Day One Report

The total number of registrations for the CanWEA conference rose to 1560 yesterday.

I used to come to the conference and know half the people.  Now I look over the crowd, and know less than 10%.  There are a lot of new people.  One of the conference delegates reminded me of the Halifax conference 5 years ago.  We were proud that we had attracted 330 delegates.  And the year after that, when it was my turn as CanWEA president, we were proud to report that we had grown to 440 attendees.  That conference was held in Pincher Creek, a small town in the foothills of southern Alberta.  The trade show was in the cow palace.  I still remember the words of the Sue Aris, the fireball conference organizer.  After welcoming people, she said, “If you need anything, speak to one of the many volunteers.  Remember that you are not in a large conference facility, but we will do what we can to accomodate you.  If we can’t, we might just tell you to suck it up, but we will do it in a friendly way.”  She was right.  It was a great conference in the heart of Canada’s wind country.  CanWEA had one staff member, and an all volunteer board and conference organizers.  Today, CanWEA has 12 staff, including policy directors for Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta, and a budget of $2.7 million.

Of course $2.7 million is the total budget.  And it includes conference expenses.  And the budget for public relations alone for the Canadian Nuclear Association is $25 million.  But still, we are now treated with more respect as an energy player.  8 out of 10 provinces have some wind energy installed, and there are projects underway in the other two as well.

Off to the conference.

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