Condo Living

June 28, 2023 Published by North Alberta Chapter

Alberta Condo Expo

A bustling crowd of over 400 filled the NAIT Innovation Productivity Centre for this year's Alberta Condo Expo (ACE), held over a day a half on April 28th and 29th.

A bustling crowd of over 400 filled the NAIT Innovation Productivity Centre for this year's Alberta Condo Expo (ACE), held over a day a half on April 28th and 29th.

This was our first year at a new venue, a sunlight-filled space on the NAIT campus.

The unofficial start of ACE happened on Friday evening, where our exhibitors and attendees had an opportunity for some casual networking during our Pre-Conference Social. It was a beautiful spring night, but we weren't able to take advantage of the NAIT patio with views of downtown due to a pair of nesting Canada Geese!

The official conference day, April 29th, was a jam-packed day for our conference attendees, with a full agenda and our biggest trade shows yet, with over 60 exhibitors representing all-things-condo, including condo insurance, engineering, reserve fund study planning, safety, and electric vehicle charging.

Our session agenda complemented the diversity of our trade show exhibitors. Attendees had the choice of nine breakout sessions, as well as a special stream for new condo owners. And we can't forget our conference grand finale, the everpopular Legal Panel.

We kicked off the morning with breakfast and a first look at the ACE tradeshow, followed by our opening plenary, including greetings from Councillor (and condo dweller) Anne Steveson, on behalf of the Mayor and City of Edmonton Council.

And then we got right into breakout sessions.

To meet the demands of our keen condo learners, we increased the number of breakout sessions from our 2022 conference from six to nine.

Our sessions covered the full breadth of condo learning. Our breakout sessions included:

Let’s Talk Building Envelopes, Billy Huet (Wade Consulting) and Jamie Murphy (RJC Engineers) walked through the life and times of capital projects, including the identification of problems, options for solutions, project planning-pre-design and design and procurement.

Condos Going Green, (the third in a series of previous webinars), Teresa Nguyen (Converge Condo Management) and Glen Gordon (Unico Power) looked at the implications of condos "going green". They shared their perspective as a Condo
Manager and Smart Energy Solutions company on the opportunities and realities of making energy improvements to your condominium.

When Disaster Strikes – A follow-up to last year's popular session, panelists Dawn Mitchell (HUB International), Morris Blatz (T&L Adjusters), Rod Donahue (Complete Care Restoration), Mike Rees (Anderson Associates Consulting Engineers, and Moderator Hugh Willis (Willis Law) discussed the realities of aging buildings and extreme weather, showing all the components of disaster recovery for condos.

Aging in Place – Victoria Archer (Archer Law) and former City Councillor Scott McKeen (McKeen Consulting) examined the new challenges as people age and condo boards learn to adjust their amenities and resources for an aging boomer population. Attendees were able to learn more about what's available for seniors thinking about aging in place and living with dignity.

Financials – It’s Accrual World –Jeremy Dalgleish (Converge Condo Management) and Edwin Radke(Radke Professional Corp.) unraveled the mystery of condo finances.

Condo Contract Considerations – Melissa Stapler (Willis Law), Justin Tudor (Keller Engineering), and Jack Kent (RMRF) explored the new legislation around Prompt Payment and Construction Lien Act (PPCLA),and took attendees through all they needed to know, including an overview of PPCLA, and a decision checklist and contracts 101.

The Real Impacts of Reserve Fund Study Planning – Shantel Kalako (Wade KH Reserve Fund Planners Ltd. and Alex Zovighian (KDM Management Inc.) explored the requirements of a reserve fund study and how condominium corporations can prepare for the practical applications and real impacts. In this session attendees learned about the restrictions surrounding the type of expenses a reserve fund can be used for, along with best practices to keep in mind to make sure that their respective funds are adequately funded.

Bylaw Dos and Don’ts – Condo bylaws veteran Hugh Willis (Willis Law) and Helena Smith (HRS Consulting took attendees through practical examples and solutions to common condo dilemmas in bylaws and rules. Learners left with practical do's and don'ts to apply to their bylaws to help condo board manage more effectively.

Running a Successful Meeting – Todd Shipley (RMRF)and Heidi Besuijen (RMRF) tackled a foundational condo skill about running an effective meeting. Preparing for condominium’s meetings can cause a lot of stress for your management company, board, and unit owners, especially if past meetings have not gone so smoothly. This session covered practical skills that can assist in running a smooth meeting, including topics such as proper notice, registration and use of proxies, rules of order, and dealing with contentious issues.

We also held a special two-part stream for new condo owners, including presentations on a Condo Buyer's Guide with panelists, Todd Shipley (RMRF), Carrie Plett (Condo Management Solutions Inc.) and Sheldon Johnston (Liv Real Estate). The second session in this stream. Condo Owner Essentials, was presented by Amber Nickel (Willis Law) and Maurice Perrault (Blue Line Condominium Document Reading Service). These introductory sessions were designed for condominium owners to understand their rights and responsibilities, starting from the initial purchase to their role as part of an owner and potential board member operating within the province of Alberta.

After this full day, we ended our 2023 ACE sessions with a Q&A Legal Panel from our team of experts, Victoria Archer (Archer Law), Todd Shipley (RMRF) and Hugh Willis (Willis). As always, Victoria, Todd and Hugh(with a little help from our Chapter President Anand Sharma) provided helpful advice and humorous anecdotes to our full crowd of conference attendees, ranging from topics of dealing with difficult owners or nuanced situations with condominium contractors and vendors.

The day flew by, and before we knew it we called our2023 Alberta Condo Expo to a close.

A huge thank you to all of our presenters and exhibitors for sharing their expertise with our conference crowd. We are also grateful to our volunteers and NAIT Events staff who worked with our CCI Admin team to pull together the details both before, during and after the conference. 

And finally, thank you to our conference sponsors, especially this year's Title Sponsor, Hub International. Without your collective support, events like ACE would not be possible.

CCI-North Alberta


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