Allied Golf Association of BC Update

13.02.10-AGA-BC1If no one knows who you are and the impact you have, why would they listen to you? 

If we set egos and allegiances aside, we realize that no one association has the power to gain full government attention.  It is the cumulative power of all groups that garner attention.

Spring has been a very productive time for the AGA-BC.  Preparation for a golf awareness day at the legislature in Victoria started in January with the search for a government relations firm.  Proposals were submitted and a successful candidate was selected, Mark Jiles (Bluestone consulting). 

Very quickly, Bluestone began to formulate an approach the golf industry needed to take with government.  Focusing on the impact golf has on British Columbia’s economy, Bluestone went on the offensive, believing that the numbers are a powerful indicator and deserve to be recognized. 

Highlights of the British Columbia Golf Industry’s economic impact include:

• $2.8 billion toward British Columbia’s GDP (1.66 Billion in 2009) • 44,000 Jobs (47,000 in 2009) • $1.27 Billion in Household Income (1.14 Billion in 2009) • $465 Million in Taxes (437 Million in 2009) • 2nd largest contributor nationally to Ontario (3rd in 2009 to Ontario #1 & AB #2)

It became the important responsibility of Bluestone and the AGA-BC Golf Awareness Committee to create a format that would adequately convey this information to as many provincial politicians as possible in one ‘Golf Awareness Day’. 

On April 30th, the golf awareness day took place in Victoria.  It included a full slate of meetings with MLA’s along with a luncheon where attendees were directed to three different stations including one where children practiced with SNAG golf equipment and another that focused on environmental stewardship and education. 

A putting green offered each participant a chance to experience the game for themselves and the event concluded with a formal presentation to MLA’s and many of their staff, that focused on the three pillars the AGA-BC has developed including  Economic, Environmental and Growing the Game.

Feedback from those attending was overwhelmingly positive; many MLA’s didn’t realize the major contribution golf makes to the economy of BC nor did they fully understand the health and environmental benefits golf brings to communities throughout the province. representatives Trisha Larson (left) and Trevor Smith (right) flank Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism Naomi Yamamoto during a luncheon held for MLA's

The relationship building benefit cannot be underestimated.  By the time the group left Victoria, every MLA contacted had a clear picture and would remember AGA-BC and the Golf Industry.

Going forward, the objective is to increase our government relations presence in an effort to be taken seriously both as major contributor to the economy and as having a positive impact on the health and welfare of the province of BC.

I encourage anyone involved in the game of golf to support whole-heartedly, the efforts of the AGA-BC; change will only happen if we present the golfing public and the government with the value the game of golf brings to the province and all the communities it touches in BC.

Trevor Smith
AGA-BC President