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Krystal Walter decided to start her own matchmaking business after discovering a void in the marketplace - and in the hearts of Albertans."I wanted to do better than what is out there," Walter said."From my own experiences, there is a huge need for it."Walter, 31, spent years using online dating sites and paid an expensive and unsuccessful visit to a local matchmaker, resulting in a date with a doctor who she said she later discovered had a suspended medical licence.Once we’ve selected your match, we’ll call and share with you details about who we’ve chosen.We will always respect your confidentiality and only share your first name and never reveal your address, last name, phone number, email address or where you work.
The more I grew, the harder it was to balance that."Looking for love still leads many online, with a 2011 Leger Marketing survey reporting one-quarter of Canadians have taken part in Internet dating."It's becoming a more and more viable and accepted way of meeting," said Amanda Van Oort, a 25-year-old living in Edmonton who knows five couples who met online, including two couples who are now married.
Mac Innis charged clients ,500 to ,000 and regularly had more than 1,000 clients signed up in Calgary and Edmonton.
She sold her company last May, in part because she said she couldn't keep up with demand."The business grew too fast.
Every client meets face-to-face with Walter for a two-hour interview and completes a background check."If anything, matchmakers will tell you the demand for their services has increased because of the popularity of online dating," said Maria Avgitidis, co-founder of the Matchmakers Alliance, a non-profit American organization for professionals in the dating industry to connect. There is no similar Canadian organization."Lots of clients want their safety and privacy respected and would rather have someone else do the vetting for them," Avgitidis said.
The alliance has 60 members, including eight Canadian matchmakers based in B. Elizabeth Mac Innis operated an independent matchmaking business in Edmonton for six years and said clients, especially women, sought a "safe alternative" to online dating.