AGA-BC: Update From The President 2018

It has been two, very quick years since you last received an update on the activities of the AGA-BC. In that period of time we have experienced a change of Government, increased pressure throughout the Province regarding water usage, increased pressure on small business through increased taxation and minimum wage increases, not to mention the continuing environmental pressures we are faced with in our daily activities. These are to name a few, of the increasing difficulties facing the golf industry.

Having said that, all is not doom and gloom as we have made great strides in dealing with a great number of these issues and have truly set the path forward to finding solutions and opportunity for growth.

Positive Outcomes:

  1. Conducted a Metro Vancouver Water Survey and Golf Industry Townhall in collaboration with the WCTA and BCGSA that helped shape the Metro Vancouver Water Use Plan and will provide a foundation for increased engagement of municipalities throughout the province.
  2. Facilitated changes to the redline liquor licensing boundaries for golf course operations in British Columbia together with the NGCOA
  3. Oversaw the production of an IPM Manual to assist both the government and the Golf Industry in fair and equitable integrated pest management regulations
  4. Continued lobbying of Government to introduce an adult fitness tax credit for British Columbians to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. This is one of the tax initiatives we have put forward every year to the select standing committee on finance.
  5. Continued collaborative lobbying efforts with Bluestone Government Relations towards maintaining our excellent relationships with government.
  6. Assisted with the expansion of the “First Green” program across Canada with the WCTA for the advancement of golf industry public awareness. This program is administered by the GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association and America) and utilizes the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching concept to educate school aged children on how golf integrates into the community, from playing it to its environmental impact.
  7. Facilitated annual $250,000 Co-Operative Marketing Partnership Program applications to Destination British Columbia as the legal entity for the British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance and six sub-provincial / regional organizations to together implement over $1 Million in marketing initiatives toward growing golf tourism in our province.
  8. Presented our AGA-BC objectives and accomplishments to the CSCM Canadian Society of Club Managers – Interior Sector in Kelowna.
  9. Attended the USGA Symposium in Vancouver, bringing all of the golf associations in North America together under one roof to discuss programs implemented and ways of collaboration.
  10. Met together with new Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum to discuss the successful role of the AGA-BC and explore opportunities for collaboration. I cannot underscore enough the role British Columbia Golf has played in fostering relationships between all of the Associations. Under the direction and leadership of Kris Jonasson we have been able to bridge many issues with both financial and administrative assistance.
  11. Revised our operating process to ensure compliance with the new Societies Act
  12. Commenced a strategic planning process facilitated by Shawn Ireland and Chelsea Craig, with a completion goal of the Spring of 2019.
  13. Our Golf Industry Scorecard remains a key communication tool for us and is accessible on our website with print copies also available should you have a need.

Next on the AGA-BC Tee:

  • Golf Awareness Day at the BC Legislature – May 28th
  • Continued strategic planning including a sustainable funding model for ongoing government relations and priority initiatives as well as a communications strategy.

I would also like to take this time to thank an outstanding group of board members who have worked tirelessly as volunteers to keep the golf industry firmly in front of Government. Without their dedication I am sure we would not be able to move forward with many of these initiatives.

I don’t mean to repeat myself but when something makes sense there is no point in trying to recreate it.  “Our hope is that this report will provide insight into the importance of what we are trying to accomplish and convey the need for all associations to participate – mentally, physically and financially. Given the breadth, depth and scope of work we do and that still needs to be done, the need to work together as a group for the betterment of the Golf Industry is both clear and imperative. No one group can do it alone. We look forward to another year of positive collaboration.”

If there are any questions please feel free to call me.

Sincerely,
Trevor Smith
President, AGA-BC
Tel: 250-320-6411
Email: president@aga-bc.org

BC Legislature Golf Awareness Day A Huge Success

3rd Annual BC Legislature Golf Awareness Day

Members of the Allied Golf Association of BC invited members of the legislative assembly and their staff to the the 3rd annual Golf Awareness Day on April 28, 2015.  AGA-BC directors and industry representatives were on hand to showcase three pillars of the golf industry in British Columbia: economic benefits, environmental stewardship and health and wellness; and from all accounts, the information was very well received by everyone in attendance.

Trevor Smith - AGA-BC President. Photo: InsideGolf / Jeff Sutherland

Trevor Smith – AGA-BC President.
Photo: InsideGolf / Jeff Sutherland

“Our lobbying effort is paying dividends and we’re starting to see just how beneficial these relationships can be. Relaying messaging that our industry is a valuable part of the provincial economy, that we are good environmental stewards and that golf is a sport for life worth supporting, has been key to our success.” commented AGA-BC President, Trevor Smith

Throughout the day, the positive impact of the golf industry was shared with MLA’s and their staff. The Honorable Eric Foster (MLA for Vernon-Monashee) provided an introduction and presentation at the Legislature on the contribution of the golf industry to British Columbia early in the day. At the educational luncheon, representatives from the seven members associations including the National Golf Course Owners Association, Canadian Society of Club Managers, BC Golf Superintendents Association ,British Columbia Golf Association, the PGA of BC, Western Canadian Turfgrass Association, and the British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance were all in attendance to showcase the variety of programs and initiatives underway within the golf industry.

Golf BC’s Andy Hedley spoke to the economic value of golf to the province delivering some very impressive numbers. “Golf is big business in BC, it employs more than 44,000 people and 43% of them are students,” said Hedley. “It contributes more than $2 billion to the BC economy and earns more than ski resorts, fitness centres, and spectator sports including the NHL. It also provides $465 million in taxes to the province.”

How Did We Score Ourselves

The Golf Industry Scorecard was presented to showcase successes (birdies) and opportunities (bogey) where the Province and industry can continue to work together.

AGA-BC- Scorecard-web-April 27, 2015

Educational programs such as the Western Canadian Turfgrass Association’s – First Green (thefirstgreen.org) were on display and well received by those in attendance. The following video produced by Kwantlen College from an event at the Vancouver Golf Club in 2014 was shown and started a number of discussions about how programs like this could be integrated into schools..

Feedback and Social Media Buzz

Photo opportunities were plentiful and many in attendance shared images and fact points about the industry.

Eric Foster & Naomi Yamamoto

Eric Foster & Naomi Yamamoto
Photo: InsideGolf / Jeff Sutherland

 

The Golf Awareness Day reaffirms that the golf industry is a valuable part of the provincial economy, that we are good environmental stewards and that golf is a sport for life worth supporting.