Rule of Three - WCTA Completes the River Rock Conference Tri-Fecta

By WCTA Staff

From February 11-13, 2020 and for the third straight year, the WCTA Conference and Trade Show was held at the unique and exceptional River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, British Columbia.

Now that our 57th annual event is in the history books, we wanted to share some highlights over the three days.  For those who attended, thank you for participating and for your tremendously positive feedback, it looks like the rule of three is correct, you know, the one that suggests every set of three is complete!

Here’s a quick look at the stats:


Four Pre-Conference Seminars kicked off the program on Tuesday followed by one of the most popular functions, our annual President's Reception:

There’s work to do in Mario Lanthiers’ CEC pre-con seminar.


Soldat on fertility fundamentals.


Turf 101:  above, Stan Kazymerchyk from Kwantlen is just waiting to be tagged in by our other presenter, Jason Pick from Olds College (below). 



We always end up with images of people’s backs from the President’s reception…


That is, until this year! 

L-R: Stu Carmichael, Mike Howie, Nick Barbour, Dave Pasko, Jed McGeachie, Andre Dionne, Ann Baliva, Krista Hewlett


Mmmmm, prime rib.


Things really got rolling Wednesday with the official opening, two keynotes, AGM luncheon, afternoon education followed by trade show opening and new this year, the Great Canadian Pub Night.

President Travis Olson, “Let’s light this candle!”

Our title sponsor, Dale Kobelsky from Syngenta, brings greetings.

Keynote speaker, Carl Valentine of the Vancouver Whitecaps, kicks things off (or in this case, it was a throw-in)


Sweet souvenir Steve Farris!

It looks like Carl has some fans from the Island!

Dr. Michael Brownbridge, our 2nd keynote, presents ‘Grass is Not a Foe’


Annual General Meeting

Back by popular demand, the AGM buffet lunch, yummy!

Our two life member award recipients, Dave Davidson above and Dave Gottselig below (with Stu Carmichael on the left presenting).  No, there wasn’t a 2 for 1 discount on plaques for the two Daves????.


Finance Director Andre Dionne after his 2019 fiscal year-end presentation, “Nailed it!”


Wednesday afternoon education sessions

Dave Misfeldt, Bee City Canada


Brian Horgan, Michigan State University

John Sorochan, University of Tennessee 


Sorochan packing them in, standing room only!


Trade Show opening

Trade show sold out!

Okay ready, everybody smile!

Hey Mike and Darren, you sure you know what you’re doing?  Just be careful where you point that thing!


A few chuckles are just part of the trade show experience!

Our 21st Annual Silent Auction gets underway, $6,177 raised this year for turf research!


Pub night

Good fun at the inaugural ‘Great Canadian Pub Night’.  If you see Ladd Legeyt from Evergro (our sponsor), ask him about the funny story that ends with him getting stuck with the bill for the entire function.  The lesson here is never be the last one to leave the bar????.


Final day

Tom Hsiang, University of Guelph 

Larry Gilhuly, USGA (retired)

Paul Koch, University of Wisconsin also packing them in!

Robert Heggie, Toronto FC

Chris Carson, Echo Lake Country Club, Westfield, New Jersey

Dave Annis, Smithco

More trade show on day 2 - definitely the best lunch in a bag ever!


Some random shots...



Hey little line marker, are you lost?  Heck no, I’ve got GPS!





Thanks to the entire River Rock staff for the excellent hospitality during our stay!

Thanks to all our sponsors, exhibitors and silent auction donors!  Here's Nik Wall from Premier Pacific Seeds, our early bird registration prize donor.


The difference makers – it would be tough to run a show without the Kwantlen Turf Club student volunteers, thank you, thank you!

Last but certainly but not least, after 19 years of conference production, the dynamic duo of Janice and Syd Pickerell are retiring.  On behalf of the entire membership, we appreciate your dedication and wish you all the best in the future!


Big Finish - Unfortunately all good things must come to an end but with Wes Barker, Stunt Magician closing our show, what a way to go!    

Wes Barker’s performance was more like 10 out of 10.

Lisa Gallo helps out on stage.  Never, never, ever volunteer at a magic show even if it’s at a WCTA conference!


Ok so we’re cutting a lemon..


Wait a tick, it’s getting interesting.. 


No way, Chris Carson’s $20 was in there.  BTW, what are you doing with that knife in your purse Lisa?


Chris Carson, from Echo Lake Country Club in New Jersey came a long way to speak at our show and ended up getting taken for $20.  Thanks for being a good sport! 


Let’s hear it folks, Wes Barker, Stunt Magician! 


Last order of business, lot of prizes to give away.  Congrats to Daryl Jantzen of Northview Golf Club, winner of the $500 River Rock gift card grand prize.

See you all again next year!