Fenestration Canada – 2016 a year of renewal and regeneration
By Allan Doyle
A transition year
By Allan Doyle
It really is a new Fenestration Canada. Last year was a transition year that started with the hiring of a new association management team in Zzeem. The Zzeem team have been on a steep learning curve since they started in March of 2016, but by all accounts have managed to bring our association through a very vital period. Our new executive director, Cindy Gareau, has been a fireball from day 1 and has become an important cog in the operation of Fenestration Canada and all the committees that endeavour to bring effective programs to our membership.
At our AGM in Mont Tremblant, Que., we elected a new board with a new slate of committee chairs. There was a new energy at Tremblant that comes from new ideas, new perspectives and a transitioned sense of purpose.
Lisa Bergeron of Jeld-Wen our first vice-president and chair of the Fabricator Council, and Jennifer Small of Screenco, our second vice-president and chair of the AGM committee, have broken down the doors of the old boys club and given Fenestration Canada a new dynamic. These progressive, talented women are the today’s leaders and will be instrumental in guiding us to a new position of relevancy in our industry.
Although Mont Tremblant was a successful AGM by all accounts, members did express a desire that future AGM meetings be hosted closer to major centres with more options for activities outside the official agenda. Fenestration Canada’s next annual general meeting will be hosted in downtown Halifax at The Westin Nova Scotian from May 31 to June 3.
Jennifer Small and her committee have put forth an excellent agenda packed with interesting and fun activities. We kick off our visit to Halifax with a harbour cruise and then we dine on lobster. Another highlight will be our visit to Pier 21 on the Halifax waterfront. The President’s Awards Dinner will be held at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
The most significant event for Fenestration Canada in 2016 was the rebirth of WinDoor, as our industry embraced Old Montreal with a gusto not seen at a WinDoor event for many years. Attendance was robust and kept exhibitors hopping on both days. The fenestration industry in Quebec came out in force. This was in large part to Fenestration Canada’s partnership with AVFQ to promote and market WinDoor’s first show outside of Toronto. The show committee chair, Stephane Labelle, and co-chair, Laura Weil of Euro Vinyl Windows and Doors, promised a new WinDoor. They delivered an extraordinary event that showed a lot of imagination and courage.
Some first-time exhibitors described how their emerging businesses were able to showcase their products to the ideal clientele, and in turn, secure business for 2017 and beyond. This testimonial was repeated by many. Those exhibitors that attended but chose to take a pass on WinDoor 2016 could see the transformation that has occurred to our show. Many have already reserved booth space for Toronto in 2017. Yes, WinDoor is moving back to the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont., on Nov. 28 to 30, 2017. The show committee is again guaranteeing a “new show” for Toronto. The committee is again working to create a memorable event to strengthen and build upon the success we achieved in Montreal.
The year 2017 will be about educating and empowering our membership. The education committee under the direction of Steve Alward of Atlantic Windows, plans to host several webinars during 2017. There are also plans to provide education seminars across the country like the Western Technical Sessions held in Langley B.C. in October 2016.
I want to thank all the volunteers who put their time and energy into making our events successful. These volunteers are the future leaders of our association, and together with our industry veterans, will shape Fenestration Canada in 2017 and beyond as the leading resource in our industry.
Allan Doyle is general manager and partner of Global Windows and Doors in Richibucto, N.B., and president of Fenestration Canada. He has over 30 years’ experience in the fenestration industry.