Message from the President - 2023 in the Rear View

Dear WCTA Members,

I hope you had a happy holiday season and are ready to welcome in 2024!  As I look back on the last year, I find myself very grateful for the incredible strides we've made together.  It's been a year filled with remarkable events, dedicated advocacy and tremendous growth within our community of turf management professionals.

A lot of brass!  An image from our 2019 conference from left to right it's Jason Pick (2017 WCTA President), Grant Cantin (Wimbledon Head Groundskeeper), Stu Carmichael (2023/2024 WCTA President) and Peter Sorokovsky (2018/2019 WCTA President)

Our 2023 events, including the Fall Field Day in North Vancouver and the Conference at the River Rock, have exemplified our unity and commitment to advancing the professional golf and sportsfield management industry. The energy, collaboration and contributions from sponsors, volunteers, speakers, exhibitors and attendees have been the cornerstone of our success.  Your engagement has truly made these moments memorable, impactful and above all else, worthwhile.

Advocacy has remained a central focus this past year, amplifying our voice on critical issues such as water restrictions, occupational health and safety policy, gasoline equipment bans, turf management education programs and others issues affecting our field. Our active involvement ensures we are at the table with decision makers and other stakeholders to help shape policy rather than reacting once its been created.

I would like to take a moment to welcome the 76 new members to the WCTA family!  This brings our total to 720 members as of the 2023 fiscal year-end, numbers we havent seen since the early 2000s.  I believe this is a testament to our association's value and service to the turf management industry and its inspiring to witness our community flourish and expand.

Looking ahead, our 60th Anniversary WCTA Conference and Trade Show, being held in beautiful downtown Victoria from February 14th to 16th, is just around the corner.  The excitement is obvious with trade show booth sales swift, nearly a sell-out at the time of writing, and a fantastic initial delegate response after registration was officially opened in early December.  To ensure you don't miss out, secure your spot and accommodation before the early-bird pricing deadline of January 15th.

With nearly 20 esteemed speakers and over 30 hours of diverse educational sessions with many CECs available, the upcoming conference is shaping up to be extraordinary.  Plus, to kickstart the learning journey, we have four pre-conference seminars lined up covering essential topics led by industry experts.

I want to extend my deepest appreciation to each one of you for your unwavering support, dedication, and passion that continues to drive the success of our association.  I look forward to celebrating with you all in Victoria as we embark on yet another year of growth and excellence.

Warmest regards,

Stu Carmichael
President, Western Canadian Turf Grass Association