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MCAC wants sector to reconnect at annual conference in Halifax

Angela Gismondi
MCAC wants sector to reconnect at annual conference in Halifax

In its first in-person conference since 2019, the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada’s (MCAC) Reconnect 2022 event will provide an opportunity for the community to not only reconnect with the association itself but also with peers and colleagues from across the country.

The event will take place Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. It will explore themes and issues impacting mechanical contractors locally, across Canada and internationally as well as provide opportunities for networking.

Ken Lancastle, chief operating officer at MCAC, said the association is looking forward to getting members back together again.

“For everybody we’re talking to right now from across the country, it’s the excitement of getting back to in-person events, to networking, to getting back together with friends and colleagues and peers,” said Lancastle.

“It’s as much for MCA Canada to reconnect with as many members as possible as it is for members across the country to reconnect with one another.

“There is obviously a lot going on in our sector and our industry right now. There are lots of issues and conversations to be had and things to discuss amongst members and peers.

“The conference provides an opportunity to share perspectives and to explore solutions.”

It will also be the first opportunity for Tania Johnston, MCAC CEO, to address the membership in her new role as she started in the position in March 2020.

There will be a good balance of educational sessions and networking, said Lancastle.

The conference kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 28 with the annual golf tournament and an opening night welcome event.

The keynote for the opening breakfast on Thursday, Sept. 29 will be James Duthie, TSN host and television personality.

The sessions will be held in the morning and afternoon and there will be an offsite event at Pier 21 in the evening.

Session topics will include labour force issues; economic forecasts; Building Information Modeling and the impact on contractors; contractual issues and opportunities for mechanical contractors and subcontractors; and recruitment and retention of the next generation.

Speakers will include Geza Banfai from McMillan LLP; Bill Ferriera from BuildForce Canada; and Corey Diamond from Efficiency Canada.

“The program has a really good balance of something for everybody,” said Lancastle.

“Each one of the sessions provides something unique but also touching on pertinent issues that our members are talking about and are keeping them awake right now.”

For the closing breakfast on Oct. 1, the keynote will be comedian and television star Shaun Majumder.

The day will provide the opportunity to explore issues related to innovation and technology in the sector with sessions on cybersecurity and technology for service contractors. It will also include a panel conversation on net-zero and the role of the mechanical contractor.

“For a lot of people right now, a common theme that we are hearing across the country is this drive to net-zero and the move to greening the built environment. We know mechanical contractors are going to play a significant role in that given the important role systems play with respect to energy efficiency,” said Lancastle.

“It’s really looking at what does net-zero mean for the sector and how are our members going to fit in. What should they be prepared for as we see the move to net-zero and net-zero building strategies?”

For the annual national conference, MCAC usually does three conferences outside of Canada and then one in the country.

Due to the continuing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic and travel, the association decided to keep this year’s conference in Canada and support the local economy.

“It was a pretty easy choice for us to stay in the country,” said Lancastle. “September is a beautiful time to be in Halifax.”

Registration for the conference is now open and early-bird registration fees are available until July 31. For more information visit

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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