Fenestration Canada: Up for the challenge of supporting this industry
By Jennifer Small
Up for the challenge
By Jennifer Small
I am honoured and excited to be Fenestration Canada’s President in this important and dynamic time for our association. We have a clear mission to support our members across Canada by providing education, networking, and technical resources.
We are connecting fenestration industry stakeholders and proactively advocating for consistent, reasonable and enforceable regulations.
One of our goals as an executive over the past few years has been to strengthen our geographic presence, representation and influence. Just this year, we had a regional event in Moncton, N.B., a Spring Conference in Calgary, Alta., and we will have WinDoor in Quebec City. Each event brings with it education on issues relevant to both local and national stakeholders. By focusing on the entire country, we can engage fabricator and supplier members to share best practices on how to deal with fenestration challenges in different climates and regions, throughout various value chains and within different competing and regulatory landscapes.
We as an association have the responsibility to serve our members and ensure that energy-efficient fenestration products continue to advance at an achievable and sustainable pace. As part of this responsibility, in the past year we have created a nationwide task group specifically targeted at NRCan’s aspirational goals where we as Fenestration Canada are voicing the concerns of our industry. The goal is to help support climate change with realistic and feasible manufacturing targets and considerations.
This push for energy efficiency is only beginning. This year, in Ontario, the GreenON program impacted a large group of our members by providing rebates to homeowners who replaced their windows with Energy Star Most Efficient windows. The first draft of the program left our members with many questions needing clarification and understanding. Fenestration Canada provided support and education to our members to help navigate the program while working in conjunction with program contractors to better the program and clarify and improve the fenestration component. In addition, we have put a group of experts together to help develop FenCan training and education for the installation of fenestration products. This will help support the relaunch of the Fenestration Installation Technician certification exam, which in turn is another step on the path of code compliance.
The work does not stop here. As we develop our programs and provide education on codes and standards, we will continue to work with our members, key stakeholders and affiliate industry associations to improve code and regulation compliance and accountability. This is a major challenge facing our industry, however with the incredible professional leaders that work within our member companies we can develop strategies to better our industry and ensure the strong and compliant will thrive.
Our association is on the right path. In this past year, we achieved several goals including defining what we do, who we are and why we exist through our member value proposition. This has given us a clear direction for our strategic plan and provides a framework for what we should be doing. As we attract and retain members, we now have a story to tell:
“As a FenCan member your company has an opportunity to influence standards and to advocate for consistent and achievable regulation. It has access to industry-specific education to help you face your business challenges and is part of a strong, supportive network of industry leaders.”
This is a time of change for the world, our country, and the fenestration industry. We can all sit on the sidelines and complain about what change comes our way, or we can get involved, have a voice, and volunteer our time for the benefit of our window and door manufacturers, suppliers, affiliates, and related associations. Because at the end of the day this is our passion and our livelihood. I am up for the challenge, are you?
Jennifer Small is president of Fenestration Canada and of Screenco, a Concord, Ont.,-based manufacturer of window and patio screen products.