WCTA/Sports Turf Canada Partnership Reaches 10 Year Milestone
On July 7, 2012, after months of discussion, Sports Turf Canada and the Western Canada Turfgrass Association jointly announced a formalized, 5-year partnership agreement between the two organizations. The agreement was renewed for another 5 years in 2017 and is once again up for another renewal term.
STC had been a well-established provincial organization for ~20 years prior to federal incorporation. WCTA existed since 1958, informally serving the golf and sportsfield sectors in the Pacific Northwest in its infancy, incorporating in 1973 and subsequently growing to serve 700+ members spanning multiple turf management sectors in BC, AB and SK.
From the agreement, key considerations included:
• WCTA recognizes STC as the national body for the promotion of better, safer sports turf in Canada
• WCTA recognizes STC as the Canadian International Affiliate Organization of the USA-based Sports Turf Managers Association.
• The WCTA will be the conduit for new STC members originating in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.
• The STC and WCTA agree to explore cooperative educational and professional development opportunities in the provinces of Alberta and BC in a non-competitive nature. The terms and conditions to be determined and agreed upon prior to the development of each event.
• The STC and WCTA agree to communicate in a transparent manner on issues that affect the sports turf industry in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect to ensure optimal representation, to enhance educational and professional development opportunities and to provide resources for our members and stakeholders.
Shortly after agreement execution, several initiatives started taking shape designed with partnership forging in mind. For example, WCTA representatives travelled to Ontario to tour the Guelph office and research station and to participate in the 2012 STA Field Day held at the Ontario Soccer Centre. Meanwhile, STA representatives had already travelled west to attend the 2012 WCTA conference in Victoria.
For 2013, WCTA began promoting STA and included an option for ½ price membership on our annual member dues invoices (policy is still in effect). About 40 members joined by 2013 fiscal year-end (Sep 30) with 82 joint members as of May 2022.
In 2014, Sports Turf Canada was incorporated and collaboration started stepping up. WCTA representatives attended the STMA conference jointly with STC representatives, participating in meetings with the STMA Board.
2016 saw our first major event partnership with the inaugural ‘Alberta Sports Turf Field Day’ hosted by the City of Calgary. Event partnership on an alternating basis between BC and AB has been as follows:
• 2016 City of Calgary, host Norley Calder
• 2017 Aldergrove, host Tab Buckner
• 2018 Edmonton, host Leanne Nadwidny
• 2019 South Surrey, host Hugh Norris
• 2020 and 2021 cancelled due to COVID
From the perspective of the WCTA Board, the agreement remains sound and has enabled a decade long successful partnership between our two groups. In particular, it has served as the foundation assuring we support and serve our respective memberships collaboratively wherever possible and we look forward to the next ten years of working together!