December 15, 2008
By Lynn Lane

Since its inception in the 1970s, the Ottawa chapter has had a long history of success on many fronts. The reason? The chapter has had active, visionary board members who have planned well and moved relentlessly forward toward a single goal: to advance horticulture. Does this describe you?

The paths they have taken to reach this goal have been varied. They have worked in fun and friendship to advance horticulture:
  • By engaging the public (yearly public seminars, working with garden societies, speaking at garden clubs and special functions)
  • By giving back to the community (Day of Remembrance, Cancer Survivors’ Park, Ronald McDonald House)
  • By mentoring future business people (students from Algonquin College, Kemptville College, The Technical Learning Centre, Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School, Bell High School and job fairs)
  • By offering the Val Kirschner award yearly
  • By continually raising the bar on chapter offerings
  • By providing a local business forum to stimulate commerce (GreenTrade Expo)
  • By bringing in top-notch industry speakers to inspire owners, managers and employees
  • By embracing and promoting safety programs and certifications
  • By listening to the members’ requests on what kind of tools will help their businesses…and then working with the home office to deliver
  • By being good stewards of the chapter’s and association’s resources and assets
  • By being shrewd business people…visioning, planning and budgeting to make sure the chapter has the means to achieve the goal

These things can only be achieved by committed people with their eyes on the same goal. The Ottawa chapter, as do all chapters, needs people who can see the goal and are committed to moving towards it. If you can see the future and are excited about helping the industry get there, become involved in your local chapter or as a member of your local board. Your vision and enthusiasm are needed!

GreenTrade Expo: 16 years of boosting commerce in eastern Ontario

In the early 1990s, the Ottawa chapter board was looking for a way to enhance green industry commerce in the Ottawa area. In an ambitious move, the members began a trade show that has today become GreenTrade Expo, Eastern Ontario’s Trade Show for the Horticulture Industry (held Wednesday, February 18, 2009).

The very first show was held in a hotel ballroom with local members setting up their pamphlets on table tops. In the fertile market of Ottawa, and with careful nurturing by the board, the show grew steadily. Today, GreenTrade Expo has grown to almost 100 exhibitors and takes up over 30,000 square feet at Ottawa’s main Civic Centre. Approximately 1,000 industry professionals (both LO members and non-members) now attend the show.

The GreenTrade Expo show committee has always aligned its priorities with those of the association and the chapter. To this end, the show now promotes human resource development and features educational sessions on business and technical competencies. The past two years have seen the introduction of the Profit Builders’ Speaker Series, which brings in a prominent business leader to deliver a keynote presentation. This year’s topic, Growing Your Business, is being delivered by Leonard Lee, founder of Lee Valley Tools.

What has remained the same all these years, is that GreenTrade Expo is THE big day for industry people in eastern Ontario to get together and network. It is often said by attendees that they can spend hours walking through the exhibits, stopping every few feet to greet old colleagues or meet new friends.

All members of the industry are invited to attend GreenTrade Expo on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at the Ottawa Civic Centre. For more details visit