2017 Year-End Member Report

Prepared by Jerry Rousseau

The WCTA Board of Directors and staff would like to thank all WCTA members for your support and confidence in our association.  It’s been an interesting albeit productive year for the WCTA as it has for most of the turf management industry in western Canada. 

The purpose of this brief report is to summarize our efforts in support of WCTA members and the turf management industry in general over the past 12 months.


If you forgot to submit 2017 dues, please give Leslie a call at (604) 780-9130.

2018 dues notices will be sent by mid-November, please take care of these as soon as you can.  Less admin = better member services.

2018 conference registration will begin in early December.  Expect a delegate registration package with your copy of the Dec/Jan Turf Line News.

November and December are very busy months for the office.  Thanks in advance for your patience, we will respond to requests as quickly as we can in the order received.

Office hours between December 22nd and Jan 3rd are reduced but we’ll still be processing member dues submissions and conference registrations so don’t let that stop you from sending these in!

Year in Review

Our 54th Annual Conference and Trade Show was held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, a familiar and popular venue for the WCTA’s  largest annual undertaking.  This is our most affordable site with excellent BC interior hospitality and service in a relaxed atmosphere which makes for some really good feedback from attendees.  As we’ve said before, a successful show contributes immensely to our ability to support the turf management profession and this year’s outcome was extremely positive.

Without research, both the high level of turf management education presently available and impressive turf quality being delivered as a result, simply would not exist.  In 2017, $23,418 was raised for next year’s turf research project funding.  We will continue to make great efforts to support turf managers from all sectors by researching solutions to problems and we thank everyone for your contributions.

The David Suzuki Nature of Things program ‘Dad and the Dandelions’ aired early this spring, portraying golf courses and to a lesser degree, sportsfields and other managed turf areas, very unfavourably from an environmental perspective, ie. “toxic waste sites”.  The WCTA undertook a comprehensive project to provide our members a less biased outlook on the turf management industry releasing a supportive resource this April designed to help members field questions from environmental groups, media, the public and their own members/users.

Our relationship building efforts continued with the development and signing of a protocol agreement with the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, laying the groundwork for future collaborative efforts.  We also established initial dialogue with the Canadian Prairie Chapter of the Irrigation Association with the same goal in mind.  Our longstanding, excellent relationship with the Northwest Turfgrass Association has opened the door to new research funding opportunities in Canada.

2018 Conference planning began with investigation into feasibility of two different sites in Richmond. In the end, the River Rock Casino Resort was selected for our Feb 14-16 event and we are currently in full production mode.

The WCTA was awarded the Canadian Turf Research Foundation administrative contract early in 2016.  It took several months to develop and execute a contract to provide the services.  By December, 2016, transition from the previous administrator, the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association, had begun albeit slowly because of the timing.  By end March 2017, all day-to-day functions were being managed by the WCTA with an entirely new project tracking platform developed.  

Aside from ‘Dad and the Dandelions’, much of our advocacy efforts this past year focused on water use.  Specifically, we continued to champion efforts to ensure a collective turf management presence within the Metro-Vancouver plan to amend the ‘Water Shortage Response Plan’, with the understanding that not being at the table means our voice would not be heard.  Working on behalf of the Allied Golf Association of BC, we continued to manage a comprehensive irrigation use survey of the 67 golf courses located in the region.  

In terms of representing turf managers to both our closest partners and outside groups, we continue to play a very active role with AGA-BC as mentioned, advocating the environmental benefits of golf and turf.  Our partnership with Sports Turf Canada resulted in a record-setting field day this past September hosted by the Township of Langley, with over 200 participants.  Earlier in the year, WCTA representatives participated in the USGA Symposium, held for the very first time outside of the US in Vancouver and we also met with Golf Canada’s new CEO this summer, along with other AGA-BC Directors, to discuss the golf industry state of the nation.  Most recently, after being asked by the BC Agrologists Association to provide a presentation on golf and turf management, we hosted a very interested, curious and appreciative group at the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course.

We were pleased to participate in the Prairie Turfgrass Research Centre TURF Day, held at Olds College on August 24th.  Turf managers from all sectors were on hand to view the current research, attend educational presentations and equipment demos, and peruse the on-field trade show.

Some quick stats from 2017:

o 206 articles were posted to www.wcta-online.com 
o 72 job postings were circulated to WCTA members
o 262 individuals are being tracked on the CEC points program
o We welcomed 65 new members to the association
o 11 WCTA members retired this year – congratulations!

Much of our event planning and member service programming for 2018 takes place alongside conference production over the coming months.  If you have thoughts, ideas or suggestions on any of the association’s functions, now is a great time to let us know.

See You in 2018!

Jerry Rousseau
Executive Director Western Canada Turfgrass Association
(604) 869-WCTA (9282)