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Event Details



Once a year the recreational boating industry in British Columbia steps away from their busy lives to attend the Boating BC Conference. It’s an inspiring two days where people come to learn, connect and share ideas.

The 2016 Boating BC Conference presented by Mercury Marine, will be held on November 22 and 23 at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, BC. This year we’re exploring New Horizons; opportunities and challenges that are imminently approaching BC's recreational marine industry. Our world-class speakers include business visionaries and industry experts who will share insights about the future of the industry, the changing face of employees and customers, and how to use the timeless art of storytelling to engage stakeholders. Delegates will leave with tangible takeaways to anticipate what lies ahead, and prepared to make the most of new opportunities and weather foreseeable challenges.

This is the premier event for networking with current and new colleagues, and consistently creates an environment rich in camaraderie through shared activities, receptions and great entertainment. Our delegates tell us this is an exceptional experience — so it’s no surprise that each November, our industry feels just a little bit stronger and more united than the year before.



Very impressed with the conference, we will be back next year. We got lots of great information and the event made us feel like we are part of a great industry, and to know we are never alone.”  - 2015 Conference Attendee


New Horizons: Future Indicators & Trends in the Recreational Marine Industry


Thom Dammrich has been the President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association based in Chicago for 16 years. In this premier leadership role, he has worked to unify the industry, increase advocacy efforts and expand market opportunities. Thom has constantly had to scan the environment in which boating operates to anticipate challenges and identify opportunities to keep the industry healthy, growing and working together. Returning to the Boating BC Conference in 2016, Thom will share the latest trends, issues and opportunities on our industry’s horizon, and how businesses in all sectors can prepare for the future to ensure the recreational boating industry continues to grow and prosper.


The Purpose Driven Employee and Customer: Are You Ready?


Research shows that when people believe in the purpose of their company and their job, they are more engaged, more loyal, and much more willing to give extra effort. For over 20 years, business visionary Dr. John Izzo has been a pioneer in employee engagement, change leadership, shifting employee and consumer values, and corporate social responsibility. In speaking to the purpose revolution, Dr. Izzo will share incredible insights and examples of how companies worldwide are winning “purpose driven” employees and customers while leaving delegates with concrete methods to do the same.

A bestselling author, community leader and one of North America’s most sought after voices on leadership, Dr. Izzo has presented to over one million people, taught at two major universities, advised over 500 organizations, including a number of Fortune 500’s, and produced a five hour television series for the Biography Channel and PBS. His work has been featured by the likes of Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and INC Magazine.


Canadian Millennials: Engaging the Next Generation


Millennials… that up-and-coming market segment we hear so much about. Who are they and how do we engage with them as customers and employees? Through an engaging and interactive presentation, David Coletto will provide delegates with a uniquely Canadian perspective on who Canadian Millennials are, why are they’re so different, and what organizations need to know to manage and sell to them. Having conducted research on Canadian Millennials for the past six years, David’s insights are research-based, balanced, and respectful.  He’ll take delegates on a journey to understand why Millennials are the way they are, what makes them different, and how they are impacting your organization.

David Coletto is CEO and a founding partner of Abacus Data, a full-service market and public opinion research firm based in Ottawa. Having earned a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Calgary in 2010, David is an Adjunct Professor at the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University where he teaches courses on public affairs strategies, polling, and political marketing. In 2013, he was named one of Ottawa’s Forty under 40.


Bringing Brand Experiences to Life Through Storytelling


Among our many advancements in communications, the timeless art of storytelling has endured. Why? Because it works. Well-crafted stories, told well, connect people to ideas, to experiences and to each other. And while storytelling is used in a vast variety of scenarios, perhaps nowhere is it more prevalent than in the recreational sector, for when we recount our great recreational experiences, we naturally do so through stories. In this engaging and enlightening 90-minute talk, strategic storyteller, Bill Baker, will explain the fundamentals of great storytelling.  Delegates will leave understanding how to leverage this ageless craft of humanity to build their brands, and engage and align others around them… and ultimately, draw more people to recreational boating in B.C.

Bill Baker is the founder and Principal of BB&Co Strategic Storytelling. This boutique consultancy helps companies and organizations uncover and define the one true story of their brand, how to bring that story to life to engage and align employees and other stakeholders. Prior to starting BB&Co, Bill spent 18 years of his career in the advertising industry, most recently as part of the Global Planning Group of DDB Worldwide and Managing Director of DDB’s Vancouver office, but also working in New York City running global accounts for other multinational agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Grey.


Economic Overview of the Canadian Marine Industry


We are very pleased to welcome Tim Nixon to the 2016 Boating BC Conference to share an overview of current economic conditions and how they affect the recreational marine industry in Canada. This informative update with include national and regional trends and forecasts for the recreational marine sector. Tim is a 20-year industry veteran and now leads 190 team members who provide inventory financing to more than 3,400 dealers across Canada.



BC’s Economic Outlook: What Does it Mean for the Recreational Marine Industry?


Iain Black has led the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT) since October 2011.  Over these five years, the iconic 129 year-old organization has experienced a modern renaissance, with dramatic membership growth via a rediscovered relevancy for 21st century business, government and thought leaders.  Iain came to GVBOT directly from the ranks of government, where he was elected twice into the provincial legislature and served as minister in three different cabinet posts.  Prior to public service, his career was entirely in the private sector. 

Iain’s core strengths ‒ communication, strategy, development and operational analysis and execution ‒ were developed over 15 years in the technology and new economy sectors through increasingly complex and high-profile CEO assignments across both publicly traded and private companies.  Iain will share his unique perspective on BC’s economic indicators and how businesses in the recreational marine industry can adapt for continued success.


Simon Keith holds the distinction of being the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant.

The story he will share on November 22 is simply remarkable.

It is a story of the human spirit. It will inspire and it will motivate. It will make you laugh and it may make you cry. It is a story of hope and determination. It is an incredible saga and a story of almost unbelievable luck coupled with world-class perseverance. And after all that…it is still so much more. You won’t want to miss it!



Laura Ballance is a renowned marketing, public and media relations veteran, whose career spans more than 20 years. She has owned one of Western Canada’s most successful advertising and public relations companies, Laura Ballance Media Group, since 2000, and is acknowledged by media across the country as one of the nations’ most influential media specialists.

Laura has worked on advertising, public relations, corporate reputation and media outreach programs for numerous clients including: the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, Rio 2016, Disney Corporation, Marvel Comics, United Nations (World Urban Forum), Forest Products Association of Canada, Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver International Auto Show, Vancouver International Boat Show and the Lego Corporation. She has numerous awards to her credit, including being named a recipient of the 40 under 40 Award and a Woman of Distinction.

In working with her clients, Laura he has been confronted, first-hand, with the changing face of BC’s demographics and resulting shift in consumer culture and behaviour. Speaking at the Boating BC Conference for the first time, she’ll share her seasoned perspective on our changing demographics, how to engage with new Canadians and promote the boating lifestyle in BC.


WCBA & Marine Service Update


Since 2004, the West Coast Boatyard Association (WCBA) has led workforce development projects for the recreational marine service industry. With the strong revival of our industry, skilled labour and succession planning is more critical than ever. The WCBA is positioned to support and promote training, career and business development for the sustainable growth of BCs recreational marine service businesses and tradespeople. Roger Boulet, Managing Director of the WCBA, will inform delegates of recent updates with the association.



Protecting the Legacy of Our Oceans


The Ocean Legacy Foundation, a not-for-profit based in Surrey, BC, integrates education, clean-up expeditions, on-line hotspot mapping and plastic to fuel technologies into a unique program to mitigate oceanic plastic pollution. These four areas of focus are foundational in the development of a strong connected and mobilized global network; cleaning the natural environment while demonstrating sustainable technologies to manage plastic resources. Chloe Dubois and James Middleton will provide an overview of the great work Ocean Legacy does at home and around the world, and will share an on-site demonstration of their plastic to fuel technology.


2016 Sport Fishing Report


Owen Bird, Executive Director, Sport Fishing Institute of BC, is back to share the latest news from the sport fishing sector in BC. Owen will provide an overview of the 2016 season and projections for 2017, insights on new and emerging fisheries and upcoming tourism initiatives. You will also hear about a new, collaborative innovation soon to be launched by the fishing sector.


The Boating BC Conference this year has been fantastic. From the moment I walked in I saw people I recognized and I introduced myself to some new people I had hoped to connect with.” - 2015 Conference Attendee


8:00 Registration & Coffee
9:00 Opening Remarks

Thom Dammrich, President National Marine Manufacturers Association

New Horizons: Future Indicators & Trends in the Marine Industry


Tim Nixon, Managing Director, Wells Fargo

Economic Overview of the Canadian Marine Industry

  Coffee provided by Pacific Yacht Systems

James Middleton & Chloe Dubois, Ocean Legacy Foundation

Protecting the Legacy of Our Oceans


David Coletto, CEO Abacus Data & Canadian Millennials

Canadian Millennials: Engaging the Next Generation

12:20 Lunch

Industry Reports:

Roger Boulet, West Coast Boat Yard Association

Owen Bird, Executive Director, Sport Fishing Institute


Laura Ballance, President, Laura Ballance Media Group

Promoting Boating to the Changing Face of British Columbia

    Coffee provided by MD Marine Insurance

Bill Baker, BB&CO, Strategic Storytelling

Bringing Brand Experiences to Life Through Storytelling

5:00-7:00   Navis Industry Reception

Dinner & Industry Presentation

Simon Keith, Founder, Simon Keith Foundation

Moments of Truth



  Breakfast presented by Arbutus Yacht Sales

9:00 Opening Remarks

Iain Black, President & CEO Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

BC's Economic Outlook: What Does it Mean for the Recreational Marine Industry?


Dr. John Izzo, Best Selling Author & Business Visionary

The Purpose Driven Employee and Customer: Are You Ready?

11:50 Closing Comments


The 2015 Boating BC Conference will be hosted at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, BC. The Pacific Gateway Hotel is easy to access. It is only minutes from the Vancouver International Airport and offers a free shuttle from the airport every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day. The facility has state-of-the-art convention and meeting facilities, three restaurants, a 153-slip marina, and is pet-friendly.

Conference delegates receive a rate of $135.00 per night. To reserve your room, call 1-866-382-3474 and quote the Boating BC Conference block code: 1611BOAT or you may reserve online here.

Delegates will also be required to enter their license plate numbers here for complimentary parking and to avoid being ticketed.


In the two years that I’ve attended, the crowd has grown, which is great! The conference gives the dealers an opportunity to learn about trends and changes and to think about ways to remain competitive.” - 2015 Conference Attendee




The sixth annual Boating BC Conference presented by Mercury Marine offers a unique opportunity to engage with individuals and organizations from every sector of the marine industry across the province. Delegates are not limited to our 300 plus member companies — everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The 2016 marketing campaign will launch in August with early registration and continue through November. Sponsors are gratefully acknowledged in all communications to our membership, the industry at large and the boating public. Of course, sponsors are widely acknowledged throughout the event to over 200 industry delegates.

This is your invitation to partner with a one-of-a-kind event; to increase awareness of your business and connect with this unique audience while showing support for the recreational marine industry. The more we work together, the stronger, more vibrant our industry will be for generations to come.


2016 Boating BC Sponsorship Opportunities


I think the statistical information presented at the conference specific to sales, economic contribution and financial strength of the industry provides great insights to people in our industry. I would recommend this conference to new and previous attendees – every year the speakers are fresh and you always meet people you could benefit from knowing in the industry.” - 2015 Conference Attendee

Conference Registration

Ticket Name Sale Ends Price Quantity
22 Nov 2016
Sale Ended
Member Rate
22 Nov 2016
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Member Group of 5 Rate *minimum 5 tickets must be purchased)
22 Nov 2016
Sale Ended
22 Nov 2016
Sale Ended
Dinner Guest (November 22)
23 Nov 2016
Sale Ended
Ticket Name Sale Ends Price Quantity
22 Nov 2016
6:00pm - 7:00pm PST
No Tickets Available

22 Nov 2016 @ 8:00am PST
23 Nov 2016 @ 12:00pm PST

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