Fenestration Canada: A year of accomplishments
By Monica Dick
I am honoured to have served as president of Fenestration Canada for the past year. In some ways the year passed quickly and in others it seemed it would never end! But overall, we accomplished many initiatives, set new paths and strategic direction and evolved into a stronger, united, organized, efficient and influential Canadian industry association.
FenCan is maturing and gaining great momentum thanks to the contributions of our volunteer board, committees and task groups.
In the past year we have transitioned to a new operations team under the leadership of our very own full-time executive director, Stephane Labelle.
We have rebranded our logo using a Canadian government-approved 11-point maple leaf to symbolize our span across the country and our message of a truly Canadian fenestration industry. We are continuously engaging our members through social media in an effort to improve our communication within our industry and related sectors. Our revamped website also allows for better access to resources and provides better organization and communication of information.
As an association, we will be expanding our offerings to members, including regional education events with local stakeholders and building officials. Our April 2019 event in Edmonton was a great success allowing for networking amongst peers and valuable open forum discussion with regulators on challenges that window and door manufacturers can face in the permit approval process and in the field.
In January 2018 Ontario’s short-lived GreenON window rebate program catapulted FenCan’s Installation Certification discussions at the board level. The GreenON program led the board to approve the reinstatement of the Fenestration Installation Technician (FIT) certification exam. We partnered with Building Professionals to provide ISO-accredited certification that is relevant across Canada. Since the expiry of GreenON, the Installation Task Group is working with the executive director and the board to create new partnerships with stakeholders to create more pull and need for FIT certification.
In 2017, the government of Canada undertook its Market Transformation Initiative to meet the Pan Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change. Fenestration Canada is leading the charge to ensure that the interests of manufacturers across the country are well represented. Our main message to the government is “too much, too fast.” We are voicing our concerns to the key stakeholders such as Natural Resources Canada and making sure our message is clear. We are also discussing education and enforcement of current standards, which we know to be a challenge on the local level.
My year as president culminated with our Spring Conference and AGM in the Niagara Region, where I shared all these accomplishments with our members. Always a special event for Fenestration Canada, the conference brings together the who’s who of our industry to learn, network and share stories about challenges and successes in these interesting times of trade disputes and resulting economic uncertainty in Canada’s window and door industry.
As I pass the torch to our vice-president, Terry Adamson, I am confident he will carry on the structure and direction we have set together as a board to move forward. I look forward to this year as past president and will continue to serve and guide our board and association in the best interests of our membership. Ultimately, we want to provide the best services and support to the window and door fabricators in Canada and ensure that their voices are heard in this complex landscape of codes, regulations and standards.
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.