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

AGA-BC: Update From The President

It has been a pleasure to collaborate with a such a dedicated team of golf industry professionals on our AGA-BC Board toward considerable success these past two years, toward providing leadership, collaborative advocacy and a cooperative resource for the British Columbia Golf industry.

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.

Firstly, I believe we can all agree that the entire golf industry needs to be recognized by government as a key financial contributor to the economy of British Columbia. That was the belief in the beginning and the reality of where we are today: the government of British Columbia now recognizes the Golf Industry as a key contributor to the healthy economy of the Province and has been more than willing to involve us in a partnership on a number of different key financial, environmental and marketing fronts.

These opportunities have come to fruition through the lobbying efforts of Bluestone Government Relations and a very active volunteer board. I would like to key in on the active volunteer board, as there is no way we could have accomplished what we have without a paid lobbyist and a number of very dedicated board members contributing their time and expertise to what we deem important. Without their support, the weight put on the volunteers through this process would have overwhelmed them and not allowed for the insight and the government connections a paid lobbyist could supply.

Keeping this in mind, herewith a list of the positive outcomes the AGA-BC has accomplished:

  • With the initial direction of the NGCOA and its financial assistance, we took part in the original lobbying effort to overturn the golf cart licensing issue in BC.
  • We undertook the organization of three successful lobbying efforts with the Government and its MLA’s in Victoria.
  • We undertook a seminar for the golf industry to further move the collaborative efforts of the AGA-BC forward and to develop a mandate.
  • We developed a website including a news feed, minutes, events and the direction the association is heading.
  • We developed a Golf Industry Score Card that illustrates the mandate of the AGA-BC as an industry communication tool.
  • We developed a committee to work with the MOE on the environmental issues facing golf now and in the future.
  • We collectively worked with the Ministry of Environment on new regulations that would help both Industry and Government develop sound policy on both pesticides and water usage.
  • We received government grants of $35,000.00 to be put towards the creation of an IPM handbook to assist both the government and the Golf Industry in fair and equitable regulations.
  • We are presently engaged with the Metro Vancouver Water Authority and their consultants on developing equitable water use regulations for the 67 golf courses in Greater Vancouver.
  • We are working with ICBC on the creation of Vanity license plates for the Golf Industry – which will provide a potential funding source for both sport development and marketing.
  • We have expanded to include the BCGMA within the AGA-BC, toward viewing the Golf Industry as one unified entity.
  • Efforts of the BCGMA and the AGA-BC have resulted in an increase from $50K to $250K in co-operative advertising funding through Destination BC  for marketing BC’s golf courses. This may just be the beginning.
  • We syndicated the “First Green” program developed in Washington in conjunction with the WCTA for the advancement of golf industry public awareness. This program has been adopted by the USGA and utilizes the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching concept. This program has been very well supported, by both the Ministry of Environment and the Minister of Education. A very successful event was held at the Redwoods Golf Course with the Minister of Environment and a number of District school superintendents in attendance. It would appears that future events will be well accepted by the school system.

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