The BTA Marketing Kit is available on-line! Click here


2015 BTA Conference Highlights

Posted on October 16, 2015

The 2015 Building Trades of Alberta conference was the culmination of a year's worth of hard work and a great opportunity to share and celebrate the efforts and successes of the year, as well as to work together to plan for the future. We had lots of information shared from many different sources, and we want to make sure that everyone has access to what was shared, so we are including links to the information that was presented for you to have a look at and learn from. As always, if you have any comments or questions, please contact us at

The day started with a Safety Moment that included a brief discussion of the value of unionized labour when it comes to safety as well as recent trends in safety reporting. Following that, we revealed Stand Up for Safety - a video that we have been working on for the last several months to promote the next stage in the evolution of thinking about safety. The video has hardhat stickers that go with it as well, so once you've seen the video, contact us at to request some so you can demonstrate that you are willing to Stand Up for Safety.

Following that, Herb Holmes, the Director of Canadian Affairs with the CLR gave his forecast about workforce demands. Herb has almost 30 years of experience in construction labour relations, so we would be wise to listen to what he says about the future. Following on Herb's presentation, we held a contest for delegates and guests to tell us what they think the price of oil will be next year. Specifically, they were asked to state what they think the price of WTI will be at close of business, September 13, 2016 - the day next year's conference starts. The winner will be the person who is closest to the actual price and the prize is a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of their choice. This contest was originally just open to conference attendees, but we have opened it up to all members, but only until October 31. So email your guess to and stay tuned!

After coffee break, the three working committees that were created at last years conference had their opportunity to present and share the results of the work they've done over the last year, and what their next steps are.

First up was our Executive Director, Warren Fraleigh, talking about Recruiting & Marketing. An important part of the discussion involved the creation of a Marketing Kit that was shared with delegates and guests. This comprehensive package showcases the work of the BTA and affiliated unions and partners as well as providing clarity around who the BTA is, what it is that we do, and, most importantly, why we do it (hint: it's for the members and their families). The materials found in the marketing kit are available online as well, for anyone to review, print and share. Click here to have a look and start downloading. Warren also shared a review of a program we piloted from April to June in three high schools across Alberta, designed to promote the Building Trades with teens getting ready to graduate and potentially enter the workforce.

Following Warren's discussion, j'Amey Holroyd, Director of Apprenticeship & Education for the Boilermakers Local 146 gave her presentation on the state of the Mentoring, Apprenticeship & Education working group, which included a brief demo of an online "gamified" training program which looks very cool. j'Amey also provided an info sheet and an infographic to share what the working group is doing and what information they got from a survey they conducted regarding mentorship.

Rounding out the working group presentations was Bertha Greenstein, Executive Director of Mediation Services for the Government of Alberta and Jarrett Serediak with Ceda Group, talking about Research & Data Collection. This is a massive project that has potentially huge positive implications for locals in the future, so we look forward to hearing more from this group in the future.

After all that information, it was nice to get a break in the form of recognizing the apprentice who won the first ever John Tackaberry Future Leaders Award by writing an essay outlining what leadership means to them. Rosemary Curran-Pipestem, an ironworker out of Local 725 won the award, beating out many other apprentices vying for the $1000 prize. Read her essay here.

After lunch, we got to see leadership of another kind: Alysia Rissling, the pilot for the Canadian women's bobsleigh team gave a presentation talking about her journey to become a bobsleigh pilot and Olympic hopeful. Lots of inspiring images and stories of dedication bringing her closer and closer to realizing her dream of Olympic gold. A very inspiring presentation and very well-received.

Our keynote speaker, Joseph Ricciuti, is the co-founder of Mental Health International and the President and CEO of SEB Benefits and HR Consulting Inc and has over 35 years of experience in health and employee benefits. His talk about Workplace Mental Health covered a range of issues, many of which people are not always comfortable talking about, but it is important to shed light on them, nonetheless.

Darren Truscott, Vice President of Operations with Jacobs Industrial Services Ltd was invited to the conference to provide the contractor perspective, and he did not disappoint. Have a look at his presentation here.

Ian MacGregor, Chairman and CEO of NW Refinery Inc. and Chairman of Enhance Energy Inc. was also on site, providing the owner's perspective. Unfortunately, his presentation is not available, but be sure to visit the NWR website and Enhance Energy website to learn more.

After dinner, we had guest speakers Dr. Vivek Mehta from Alberta Health Services and Melissa Da Silva of the Stollery Children's Hospital & Neurosurgery Kids Fund give a presentation to the delegates and guests about the Neurosurgery Kids Fund.

All in all, lots of valuable information was shared, many relationships were formed and strengthened and people left the conference feeling energized and looking forward to the future.