Message from the President - August 2022

by Gary Bartley

Summer took some time getting here and most areas lagged behind normal with a cool, wet spring. 

Once summer hit, the mercury stayed pretty high but nothing like last year’s record shattering temperatures.  That being said, our first in-person event since the pandemic, held at the McArthur Island Park and Kamloops Golf and Country Club, took place on the on the hottest days of the year so far in Kamloops at 39C!

WCTA President, Gary Bartley (left), thanks Travis Olson for his role in hosting the 2022 summer field day.

I want to thank Travis Olson from the Kamloops Golf & Country Club and both Mike DeCicco and Shawn Cook from the City of Kamloops for hosting our recent field day.  It was a great comeback event with over 50 in attendance for Dr. Greg Munshaw’s morning presentation.  We then toured the City’s impressive sportsfield complex, watched a fraise mowing demo and finally made our way to the award winning Norbrock Field to see some equipment that Mike and Shawn use to keep the field in pristine condition, all while networking over an authentic ball field lunch.  

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to meet our members face to face and I had almost forgotten how much better it is to talk in-person about what we have been doing, discussing troubles and successes and just catching up in general.  It was like a reset after the past three years and it felt good to be outside and looking at turf with colleagues.  It was also great to talk to industry personnel that we haven’t been able to see for a very long while.  

It was a successful restart and now we look forward to an additional WOW webinar being planned for early winter and then our big event, the WCTA Annual Conference and Trade Show, taking place at the River Rock Casino Resort, Feb 15 to 17, 2023.  

Regarding the conference, most WCTA members know it’s a very important education and networking event for the entire professional golf and sportsturf management industry in western Canada.  You may not know that for the association itself, it drives the additional revenue over and above member dues that allows us to provide many of our member services.

Since the last conference in 2020, the Board and staff have worked very hard to keep expenses down and still provide a high level of education, research and advocacy in the absence of conference revenue.  Even with the belt tightening, there has been a deficit over the past two years but with careful cash flow management, we have only had to draw on our contingency funds in this fiscal year.  One reason we’ve been able to manage expenses so well is that WCTA members have stepped up by keeping membership dues coming in and in fact, we have increased our membership over the course of COVID! 

For the upcoming conference, I am asking all those planning to attend to get your registrations in as soon as we open for business in early October.  Unlike previous years where most delegates sign-up over the three or four weeks prior to conference, we will be required to book minimum numbers at the venue well in advance of the show, ie. before New Year’s.  In turn, this will help assure our Industry members that there is tremendous value in exhibiting at our trade show.

More conference information will be coming soon. In the meantime, thank you for your unwavering support and very soon, we will get back to welcoming and thanking you face to face this winter in Richmond!  In closing, thank you to all our members for sticking with us and I look forward to seeing more familiar faces and new faces at upcoming in-person events.