December 3, 2019
Provincial update January 2020
Chris and Karen Griffin of Alternative Landscaping received national recognition for residential maintenance at the CNLA awards gala held recently in B.C. They were joined by Rob Officer, left, and Guy Dowhy at right.

Manitoba update

Landscape Trades runs occasional updates on the activities of Canada’s provincial trade associations. This issue features Manitoba Nursery Landscape Association.

The past 11 months have been a whirlwind of activity for the association, the Board of Directors and the Executive Director. Rob Officer’s official first day as the new Executive Director was Dec. 1, 2018, with the Grow 19 conference just nine weeks away. With only three speakers secured, and no sponsors confirmed, it was a team effort that contributed to the overall success of the conference. The Board should be commended for its efforts, as should Sharra Hinton, for not only providing Rob with training, but also pulling many strings behind the scenes to make both the Grow Show and the Awards Luncheon into successes. Thanks to our speakers, sponsors, award winners and attendees as well.

Grow 20 has been booked for Feb. 12, 2020, at Canad Inns Polo Park. The speaker program has been set and sponsorship packages are available. We plan to build on the 235 attendees and 25 sponsors who participated in 2019. Although this is MBNLA’s largest event, many other activities and reviews are taking place simultaneously.

A complete review of the association’s Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws and Board of Director’s policies is ongoing. In concert with the aforementioned items, the association’s Strategic Plan is being reviewed, and priorities identified.

Furthermore, we have returned to a periodic newsletter to increase communication with members. Planning is underway to re-build the website; the focus is to include a members-only log-in area as a member benefit. The Annual General Meeting and Fall Supper will take place at DeLuca’s on Nov. 28. More emphasis has been placed on member recruitment, and 12 new members have signed up in the past eight months.

Manitoba Agriculture hosted a number of stakeholder meetings on temporary foreign workers in Canada. MBNLA was represented by Roland Jeffries of Jeffries Nurseries. Not unlike other areas of the country, labour shortages are presenting some challenges in Manitoba as well.

Alternative wins National Award
Chris and Karen Griffin of Alternative Landscaping, Brandon, Man., were on hand at the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association awards banquet in Abbotsford, B.C., to receive the National Award of Landscape Excellence in Residential Maintenance for their work on the Clark residence in Brandon. Congratulations to the team at Alternative! Hopefully, this serves as an incentive for other Manitoba companies to participate.

natural pond and gardensThe Clark residence in Brandon, Man., was Alternative’s winning project.
Apprenticeship update
This winter, the last group of Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist apprentices under the previous non-harmonized curriculum will be finishing their third and final level of technical training. Additionally, every eligible apprentice has already registered for their second year of school, and will be the first group to receive the nationally harmonized Red Seal content. Recruiting for first-level apprentices is ongoing, and we expect to once again have every seat filled for the Jan. 27 start date.

Committee involvement
MBNLA believes that sector committees can be an effective way of getting representation for all of our diverse membership. We would like to thank Jordan Hiebert of Lacoste Garden Centre, Winnipeg, for agreeing to be our Garden Centres Canada Committee chair, our most recent appointment. We look forward to working with Jordan and getting feedback from our retail industry in Manitoba to the mutual benefit of our association members and our profession.