Our Story


Part 1

The first part of our story is about two founders honing and developing their strengths independently.

One founder, Ric Bolivar, came to Yellowknife from Edmonton as a young electrician seeking fortune and adventure.

He found what he was looking for, and in 1979 he started a small electrical contracting company called Ryfan Electric Ltd.

That "little company that could" worked all over the Northwest Territories - including Nunavut which was still part of the Northwest Territories until division in April 1, 1999 - building itself a stellar reputation for integrity and effectiveness.

Our other founder, Keith Houghton, walked a different path.

Although also an electrician, he developed and honed his expertise on the consulting side of the construction business, working for an architect/engineering firm.

Eventually, he purchased a local electrical contracting firm called JT Electric.

While one founder prioritized cost containment and select marketing; the other concentrated more on team building and process refinement.

Both were known for their trustworthiness and community spirit.

Part 2

In the early 2000's, the second part of our tale takes shape.

Faced with competition from much larger out-of-town competitors, the two companies began working collaboratively.

This complementary arrangement was formalized in 2003 when the two entities became one under the Ryfan banner.

This "new" Ryfan was built upon the strengths of its parts: where the Ryfan side brought focus and discipline, the JT side contributed teamwork and processes.

Sadly, in May, 2004, Keith Houghton passed away unexpectedly and, eventually, Ryfan began to drift a little.

Although it continued to grow, prosper and stay true to it's mantra of integrity; it lacked it's previous clarity and balanced leadership that the combination of the two founders provided.

Part 3

In 2014, Ric Bolivar retired from Ryfan, kicking off the third part of our story.

The successor management team turned its attention to rediscovering the balance that generated Ryfan's original success.

We did so by distilling out the lessons learned from the founders, and these became our Core Values.

In addition, we worked with the Ryfan team to identify our Passion and to articulate our Mission and Vision.

The Passion, Mission, Vision, and Values (PMVV) are Ryfan's "north star", and following that north star keeps us balanced and on-track.