Fenestration Canada: The association surges forward
By Jennifer Small
Events, management and education all seeing progress.
By Jennifer Small
Fenestration Canada’s board of directors has been hard at work over the past six months to improve our management structure so we can provide better services and added value to our members.
A major step in this plan was to engage a new full-time executive director, Stephane Labelle, to help lead and execute all the operational activities related to FenCan. Stephane brings with him a combination of experience in business development, marketing, project management and sales along with his volunteer experience as WinDoor committee chair and FenCan board director. At the same time as bringing Stephane on board, we engaged Redstone, a new passionate and professional team of experts in event and association management, who we are confident will have a positive impact on our association.
As a board, we have had some directors move on to other challenging careers. I would like to thank Gary Blad and Ryan Dudeck for all their contributions and hard work and wish them the best of luck in their new ventures.
We started 2019 coming off of an exciting WinDoor 2018, held for the first time in Quebec City in December. With record attendee numbers, FenCan attracted current and new members, AVFQ members and other fenestration industry stakeholders. The opening event at the Chapelle, meticulously organized with the help of the AVFQ, was set in a beautiful deconsecrated church. Thank you to Lisa Bergeron and Nancy Thompson for all your help. The show floor was buzzing with product demonstrations and a full lineup of experts sharing their knowledge. Fabricators and suppliers alike learned about codes and standards, Energy Star and NRCan regulations and we had presentations on Lean manufacturing, automation and product performance. The WinDoor committee is already moving full steam ahead planning for WinDoor 2019, happening Nov. 20 to 21 in Toronto. Don’t miss it!
In late December, we showcased a webinar about linking customer complaints to customer satisfaction teaching us how to turn a challenge into an opportunity. For 2019 in education, we are bringing keynote speaker John Eakes to our regional event on April 9 in Edmonton. John is a teacher of all things relating to renovation and home building. He is an expert on cold climate housing and is often called upon by governments and related associations for his expertise and knowledge in the building industry. At our Spring Conference and Annual General Meeting in June, we have keynote speaker Deborah Kimmett. A comedian and expert in change management, Deborah is sure to entertain us as she discusses the challenges of accepting new business realities. Mark your calendars for June 3 to 6 at White Oaks Conference Centre in Ontario’s Niagara Region.
Across Canada, fabricators are all facing NRCan aspirational goals for windows starting in 2020. These goals have serious impacts on fabricators and the competitiveness and viability of manufactured window and door products in our country. In December, FenCan submitted its feedback on NRCan’s discussion paper, as did many of our members. Although NRCan understands some of the challenges that current product offerings face, they have a mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, of which residential and commercial windows account for 17 per cent. Residential windows account for up to 35 per cent of a home’s heat loss, so setting new higher standards for energy efficiency on windows and doors helps achieve the government’s mandate. As we navigate this new reality, FenCan provides support, education, technical expertise and advocacy. Our members benefit from our association by having a unified voice on industry challenges by learning together and by challenging one another. If you are not a member, come join us and don’t be left behind. If you are a member, thank you for your support and let us work together for the better of the Canadian fenestration industry.
Jennifer Small is the president of Fenestration Canada and of Screenco, a North American manufacturer of window and patio screen products headquartered in Concord, Ont.