Turf & Rec

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Continued uncertainty surrounding pandemic forces WCTA show cancellation


January 20, 2022
By Turf & Rec

The Western Canada Turfgrass Association’s scheduled in-person conference and trade show has become the latest casualty of the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally slated for February at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, B.C., the 59th annual event has been cancelled.

“It’s incredibly disappointing especially after already relocating to the River Rock, but there were just too many unknowns and variables to proceed,” WCTA president Gary Bartley said. “We tried holding off as long as possible, and while last Tuesday’s press conference from Dr. Bonnie Henry was somewhat encouraging, and hopefully things improve over the coming weeks, there is just too much risk to proceed from both health and safety and financial standpoints.”

An episode of the ‘WCTA Online Webinar’ series or ‘WOW’, will broadcast on Feb. 17, 2022 and will feature speakers who were booked for the live show with a focus on offering CEC/CEU points for British Columbia and Alberta pesticide applicators. The WCTA’s annual general meeting will also take place at the same time with extended details to follow soon.

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“Understanding that many delegates, exhibitors and our entire speaker line-up had plans to participate in our show, we knew a go or no-go decision needed to be made sooner rather than later,” added WCTA vice-president Stuart Carmichael. “Unfortunately, it’s not in the cards this year.”

All registered delegates and exhibitors will receive full refunds, and staff will be making such accommodation during the coming weeks. All questions and inquiries will be responded to as promptly as possible.

“The board holds education and networking opportunities as one of its highest priorities, and it was a difficult but necessary decision to cancel,” WCTA executive director Jerry Rousseau said. “Visions of a ‘Super-Summer Field Day’ series have already been discussed with one likely venue in Kamloops, and potential stops on the Island, Lower Mainland and Southern Alberta. Of course a lot needs to happen before anything is official but that’s the direction we’re heading.”

Additional information:
•  Those who booked accommodation at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and had not yet cancelled can call 1-800-663-9400 (there is no cancellation fee). Booking for the River Rock had not yet opened, so no action is required unless delegatges booked outside the WCTA’s room block.
•  Full refunds will be issued to registered delegates and exhibitors/sponsors, typically in the same form as payment was received, i.e. paid by credit card, refund will be issued to that card.
•  For delegates registered after Dec. 21 and who paid by credit card, the WCTA did not process these payments.
•  If 2022 membership payments were included on delegates’ conference registration, the WCTA will proceed with processing the dues portion only, and a sales receipt will be emailed.