It’s a Wrap – The 2014 Conference and Trade Show

14.01.31-Mar.Apr.2014.FC.finalFor those who attended the 2014 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show held February 17 through 21st at the Vancouver Convention Center, an event produced jointly by the Canadian Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Western Canada Turfgrass Association and in cooperation with the BC Golf Superintendents Association, thank you for being there and supporting the show. 

For those who couldn’t make it, we missed seeing you but it’s of course understandable that not every golf course superintendent, assistant, equipment technician, sportsfield manager or horticulturalist will be able to attend every year as factors like timing, work requirements, family responsibilities, cost, travel distance and even road conditions can become obstacles to participation. 

Having said that, what a show it was! Hindsight is 20/20 but if you were going to miss a conference, this shouldn’t have been it.  An unparalleled success from beginning to end with world class educational delivery, a vibrant trade show, terrific keynote speaker and an emotional feel that certainly had a little help from the Winter Olympic Games, there was a positivity throughout the week that remains difficult to describe.

Some of the conference activities were familiar to attendees like the fun golf tournament hosted by Dave Fair at Northview Golf Course and organized by the Kwantlen University Turf Club, the annual President’s Reception welcome, the Wednesday night party and a variety of other hospitality functions however the organizing committee implemented several major program changes for this year, all of which were received remarkably well by both delegates and exhibitors.

The first adjustment was moving the day-set from covering a weekend to a Monday through Friday schedule.  Pre and post conference workshops bookended the show with the main program taking place Tuesday through Thursday.  The cocktail soiree in the exhibit hall on Tuesday evening was a huge hit and you couldn’t find a nicer and more Canadian guy than Trevor Linden to give a keynote speech on Wednesday morning before the full day dedicated trade show got going.  Industry education sessions on both Tuesday and Thursday worked out super well and although the conference had a very tight schedule and full program of events, there was still some time to take in one or two pretty terrific Team Canada hockey games. 

Frank Rossi, one of the best turfgrass speakers on the planet, closed the education portion of the show late Thursday afternoon which was immediately followed by the BCGSA hosted ‘Pub Night’ held at a fine downtown Vancouver Irish establishment called Mahoney & Sons.  The place was packed to capacity and with live music and plenty of appetizing pub fare cuisine, it was a tremendously huge success that won’t soon be forgotten.

Thank you again for everyone who participated in this year’s show and we look forward to seeing you in Victoria March 10-12, 2015!  

 14.03.17-Linden.keynoteFormer Vancouver Canucks Captain Trevor Linden delivers keynote to a packed house at the 2014 Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show. Credit Jerry Rousseau