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Editorial: April 2014

Interesting times


The old Chinese curse goes “May you live in interesting times.” It is
certainly interesting times for the Canadian Glass Association right
now, though it is my hope that the present upheaval will work out to be
more of a blessing than a curse.

The old Chinese curse goes “May you live in interesting times.” It is certainly interesting times for the Canadian Glass Association right now, though it is my hope that the present upheaval will work out to be more of a blessing than a curse.

Since Christmas, the CGA has seen one of its most active member associations, Fenestration B.C., leave the national organization, citing a lack of value for members. Scarcely two weeks later, the CGA’s contracted executive director, Zana Gordon, was informed that her services would not be retained going forward. Rich Porayko, a marketing consultant at Hartung Glass and frequent contributor to Glass Canada and Fenestration Review, was tapped as the interim executive director. Then, at the end of March, Quebec’s AVFQ followed Fenestration B.C. in leaving the CGA as well. That’s a lot of change for one year, let alone three months.

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But the CGA was due for some changes. Privately, CGA board members are candid about the need for the association to find a role and deliver the kind of value that will please its members. Once, it looked like training and standard-setting might be that role with the roll-out of the Glazing Systems Specification Manual. This excellent document was developed by the Glazing Contractors Association of B.C., and licensed for national distribution by the CGA, with changes for the various provinces made by its regional members. The problem was, and is, that editing and updating a standards manual is a daunting amount of work for any association, and some parts of the country lacked a regional glazing association of any kind. Uptake of the manual across the country has been uneven, at best.

National associations have a strong role to play in standards-setting when there is a need for harmonization of standards across jurisdictions. Just look at the work the Insulating Glass Manufacturer’s Alliance does with the North American Fenestration Standard, Energy Star and the National Building Code. But in commercial building envelope construction and glazing, all the action is at the provincial level. It just isn’t that important to clad a building the same way in Kamloops as you do in Shediac because each project is custom-designed for the site.

Perhaps the CGA has a role as a facilitator and funds pool for the regional associations. Or perhaps there is a new national mission worthy of it. The good news is, there is a guy at the helm right now who is determined to find some answers. Jim Brady, CGA president, is showing some energy in his quest to re-invigorate our national commercial glazing association. Now would be a good time to get involved and bring your ideas forward.


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