Fenestration Review

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Fenestration Canada: Spring 2016

Embracing tomorrow


March 16, 2016
By Skip Maclean

Topics

Canada’s oil barometer of prosperity has seen pricing go from record highs to record lows. Housing prices in major centers like Toronto and Vancouver seem to defy all logic. Costs of raw materials change daily due to the heavy influence of currency exchange fluctuations. Change is in the air and you can count on it. What was apparent yesterday may not be so tomorrow.

The Canadian window and door industry must embrace change. We need to endorse and encourage innovation in product design, manufacturing, energy efficiency and the promotion of our product to a global market. Trade barriers, which were once restrictive, are being removed and a whole new market is being opened to our products and services. Our new prime minister is often heard trumpeting that Canada is “open for business” but we need to ask ourselves if we are ready as individuals, companies and industry to meet these challenges. Yes, it won’t be easy and yes, hard work is ahead. Those who approach these opportunities with the right information, willingness to compete and desire to succeed will reap untold rewards.

Fenestration Canada is changing, too. Last year was a landmark year for the association and the WinDoor North America tradeshow. Responding to continued calls to refresh, renew and restart the show, the board voted to move the show to Montreal, Que., for 2016. Even at this early juncture there is a revitalized buzz surrounding the upcoming event and all of the opportunities and possibilities presented. The Palais des Congrès de Montréal has been selected as the new venue and the dates are set as Nov. 15 to17. WinDoor committee chair, Stéphane Labelle of Groupe Eugenie, heads up a very enthusiastic group of individuals determined to stage an event that inspires, engages, promotes and celebrates all that is fenestration in Canada. Our newly selected event managers, Zzeem Inc., promise to deliver an organized, welcoming and rewarding experience for exhibitors and attendees alike. So mark your calendars now for Montréal this November – you won’t want to miss it!

Now let’s talk code. I know, I know it’s not everyone’s favorite four-letter word. However, it is one of significant impact and importance to the fenestration industry. The process to update the building code has begun. Your association is being very proactive to ensure that fenestration professionals are involved in the initial process of determining these changes. The issues being deliberated speak to the very core of our business success. Our ability to influence and participate in these changes is critical. Window and door products that provide energy efficiency, durable performance and structural integrity must be the ultimate goal. Involvement in the Fabricators Council and/or Technical Committee of the association will provide invaluable insight to all who participate, contribute to discussions and want to stay in the know.

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Jennifer Small of Screenco and the AGM committee are promising a jam-packed agenda of networking, educational, technical and business presentations at our Annual General Meeting scheduled for June 8 to 10 in beautiful Mont Tremblant, Que. The entire program has been refreshed and designed to provide activities and engagement for all who attend. Full program details will soon be available on the FC website.

Membership and marketing initiatives include a drive to encourage all members to upgrade their online profiles. Laura Weil of Euro Vinyl Windows reports that the companies that have enhanced their profiles are reaping the benefit of increased web traffic to their firms. Mike Bruno of Everlast Group now heads the membership side of the committee who are developing strategies to feature new members and to enhance member benefits.

J.F. Kogovsek of Maxam Marketing and his education team continue to uncover topical content for seminar and webinar presentations. News is everywhere and as noted earlier, change is constant. The association welcomes any input from industry regarding topics needing clarification and better understanding.


Skip MacLean is president of Fenestration Canada. He is business development manager for Tru-Tech Doors and has over 40 years’ experience in the window and door industry.