Same Dates, Different Venue - WCTA Conference & Trade Show Switching to River Rock

Release…December 15, 2021

Same Dates, Different Venue – WCTA Conference and Trade Show Switching to River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, BC, February 16-18, 2022

Massive infrastructure damage caused by a string of ‘atmospheric rivers’ hitting the BC south coast on November 15th and again on November 29th, has prompted a major change to the upcoming ‘Western Canada Turfgrass Association 59th Annual Conference and Trade Show’.

“After several special meetings and upon careful deliberation, the WCTA Board unanimously agreed that moving this year’s event from the Penticton Lakeside Resort to the River Rock Resort in Richmond is the best thing we can do in light of the situation,” explained WCTA President Gary Bartley.  He added, “Going virtual was not considered desirable which meant outright cancellation would have been our only other option.”

Temporary repairs to the Coquihalla Highway, BC’s main artery to the Interior and Penticton, are underway with a mid-January partial opening to transport traffic announced last week.  Construction companies and engineering firms are being asked to respond to requests for qualifications to rebuild all battered and broken highways for one of the biggest reconstruction programs the province has ever seen.

Vice President, Stuart Carmichael from the City of Courtenay stated, “The Board felt very strongly that servicing our members was top priority and with cancellation of last year’s conference, we are highly motivated to ensure the show will go on this year.  That means the River Rock for 2022 but in consideration of our Interior, Northern and Kootenay members, we’re already pencilled in for Penticton in 2023.”

“The Board understands an unprecedented change like this will mean a lot of questions and many WCTA members have already made plans to attend Penticton,” Bartley stated. “I’m confident most if not all of these issues will be easily resolved and we can look forward to a great get-together at the River Rock this coming February.”

“With the trade show over 50% sold out and delegates already registering for the conference, staff is very busy communicating with everyone to ensure a smooth transition,” said WCTA Executive Director, Jerry Rousseau.  “This isn’t just another curveball, it’s more like a wild pitch but as an association of sportsturf managers, we know how to handle ourselves on the field,” he joked.

Some notes of interest:

• For those who have booked accommodation at the Penticton Lakeside Resort, please cancel your booking asap by calling 1-800-663-9400 (there is no cancellation fee) and rebook at the River Rock (booking info coming shortly).
• For those who have booked air travel, please go ahead and adjust your flights.  Get in touch with our staff to let us know if you experience any difficulties or additional costs.
• Registered delegates – we have not processed any delegate payments and before doing so, will be in touch to confirm that you wish to attend the River Rock. 
• Unregistered delegates go ahead and register without delay using the existing forms.
• Registered exhibitors – we will be in touch to confirm you wish to attend the River Rock.
• Unregistered exhibitors – the tradeshow is 53% sold out as of Dec 14 and we expect to sellout as usual.  Go ahead and register without delay using the existing forms.
• The education program may see some changes but major adjustments are not expected.  
• Exhibitors can expect a similar trade show floorplan to our 2020 event at the River Rock - booth assignments along with a revised information package should be circulated before Christmas or very early in the New Year.
• For members and colleagues in the Interior, we are looking at a round-trip bus charter from Kelowna and will keep you apprised of further details.

If you have questions, for best results please email exec.director@wctaturf.com.  Further information will be released as available over the coming weeks.