What a fantastic event [the 50th Anniversary 2015 Spring Conference was]!

I would like to start by congratulating everyone involved in putting together the Saskatchewan Building Officials Association 2015 Spring Conference and 50th Anniversary Celebration. I want to thank the host committee for all the work they have done, the conference chair for the excellent informative agenda, and the rest of the executive, and all the other volunteers, who put the time in to put together such a tremendous celebration. In addition to the excellent offering of topics and presentations, our 50th Anniversary Celebration includes an entertaining companion’s program, a ride on the Prairie Lily river boat for a tour of Saskatoon’s shores along the South Saskatchewan, an incredible collection of SBOA history and archival information on display to help us reflect on our 50 year history, a busy and informative Trade Show, and a very special celebration of our history as we honour a few of the great volunteers who have served our association in the past at our President’s Gala during the conference banquet.

Great job everyone, you deserve our gratitude.

During the conference opening remarks, we reviewed the objectives of the SBOA – the common thread was advancing our skills, training, and knowledge as Building Officials, to promote uniform interpretation of codes, and do this through our industry partnerships. In simple terms, make our members better Building Officials.

I don’t know exactly when these objectives were put down on paper, but I bet 50 years ago if you asked a Building Official what was important to them, and what they’d like to see from an association, they would come up with a very similar list of objectives.

I also would bet, that if you asked a Building Official from anywhere else across the country, their list of objectives would be very much the same.

The Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Associations board has joined us this week. The SBOA is very proud to play host to the ACBOA board for their spring meetings, and we are excited they could join us to help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary. ACBOA is a working group made up of representatives from Building Official Associations, just like ours, from across the country.

We’re all out there doing the same job, with the same goals, and the same challenges. It can only stand to reason, that we would all benefit from working together.

The vision of ACBOA is to unify training and education of Building Officials across Canada. To promote the profession of Building Officials and the uniform application and interpretation of building codes within Canada.

We saw a great example of this back in March when the SBOA was the first to deliver a new ACBOA training program, “Part 9 – Small Buildings”, which is the very first of its kind. Training, based entirely on the National Building Code, at its root. Uniform building code training designed to be used by Building Officials across the country.

The SBOA has a strong history of involvement and support of the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Associations. It makes no sense to work in a vacuum. We have benefited, and will continue to benefit from being plugged into the national conduit.

I was asked by an ACBOA delegate how we keep our membership so strong, after all, like themselves, our association is completely volunteer membership – no one needs to be a member to be able to work in the province.

And I thought, well that is a great question… why do we have such a large, active membership? Why do our members keep coming to conferences and training sessions? And the obvious answer would be, of course, so they can hear Jerry’s jokes at the banquet.

But in addition to that, I decided it must be that for 50 years now, the SBOA really has been the industry leader in Saskatchewan for providing training, skill development opportunities, and professional development opportunities for building officials, and many other industry stakeholders.

We have great partners, and great partnerships. We represent building officials who are capable, knowledgeable, and eager to advance their skills.

We will continue to work towards our association objectives, and to help our members be better Building Officials!

Chris Gates
President, SBOA

Newsletter Spring 2015 (Full)