The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) will hold its annual “Canada Night Dinner” tonight in Louisville, Ky., on the eve of the opening of the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show.
The event will be held in the Galt House Hotel. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. dinner at 7:30 p.m.
RVDA of Canada’s Dealer of the Year will be announced at this event.
The nominees are:
- Craig Anstead of Paradise RV, Red Deer County, Alberta.
- Kevin Betzold of GNR Camping World, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Henry Epp of Country RV in Kelowna, British Columbia.
- Ron Hall of Eldorado RV, Lethbridge, Alberta.
- David McKee of The Hitch House, Shanty Bay, Ontario.
- Daniel Morin of Roulottes Desjardins, St-Jérôme, Quebec.
The winner is chosen by the Award Committee, which is composed of the five previous winners and a representative from RV Lifestyle magazine – sponsor of the award.
Event sponsors are:
- Federated Insurance Company of Canada.
- Atlas Trailer Coach Products.
- Aviva Elite Insurance Co.
- Coach-Net Technical & Roadside Assistance.
- Coast Distribution System Inc., Canada.
- EPA Ultimate Concepts Inc.
- First Canadian Insurance Corp.
- GE Commercial Distribution Finance Canada.
- KZ RV LP.
- Northern Lite Mfg. Ltd.
- RBC Royal Bank.
- SAL Group – Industrial Alliance Pacific.
- Statistical Surveys Inc.
Go RVing Canada has concluded its Top 11 Spots to Go RVing in Canada promotion, which commemorated each province’s top destination to Go RVing.
The winning regions were selected by hundreds of submissions received by Canadian travelers through Go RVing Canada’s recent Top 100 Spots to RV in Canada Centennial Contest.
This past July, Go RVing Canada, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), launched the month-long contest in honor of the RV Centennial. This contest engaged RV enthusiasts from across Canada, encouraging them to submit their favourite spot to RV in the country for a chance to win an Apple iPad.
“These top Canadian RV destinations definitely earned their votes,” says Go RVing Canada Spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “This contest has made us realize how lucky we are as Canadians to have unlimited access to such beautiful sites. We are positive this event has inspired people to go on their own RV adventures and explore our amazing country for themselves!”
The Top 11 spots to RV in Canada are:
- Kluane Lake, Yukon
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia
- Banff National Park, Alberta
- Douglas Provincial Park, Saskatchewan
- Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba
- Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario
- Gaspésie, Québec
- The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
- Fundy National Park, New Brunswick
- Twin Shores Camping Area, Prince Edward Island
- Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
For more information on RVing and the RV lifestyle, visit www.GoRVing.ca.
Longtime RV dealer and industry advocate Alden Kowarsky was elected new chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA Canada) during the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo Oct. 4-8 in Las Vegas.
President of Alco RV in Laval, Quebec, Kowarsky has been in the RV industry for more than 30 years. He started his career by joining his parents, Gerald and Rhoda, at the dealership — which initially was the first tent-trailer manufacturer in Quebec before becoming a retail enterprise in 1965 — in 1978. In 2006, Kowarsky purchased a large piece of land in Laval, Quebec, just outside of Montreal, and built the largest RV center in Laval. He currently oversees the entire dealership’s operations and general management.
“It is a sincere honor to have been elected as the new chairman of the Board of the RVDA of Canada,” said Kowarsky. “It has truly been a goal of mine to be able to represent my fellow peers at the national level and I am grateful for the trust and confidence that they have placed in me and the entire national board.”
Joining Kowarsky as RVDA Canada officers for the 2010-2011 year are:
- Vice Chairman Garth Bromley, Transcona Trailer Sales, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Treasurer Ian Moore, Big Boys Toys, Nanoose Bay, Britsh Columbia
- Past Chairman Kim Stone, Stone’s RV and Home Centre, Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Registrations for the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo are up about 10% overall and 12% for Canadian dealers, according to organizers of the event that runs through Friday (Oct. 8) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
”Registrations look great,” said Eleonore Hamm, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA Canada). ”We have a few more dealerships than last year.”
Some 500 people are expected to attend the con/expo during which RVBusiness magazine (and RVBUSINESS.com) will host its 3rd Annual RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards tonight (Oct. 6) with a reception and dinner at the Rio hosted by Affinity Group Inc. President & CEO Mike Schneider and keynoted by conservative political commentator and author Ann Coulter.
While the award eligibility has been expanded this year to include recreational park model dealers, the format will include five Blue Ribbon retailers and one individual receiving the Dave Altman Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year’s con/expo is focusing on business processes designed to help dealerships coming out of the economic downturn.
”People are getting out of the survival mode, but everybody still needs to watch revenues and expenses, and that’s what we are going to be talking about in many of the workshops,” said Phil Ingrassia, vice president of communication for the U.S.-based Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). ”This convention is focused on helping dealers focus on management in all areas of the dealership.”
Most ”Partners in Progress” brand committees made up of dealers who sell specific manufacturers’ brands met Monday and Tuesday and got an early look at the results of the RVDA’s Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) that is comprised from ratings surveys completed by retailers.
Aggregate DSI results will be distributed later with DSI awards being presented at the 47th Annual RV Trade Show Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. ”We moved up the release of the DSI results so that the brand committees could use them in their meetings with manufacturers,” Ingrassia said.
The five-day gathering, which marks RVDA’s 40th anniversary, will offer about 50 seminars and workshops on subjects that include the RV industry’s immediate future, F&I, employee education, wholesale financing, the use of social media, parts and service and RV rentals. The expo which opened Tuesday night has more than 100 exhibitors,
Dirk Kempthorne, former secretary of the Interior who drove to Las Vegas in his own motorhome, was the keynote speaker Tuesday during the con/expo’s first general session.
RVDA and RVDA of Canada will hold their annual meetings Thursday morning.
Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) has announced the schedule of seven provincial annual general meetings and golf tourneys.
The annual general meeting schedule follows:
- Alberta: Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta, Oct. 18-20.
- Atlantic: Location to be announced, Brudenell, Prince Edward Island, Sept. 10.
- British Columbia: Predator Ridge Golf Course, Vernon, British Columbia, Sept. 13.
- Manitoba: Inn at the Forks, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Oct. 12.
- Ontario: Pine Lake Golf & Country Club, Clifford, Ontario, Aug. 9.
- Quebec: Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec, Sept. 22-24.
- Saskatchewan: Jackfish Lodge, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Sept. 2.
The golf tourney schedule follows:
- Alberta: Alberta Springs Golf Resort, west of Red Deer, Alberta, Aug. 11.
- British Columbia: Predator Ridge Golf Course, Vernon, British Columbia, Sept. 14.
- Manitoba: Bridges Golf Course, Starbuck, Manitoba, Aug. 26.
- Ontario: Pine Lake Golf & Country Club, Clifford, Ontario, Aug. 10.
- Quebec: Chateau Montebello, Montebello, Quebec, Sept. 21.
- Saskatchewan: Jackfish lodge, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Sept. 1.
Go RVing Canada, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), has officially launched its “Top 100 Spots to RV in Canada” Contest, in commemoration of the RV Centennial.
This month-long contest, engaging RV enthusiasts across Canada, will allow participants to submit their favorite spot to RV in Canada for a chance to win an Apple iPad in a draw on Aug. 6.
2010 marks 100 years since the first mass-produced motorized camper was produced. Several events will be taking place throughout the year across North America and Go RVing Canada is thrilled to take part in the celebrations honoring this important occasion.
“This event reinforces what we’ve been saying for years – RVing remains a popular vacation choice for those who are looking for freedom, flexibility, and fun,” says Go RVing Canada spokesperson Angèle Lapointe. “RVing is a lifestyle that many Canadians have adopted and have maintained, and the best part is, it’s incredibly affordable!”
“The RV lifestyle continues to thrive and that’s what the Centennial is all about,” adds Eleonore Hamm, RVDA of Canada president. “We are excited to hear about the many incredible RV destination spots that Canadians are visiting and raving about.”
“RVing is an intimate and accessible way to explore our beautiful country,” says Gisele Danis, CTC executive director, Strategic Marketing, Canada Program. “The CTC is pleased to take part in the celebration of this milestone event and inspire Canadians to discover a Canada they didn’t know existed from coast, to coast, to coast.”
To participate in the contest, RV enthusiasts are invited to visit www.GoRVing.ca and fill out a ballot for a chance to win.
Nominations for the 2010 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year are now open.
The RVDA of Canada, in conjunction with Camping Canada’s RV Lifestyle Magazine and Camping Canada’s Dealer News, are inviting nominations from across Canada for the 2010 Walter Paseska Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award.
Established in 1989 by Camping Canada, and dedicated to Walter Paseska for his many years of commitment and tireless dedication to the RV industry, this award is given to a Canadian RV acting dealer principle on the basis of the following criteria:
- Long-term dedication to the RV industry and promotion of the RV lifestyle by the acting dealer principal of a recognized full service RV dealership.
- Commitment and participation in the RVDA at the provincial or national level.
- Recognition by customers and peers as a person with the highest integrity and credibility in both work and personal life.
- Contribution to the community.
A maximum of three candidates per province will be considered for the award. The national selection committee, which is composed of the past four Dealer of the Year Award recipients and one representative from the award’s sponsor, Camping Canada, chooses the winner(s) from the list of nominees by secret ballot.
Camping Canada will present this year’s Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award at the Canada Night Dinner in Louisville, Ky., being held Nov.29.
The winner(s) will be acknowledged in several ways:
- An etched glass award for the recipient(s).
- A profile story on the dealership in RV Lifestyle magazine and Dealer News.
- Presentation of a professionally-taken photograph of the recipient to the dealership.
- A paid announcement in their local paper(s).
- Creation of press releases and a press kit for the dealer to send to his/her local media, to national and regional media, and to manufacturers, along with instructions for use by the dealer.
If you have any questions about the Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award, contact Eleonore Hamm at the RVDA of Canada, (604) 718-6325 or email@example.com, or Jo-Ann Searls at RV Lifestyle Magazine/Camping Canada, (905) 844-8218.
Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada are on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, today (April 20) to highlight the continuing and urgent need for a solution to the emerging credit crisis in the retail RV sector, according to the Canadian News Service.
“Last year, we voiced our concerns about the unprecedented credit crisis. Our 420 dealer members reported the lack of floorplan financing as the biggest concern facing their businesses in 2009, and this trend is continuing in 2010,” stated Kim Stone, RVDA of Canada chairman and president and CEO of Stones RV and Homes Center in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. “This is extremely difficult to grasp, as more and more Canadians continue to move towards the affordable and flexible travel offered by RV ownership.”
In the face of this financial crisis, the RVDA of Canada would like to work together toward finding a credit solution. “The RV industry recognizes recent measures taken by the government of Canada to help alleviate the financial crisis,” said Stone. “However, a more targeted approach is needed to meet the specific needs of the RV industry.”
The RV industry depends on financing to stay viable, and there lies an opportunity to collaborate with an industry that can lead the national economy in financial recovery. The industry continues to urge the government of Canada to develop a lending model that would more directly inject funding into the RV marketplace.
The impact of the retail RV sector is not simply one time retail sales. “RVing and the RV lifestyle make important economic contributions to ongoing tourism and recreation spending in every region of Canada,” said Stone. “In 2008, RV ownership was set at record levels and there are more than 1 million RVs on Canada’s roads today. In fact, some 14% of Canadian households currently own an RV.”
The RV market has stability, profitability and a long history of low-risk loans. The RVDA of Canada would like to work collaboratively towards finding a credit solution that makes sense for the RV industry and the economy. Indeed, the entire future of the RV industry depends on finding solutions to the liquidity crisis.
The RVDA of Canada is a national, volunteer federation of provincial and regional RVDA associations and their members, who have united to form a professional trade association for all businesses involved in the recreation vehicle industry.
The Ontario RVDA has reported that some dealers have purchased U.S. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) units at auction and are selling them as RVs. Customers may think they are getting a 30-ft travel trailer for $8,995, rather than a below-standard shelter, according to the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) Bulletin.
“This could impact your marketplace. Make your customers aware of the difference,” RVDA of Canada advised.
The FEMA units are not intended for ongoing use and are not equipped to be used recreationally as regular RVs; nor do they meet standards for such use. They are stripped down units that were purchased by the U.S. government for temporary emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina.
These units are not approved by Ontario standards monitoring agencies:
- Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) —Propane.
- Electrical Safety Authority ESA.
- Agency of Hydro 1.
And on a general basis, they do not comply with manufacturer compliance through Transport Canada.
“Dealers who do not sell them but who are aware of such practices should report offenders to your local standards agencies who monitor safety, and to your local RVDA,” the association advised.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) Education & HR Committee has launched its first online edition of “Stop. Listen. Action.”
The Education & HR Committee is the largest and most active of all RVDA of Canada committees. In its 16th year, this committee has helped established many new frontiers, according to the inaugural issue.
To read the first issue, go to http://rvcareers.ca/documents/Spring2010.pdf.
Here are some 2009 industry highlights:
- Completion of the RiskWise Safety manual in partnership with Federated Insurance promoting workplace safety.
- Affiliated with CSMO in Quebec to raise RV industry awareness and develop a certification program in Quebec.
- Developed pilot project for basic propane and electrical training with Winnipeg Technical College.
- Successfully invited RVIA to hold one Trouble-Shooter clinic in Toronto, Nov. 9-13.
- Okanagan College and RVDA of BC Service Seminar held Nov. 17-19.
- SAIT opened new apprenticeship facility in Calgary.
- Developed 1-day F&I training seminars with SAL & RBC.
- Conducted 12 sales webinars with Harvey Cohen.
- Developed two-day management training seminars with Spader and Marzahn& King.
- RVDA of Alberta, RV manufacturers and suppliers, SAIT Edmonton campus apprentices built a teardrop trailer to be featured at RV shows and career fairs.
- Upgraded RV Careers website and use of social media.
The current committee consists of seven directors and is chaired by Paul Sinclair, Bucars RV, Alberta. The committee members are:
- Gord Bragg, Hub City RV, Nanoose Bay, British Columbia.
- Tom Oakes, TRX RV, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
- Lou Schwindt, Four Seasons RV, Virden, Manitoba.
- Frank Hone, Dealer Support Services, Port Hope, Ontario.
- Jean-François Lussier, Horizon Lussier, Marieville, Quebec.
- George Goodrick, Adventure Sports RV, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.