VANCOUVER — Construction groups have heeded the call from public officials to reduce large, in-person gatherings by cancelling or modifying events.
The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) has cancelled its annual Vancouver Island Construction Conference scheduled for April 16.
“During this time of unprecedented concern as we collectively navigate the impact of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Vancouver Island Construction Association considers the safety and health of our members, community and colleagues paramount,” said Rory Kulmala, VICA CEO in a statement.
The event, scheduled at the Victoria Conference Centre, typically draws over 300 representatives from Vancouver Island’s construction sector and focuses on topics and issues relevant to the domestic construction market.
“We will continue to support the initiatives and directives that have been set by the Provincial Health Officer and to do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19”, Kulmala said. “It’s very unfortunate to take such actions, but necessary if we are going to overcome this.”
The Calgary Construction Association (CCA) has cancelled all major events until further notice, including its AGM Dinner, WIC Networking event. The association has also postponed its BOC event that was scheduled for May 28th.
“Refunds will be processed over the next few days,” said CCA president Bill Black in a statement to members. “We will be holding a virtual AGM in due course and will provide all the relevant details once that has been set up. We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep members informed of any further developments. Meantime all other member services will continue, and staff will be on hand at the CCA offices to help you with any of your needs.”
The CCA has also canceled and postponed all its education classes until further notice.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow the advice of public health officers,
— Fiona Famulak
Vancouver Regional Construction Association
“I appreciate your understanding and support as we collectively navigate the evolving global impact of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),” read a letter from VRCA president Fiona Famulak. “During these extraordinary times, the safety of our members, our colleagues and the greater community is our No. 1 priority.”
The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) announced sweeping changes to its calendar of events. Here are the events and services that have been changed:
- 2020 Construction Leadership Forum — Originally scheduled for April 30-May 2, VRCA’s annual conference has been postponed. The association has suspended registration and is working with the venue and speakers to determine if the event can be rescheduled or will need to be cancelled. They plant to contact all registrants directly regarding next steps and accommodation bookings.
- Infrastructure Series featuring Vancouver Fraser Port Authority — Scheduled for April 7, this event will move to an online format and proceed as planned. Registration remains open and all registrants will receive sign-in details in due course.
- Networking events through April 30 — Both the U40 Trivia Night on March 19 and President’s Club Dinner on April 7 will be rescheduled. The association has suspended registration and will update all registrants accordingly.
- Education courses through April 30 — There are 14 classroom courses scheduled for this period. The two courses scheduled on March 16-17 and March 18 will proceed with the “social distancing” measures announced on March 12 in place. The remaining 12 courses have been postponed. Course registration has been suspended and the association is working with the facilitators to determine if the courses can be rescheduled or will need to be cancelled. Registrants will be updated.
- School outreach activities through April 30 — All school outreach activities undertaken by the VRCA Education Committee and other volunteers are suspended.
- VRCA Planroom – The association’s office will continue to be open to the public 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Staff have placed hand-sanitizers in key locations and increased cleaning in the training and board rooms, restrooms and other shared common spaces.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow the advice of public health officers as appropriate,” stated Famulak in a letter to members. “As shared on March 12, where we reschedule or possibly cancel a course or event, we will notify registrants immediately and apply flexibility to any registration changes.”
To support members during these times, the association is also maintaining a COVID-19 resource page where members can find links to resources for both companies and individuals.
“Each of us can help slow the spread of this virus by washing our hands often, by practicing ‘social distancing’ and by staying home when sick,” said Famulak.
Officials at the Winnipeg Construction Association have asked those with flu symptoms to not attend classes. They will be given a full refund. As of March 13, the association still planned to hold its Curling Bonspiel on March 27. However, the fate of the Manitoba Construction Career expo on May 6 remains uncertain.
“We have some time before needed to make a decision in this — well be deciding whether or not to cancel no later than April 14,” read an advisory from the group