A Letter from the President
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March 2016

 

It is hard to believe that it is already my second year as President of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.  2015 flew by, with many exciting initiatives taking place for our members.  Last spring saw the launch of the stunning Never Alone rose, which has already raised $48,000 for the Never Alone Foundation!  Winkelmolen Nurseries traveled to China where they received the Award of Merit in the prestigious International Grower of the Year competition.  This past January, Dutchmaster Nursery received bronze in the competition – marking the fifth time a Canadian nursery has been among the top finalists.  

The CNLA commodity committees were also busy rolling out programs to increase the value of your membership.  Garden Centres Canada launched the virtual Garden Gift Card, which can be purchased and redeemed at any participating member garden centre.  The Landscape Canada Committee solidified its partnership with the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.  Growers Canada began work on the exciting Nursery Technician Certification program.  

Those initiatives are just a snapshot of the past year at the association.  2016 promises to be even busier, already starting with a bang.  At the Landscape Ontario (LO) Congress in January, CNLA, in partnership with LO, launched the Green Careers Canada website and the Effective Leadership Pathways tool.  Garden Centres Canada will soon launch the much anticipated Garden Centres Benchmarking program, which will allow members to track and compare sales information across Canada.  Members of the Government Relations Committee are heading to Ottawa for a Day on the Hill event to meet with key members of parliament in order to advance industry interests.  

Probably the most exciting event taking place this year was the International Green City Conference and Tours, which happened this March in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Over 100 delegates from around the world met to discuss cutting edge ideas in the world of green infrastructure.  Members of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), the European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA), the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), and the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) were there, marking the first time that the entire international horticulture value chain will be together.  CNLA will report on the outcomes of this historic event in future communications.

Also taking place at the Green City Conference is the Landscape Canada Summit.  Select individuals from around the world were invited to this exclusive event to discuss healthy cities and healthy landscapes.  During this, the ground-breaking Canadian Landscape Standard will be launched, providing the first national guidelines to landscapers across the country.

All of these initiatives will take place before the landscaping season officially begins!  I attribute this to the hard work and vision of CNLA volunteers and staff.  The Executive Committee meets monthly to review the association’s tactical priorities, which currently focus on training, industry human resources, revenue generation, public relations, government relations and governance.

Finally, I would like to highlight some of the amazing member savings programs available to you.  Last year, CNLA added three new programs with Kubota, FCA Canada Inc., and ECHO/Shindaiwa.  These programs have the potential to save you thousands of dollars on your next purchase and are very simple to use.  Some of our other popular programs include: GM Canada, Esso and Petro-Canada fuel incentives, Mark’s and Work Authority discount cards, and so many more!  View the complete list of programs at cnla-acpp.ca/benefits.

As you prepare for a new season, I strongly encourage you to get involved in your provincial association.  There are countless ways to participate, from sport tournaments and social events, to committees and volunteer work.  At the national association, we work hard to ensure that everything we do directly benefits you, the member.  The CNLA staff are an excellent resource.  Contact them about our Member Savings Programs, available government grants and funding, certification, business improvement programs and more!  There has never been a better time to be a part of the CNLA.

All the best for a prosperous and rewarding year! 

 

Sincerely,

Rene Thiebaud, CLM
CNLA President

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