More than 250 people representing Canadian RV dealerships, manufacturers and campgrounds attended the fifth Canadian RV and Campground Convention Nov. 5-8 in Victoria, British Columbia.
The event featured three days of meetings, presentations, excursions and entertainment. The multi-day pre-tour of campgrounds on the mainland and the island received high praise.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada) and the British Columbia Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) sponsored the biennial event.
Held for the first time in a Western province since 2003, the event drew a number of industry representatives who had never before attended the convention, noted Louise Morel, executive director of the convention organizing committee.
“The mood of the dealer body was very positive,” said Eleonore Hamm, president of RVDA of Canada. “This was a tough year to get through but the majority did, and the majority are going to Louisville.”
RVDA of Canada will hold its annual “Canada Night” the night of Nov. 30 at the Galt House in Louisville, Ky., on the eve of the National RV Show.
Hamm noted that dealer participation at the national show was “not much down from the one we held two years ago, which is great.”
The associations presented two awards during the convention: David Dobson of RV World in Fredericton, New Brunswick, received the prestigious 2009 Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award; and Darren Gelowitz of Village RV in Regina, Saskatchewan, accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his late partner, Bill Ortman, who died earlier this year.
In conjunction with the nationwide meeting, the Alberta, Atlantic and British Columbia RVDAs held their annual general meetings. The new Alberta RVDA officers are:
- President Ross Hodgins, RV City, Morinville.
- Vice President Keith Hanks, Affordable RV, Calgary.
- Treasurer Bill Burnett, Trailblazer RV Centre Ltd., Nisku.
- Past President Darva Macbeth, Woody’s RV World, Edmonton.
- One-year directors are Kyle Redmond, Bucars RV Center, Balzac, and Dean Smyl, Smyl R.V. Center, St. Paul
- Two-year directors are Marty Vellner, Vellner Leisure Products, Red Deer, and Darcy Turgeon, Carefree RV & Coach Ltd., Edmonton.
The RVDA of British Columbia elected the following officers:
- President Gord Bragg, Hub City RV, Nanoose Bay.
- Vice president Colin Yaretz, South Thompson RV Ltd., Kamloops.
- Treasurer Chris Clarke, Traveland Leisure Vehicles, Langley.
- Past President Ian Moore, Big Boy’s Toys, Nanoose Bay.
- Two-year directors are Chris Swann, Go West, RV, Coquitlam; Jason Bell, Chemo RV, Quesnel; Ward Fraser, Voyager RV, Winfield; and Rob Williamson, LMG, Kamloops.
- One-year directors are Brian McHale, SAL Group, Langley; Darren Johnson, First Canadian, Victoria; and Ruth Neubauer, BMO Bank of Montreal – Retail Dealer Finance, Burnaby.
The Atlantic RVDA postponed its officer election to a later date.
Campgrounds Camping Canada also held its annual meeting during the convention.
The 2011 Canadian RV and Campground Convention will likely be held in the East at a location yet to be determined, Morel and Hamm said.
Each year, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA of Canada), in conjunction with Camping Canada’s RV Lifestyle Magazine and Camping Canada’s Dealer News, presents a Canadian RV dealer with the 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.
Camping Canada will present this year’s Canadian RV Dealer of the Year Award at the Canadian RV & Camping Convention being held at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, from Nov. 5-8.
Their industry peers nominate Canadian RV acting dealer principals 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.
In alphabetical order, the following have been nominated for the 2009 award:
- Kevin Betzold, GNR Camping World, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Dave Dobson, RV World, Waasis, New Brunswick.
- Bill Ortman, Village RV, Regina, Saskatchewan.
- Rod Seller, Sellers RV Centre, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.
- Irene Sturzenegger, Go West RV Sales, Coquitlam, British Columbia.
- Kirk Thomson, Can-Am RV Centre, London, Ontario.