Glass Canada

Editorial – October 2013

Let’s have a trade show

October 25, 2013  By Patrick Flannery

It is high time we had a real trade show for the architectural glazing industry in this country.

It is high time we had a real trade show for the architectural glazing industry in this country. Glass Canada is looking for partners to help make it happen.

I have some concern that a condition of isolation is creeping into the architectural glazing industry in this country. After all, where and when do we all get together? Garibaldi Glass puts on a nice event that attracts most of the glazing community in B.C., and Glass Connections Calgary will doubtless bring the southern Alberta glaziers together. And of course there are the various association meetings and golf tournaments across the country. But each of these events is regional in nature. Where is Canada’s GlassBuild?

Whether this industry needs a national trade show is a fair question, but one I think is easily answered with another question: does Canada need a unified national architectural glass community? Our cover story in this issue goes some distance toward providing an answer. When China began dumping unitized curtain wall into this market, the nation’s largest curtain wall fabricators had to scramble to act together to alert federal trade watchdogs and convince them to take action before irreparable harm was done to this country’s capacity to produce its own building facades. Before it will hear complaints of this kind, the trade tribunal must be satisfied that it is hearing from companies representing a “major proportion” of Canada’s productive capacity in the sector. An isolated and fragmented industry will be in danger of not being able to respond to these threats. And it seems beyond doubt that more such threats are coming.

Those gloomy reflections aside, there are any number of positive reasons to have a national trade show. It is to be hoped that a truly national show would entice the world’s larger machinery manufacturers to attend and display their latest technologies. The right mix of educational speakers and exhibitors can draw suppliers, fabricators, specifiers and contractors together in a potent mix of business opportunity. This is what used to happen at the IMAGE shows in the ’80s. Everyone learns a lot, gets energized and has fun.

It is with all this in mind that Glass Canada magazine is exploring the idea of launching a national architectural glass industry event in the near future. We have been speaking to the Ontario Glass and Metal Association about the idea, and they are keen to participate. We will start small but grow this thing as far as it will go.

The only way we will succeed in attracting national participation in a country the size of Canada is if we offer great value that you cannot find anywhere else. I’d love to hear what event programming would get you on a plane to Toronto. Drop me a line and, who knows? Ask and you may receive.

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