There was no clearer reminder of the new season for me than the week of September 17th spent in Whistler at MCA Canada’s convention. Apart from a sport-blessed Wednesday in the cool and sunshine on the golf course, the rest of the visit was a deluge of rainfall and single digit temperatures. Fall had arrived.
The gloom of the weather did not distract from the business at hand or the amity of friendships shared across Canada, both newly formed and others solidified over annual reunions. This MCAC national convention, my 29th, held a particular significance for me – it was my last as I will be retiring next year. When you know that going in, the experience is viewed through a different lens.
MCA Canada’s leadership itself changed this year. Former CEO Richard McKeagan, whose MCA career has paralleled my own, retired in earlier this year and Pierre Boucher now runs the organization. While association business was comfortably familiar, I got the feeling that something had changed once the receptions and planned activities got underway. The sensation was exaggerated because I contracted an infection that kept me from some business sessions and socializing, as recovery meant trips to the clinic and more rest than usual.
The conference itself was packed with a solid business program with sessions on High Building Performance, Industry Performance through Best Practices, the Impact of Marijuana in Construction, Optimizing Work-flow using Mobile Apps, among others. A highlight for MCABC members was our BC Night dinner when we dined at a village restaurant, giving local delegates, some of whom didn’t know each other, an opportunity to socialize and get better acquainted.
As the closing dinner wound down, I made an attempt to say my goodbyes to a number of long-time MCAC friends. I couldn’t get to all of them and soon realized that I have likely seen many for the last time. And then it was over.
As my wife and I prepared for the short drive back to our house on Sunday morning, I reflected that I was already home, surrounded by the familiar here in British Columbia. I had just partaken in a national convention with visitors who traveled time zones to be here and were now returning to their homes. I am grateful to have traveled this MCA road with many friends across this continent. While each of us goes our separate way, the goodwill of those encounters remains with us all.
By the way…next year’s MCA Canada convention is in Nashville – Enjoy!