. This means appointing a team leader for the project, as well as designers, salespeople and administrators.While it might sound like a hefty investment of time and money, for Oxley-Harper and her team, it’s all about the impact. “As a company, it’s part of our culture to be helpful and to be committed to the communities in which we work and we live,” Oxley-Harper says. “We look forward to it every year.”

“We encourage members of the public, if they’re aware of a not-for-profit or a school that needs our type of assistance, to submit the name so that we can meet with them,” Oxley-Harper says.

The Bright Side of Business is an editorial feature focused on sharing positive stories of business success. This column is presented by Star Motors, Ottawa’s original Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes Van dealer. Since 1957, Star Motors has provided its customers with the Mercedes-Benz “The Best or Nothing” standard in vehicle selection, service, genuine parts and certified collision repair. For your convenience, you may shop, research, chat and compare vehicles online at, visit the 400 West Hunt Club location or call (613) 737-7827 for the very best in personal service.

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