Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Island Construction Association conference explores bright future


Construction is booming in virtually every city on the Island, but in an industry typically cyclical in nature, how can business keep the momentum building?

That’s the forward-thinking question at the heart of this year’s Vancouver Island Construction Conference, Friday, April 27 at the Victoria Conference Centre.

“We’ve branded this conference around resiliency,” says Rory Kulmala, CEO of the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA). “Our industry is running at a capacity we haven’t really seen before. How do we maintain it through this and not become complacent?”

A one-day conference directed industry-wide, Kulmala encourages participation from everyone involved in building, from engineers and human resources managers to builders and developers and everyone in between.

The varied line-up of topics and speakers reflects that scope.

Following opening remarks by BC Labour Minister Harry Bains and an overview of Island market trends with CMHC Senior Market Analyst Braden Batch, attendees can choose various topics to explore in four breakout sessions.

Closing the day with “The Power of a Brand” will be keynote speaker Terry O’Reilly, an award-winning copywriter and host of CBC Radio’s “Under the Influence” who has created campaigns for many of Canada’s top brands, including Labatt, Molson, Pepsi USA, Goodyear Tires, Tim Hortons, Volkswagen, Nissan and the Hudson’s Bay Company.

A reception and networking opportunity ends the day.

Sparking interest, exploring solutions

What’s on the agenda?

With labour challenges continuing to temper the industry growth, a variety of sessions will speak to this, including: Women In Trades: The Keys to Attract, Retain and Respect; and Creating a Cultural Shift: Laying the Foundation to Sustainable Business Relationships with Indigenous Communities

Topical matters for all businesses include: Marijuana in the Workplace; Affordable Housing: Joining Forces to Build More Housing; and Development: Look to the Horizon

Speaking to how businesses do business, related topics include: Procurement and Contract Negotiations: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; and Resolving the Inevitable Construction Dispute: Identifying Causes and Possible Solutions

And under building itself: Measurable Performance: How the BC Energy Step Code Will Change the Way You Design, Build, and Use Buildings

Where we are and where we’re going

Construction activity on Vancouver Island reached a record high in 2017, up 23 per cent for the year, reaching $2.239 billion, Kulmala says.

“The outlook for the Island’s construction industry is positive for 2018 with economic and population growth fueling the demand for residential and non-residential space. With expanding building activity, limited labour supply and rising input costs, total construction costs will look to rise at a faster pace, although the forecast remains bright.”

Reserve your spot at this year’s conference online or call 250-388-6471 for details!

The Vancouver Island Construction Association serves the institutional, commercial, industrial, civil and multi-residential construction sectors on Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands and other coastal BC areas. VICA’s 430+ members range from owners, architects and engineers to consultants, manufacturers and contractors.

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