Conference 2016 – Press Release & Photos

February 29th, 2016
By: Tim Edwards, Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association & Andy Adams, Boating Industry Canada

The 2016 Nova Scotia Marine Industry Conference took place at the Lord Nelson Hotel in downtown Halifax on 25th/26th February. Organized by the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association, this event drew almost sixty industry professionals to hear international speakers on topics ranging from attracting youth to the industry, to innovative workboat and yacht designs.

Adjacent to the seminar room, marine suppliers Stright-MacKay, Mermaid Marine and DSS Marine had a selection of products on display throughout the conference.

An evening industry reception kicked off with the presentation of three boatbuilder awards. Dixon’s Marine Group 2000 won the Export Achievement Award; Snyder’s Shipyard received the Company Development & Growth Award; and Samson Enterprises was presented with the Workplace Safety Award.

The highlight of the evening was honouring three Nova Scotian boatbuilders for their significant contribution to the industry during their long careers.  Jimmy d’Entremont (James E. d’Entremont Boatbuilders), Cecil Heisler (Clarence R. Heisler & Son), and Arthur Theriault (A. F. Theriault & Son) all received Lifetime Achievement Awards from Chairman of the NSBA, Glen Aylward and Executive Director, Tim Edwards. This was a touching occasion for all in the room.

Canada’s recreational boating journalist, Andy Adams, opened the seminar program on Day 1 with a sobering presentation on the urgent need for young, trained people in the industry – and made some suggestions as to what employers can do to help attract them. Next up was leading Canadian workboat designer Rob Allan from Vancouver firm Robert Allan Ltd. who explained what makes for successful harbour tugs, fireboats, and other commercial vessels.

Jayson Myers, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, gave an overview of the performance of manufacturing companies across Canada over the past decade. Interestingly, Nova Scotia’s manufacturing figures for the past couple of years surpassed most other Provinces – due mostly to the east coast shipbuilding program.

Conference Day 2 opened with Bob Lacovara, Principal of Convergent Composites in the US, explaining how to use a spreadsheet-based tool for controlling manufacturing costs. This was followed by UK-based yacht designer Nigel Irens telling delegates how his designs evolved over the past 30 years to become the world-record-beating sail and power yachts he is famous for.

A panel session, comprising all five seminar presenters, marked the final event of this year’s Nova Scotia Marine Industry Conference.

Photos by: Andy Adams