WCTA 60th Anniversary Conference One to Remember!

By Jerry Rousseau

March 21, 2024

After months of planning and organizing, the milestone 60th Anniversary WCTA Conference and Trade Show, held February 14-16, 2024 at the Victoria Conference Centre and iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel, was nothing short of spectacular!


She comes across like diamonds, diamonds...

By the time things kicked off, it had been 9 years since our last time in Victoria and things could not have been much better in every regard including the beautiful marine surroundings, an amazing venue, great restaurants with fantastic service and so many historic sights.  Of course we can’t forget the pubs, so many great pubs!

No, Victoria did not disappoint, nor did the conference education program, social functions or the sold out trade show.  The venue and staff were world-class and not one delegate complained about the ferry😀.  There was some trouble parking big trucks downtown (lots of bike lanes since last time) but otherwise, things went off smoothly.

Now that the dust has mostly settled, on behalf of the WCTA Board of Directors and Members, I would like to thank all those who helped make our event so successful!  Here are the results:

  •  264 professional turf management delegates representing 120 different facilities were in attendance and in total, 445 total professional turf management industry personnel participated.

  •  18 speakers (5 with PhD’s) delivered 28.75 hours of programming including 2 pre-conference seminars with 15 total CEC’s available.

  •  The trade show was over-sold with 56 companies (12 new) taking 62 booths plus 8 participating sponsors.  

  •  Hotel pickups came in at 484 room nights, 136% of our block capacity.

  •  Silent Auction for turf research raised $4,560!

There are still a few outstanding invoices to pay and some accounts receivable we’re waiting on but financial performance was solid, even with higher than expected costs that we tend to see on the Island.  Interestingly, and we’ve never sourced overall economic impact of our show before, here’s what the City of Victoria told us:  

Estimated Event Economic Impacts via Victoria Conference Centre:
  •  Total Business Sales: $677,000
  •  Contributions to wages and salaries: $234,000
  •  Jobs supported: 230
  •  FTE supported: 5
  •  Contributions to taxes: $124,000

This is pretty amazing and important to share because as part of the professional golf and sportsfield management industry, you should know a successful event not only makes a large financial impact on the host City, it helps drive our association financially, enabling education and networking opportunities, a variety of member services, providing funds for turf research that helps ensure our chances of a sustainable future, the ability to lobby government and advocate for our industry and much more.  It is especially indicative of a strong and successful industry in the overall, something we’re happy to be part of.

Moving forward, our 61st Annual Conference and Trade Show will take place February 11-13, 2025 at the RiverRock Casino Resort in Richmond, BC.  

A familiar venue to be sure, a return to the RiverRock in 2025 marks the 5th time the WCTA’s largest annual undertaking will be hosted by this one-of-kind venue.  Much is in the works and more information will be coming soon.  In the meantime, enjoy some images below from 2024 in Victoria.

Jerry Rousseau
Executive Director
Western Canada Turfgrass Association


Right this way to the 60th Anniversary WCTA Conference and Trade Show!

Mario puts you to work at his pre-con seminar..

WCTA Life Member Tony Norris dropped by.

Meanwhile setup is happening on the trade show floor, please don't rip the carpet!

Welcome to the Wicket!

Tickets, get your tickets.

Our name in lights


 President's reception1

President's reception3 (we don't know what happened to image#2)

Two of our KPU student volunteer helpers having a well-deserved break (Brett & MJ)

Hi Krista!

Nice guys image of the year

I want what they're having.

I want what they're having part2

Great form and defying the laws of physics

You made it - bar is that way President Stu😀


The actual moment things got out of control.


And then this happened - gnarrrrrr!

Not the high score of the night

Nice hat Simon Whitfield, keynote speaker and Olympic Gold Medalist

I'm Dr. Mark Colgate, keynote speaker #2 that's who.


Damian Hough - one of our keynotes and new record holder for furthest travelled to be here all the way from Adelaide!

Perhaps the best financial report ever or at least the quickest, right Davin Marr?

Our new WCTA Life Member wall plaque

And our newest Life Member, Marie Thorne who is the first ever female to receive this award - congratulations!

The Silent Auction is always serious business

Welcome James Edgar, newest WCTA member -stylin!

Day 1 lunch is served - the pictures just don't do the Crytal Ballroom justice

You gotta keep them educated..

Ron Aston in 'Back to the Future4 - Reel Mower Edition'

 And the trade show begins...

Trade show2

Trade show3

Trade show4

Trade show5

This is why you trade show

At the time of posting, we haven't received all the photos so we'll end it here.  Cheers to 60 years and see you next time!