CSBC Symposium 2013 in Whistler an overwhelming success!


The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) annual Symposium, held in Whistler BC from September 23 to 25, was an overwhelming success!  With more than 70 boating and water safety advocates from across Canada and the US in attendance, the Symposium afforded an excellent opportunity for participants to share their experiences and explore best practices that enhance safety on the water. This year's theme was "Building the Business of Safe Boating." Many perspectives were exchanged, and several new ideas and practices were shared. As one presenter aptly articulated, "doing business safely is just good business."


Emergency Responders Panel


With the great turn-out, the range and diversity of participants and presenters, and the exceptional support of our valued sponsors, this year's Symposium was judged the best ever. Pre-Symposium events included a successful Cold Water Workshop held in Vancouver and, for the first time, the CSBC was pleased to host a venue for a national meeting of operator competency course providers.


On another note, the CSBC was thrilled to welcome several new members who attended the Symposium: from the Vancouver Police Service - Norm Webster and Jamie Gibson (Sergeant Webster's Symposium presentation was a hit!); from the Canadian Red Cross - Sandra Inglis of Halifax; from BC's Condor Consulting - Martin Rose; from Fox 40 International Inc. - Paul Groleau; and from International Yacht Training in B.C. - Mark Fry.


Here's a sampling of what participants said about their Symposium experience:

  • This Symposium brought the recreational boating community even closer together, more informed, more aligned, more inspired.
  • An excellent variety of speakers. Very friendly and welcoming reception and lots of opportunity to network.
  • As my first Symposium, it was informative and very well run; kudos to everyone involved.
  • A balanced and relevant program, forums were excellent and the focus on BC and Western Canada was extremely interesting. Lots of time for side discussions. This year saw a jump to a new level. Well done!
John Gullick, CSBC - thanking Randal Craig for his presentation on social media

The CSBC took the opportunity at the closing banquet, to recognize the contributions of several volunteers. Distinguished Service Citations were awarded to the following individuals:

  • Bill Taylor, in recognition of his commitment over many years, and his leadership in the changes required to comply with the new charitable organization legislation under the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act 
  • Rick Cassels, in recognition for his successful work year after year to secure financial sponsorships for CSBC events, and willingly stepping forward as the need arises

CSBC Certificates of Merit 2013 were awarded to the following individuals: 

  • Virgil Chambers, retiring Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council, for being a true partner and collaborator in support of the CSBC's boating safety campaigns and initiatives over the past 20 years 
  • Cyndi Hodgson, CSBC Board member, for innovation in designing and delivering the CSBC flagship newsletter, excellence in media relations for the 2012 Symposium, and advancing the use of social media 
  • Cathy Sandiford, for leadership in major strategic initiatives: the Sponsorship Workshop, the successful Canadian Safe Boating Campaign submission, and advancing the use of social media 
  • Michael Vollmer, for leadership in the Business Practices Review and protection of the CSBC's intellectual property, and his continuing wise counsel and encyclopedic marine safety knowledge 
  • Ted Fortuna, for his leadership in ensuring that the CSBC Business Plan "Action Priority One" (revenue generation) positions the CSBC for financial growth into the future 
  • Vahe Vassilian, in recognition of his successful work year after year to secure financial sponsorships, and the business acumen and commitment he brings to multiple CSBC activities 
  • Bob Minielly, in recognition of relentless pursuit of new CSBC members and supporters, unwavering support of colleagues and enthusiastic promotion of the CSBC 

The following departing Directors received CSBC Certificates of Service 2013: 

  • Cameron Taylor, in grateful recognition of four years of distinguished volunteer service as a CSBC Director (2009 -2013) 
  • Serge St-Martin, in grateful recognition of four years of distinguished volunteer service as a CSBC Director (2009 -2013)
  • Wayne Young, in grateful recognition of two years of distinguished volunteer service as a CSBC Director (2011 -2013)
CSBC Volunteer Recognition Award Winners, 2013

Watch for a full article on the Symposium in the upcoming CSBC Fall Newsletter and check back on our web site www.csbc.ca soon, where Symposium presentations will be posted.


With all the fantastic topic ideas we received from participants for future Symposiums, planning is already in full swing for the September 21 to 23, 2014 Symposium in Ottawa.  Mark that date in your calendars now!

CSBC bids fond farewell to some and a warm welcome to others


The CSBC extends a heartfelt 'Thank You' to three departing Directors - Serge St-Martin, Cameron Taylor and Wayne Young. The CSBC is delighted that Serge has offered to continue his role as dedicated volunteer translator in support of the Council's communications efforts.


The CSBC warmly welcomes two new Directors to the Board - Sandra Inglis (Canadian Red Cross) and Kevin Monahan (Shipwrite Productions). We look forward to working with them both in the coming years. Watch for their bios in our upcoming Fall Newsletter. 

Changes at the top at the National Safe Boating Council


Virgil with CSBC Jean Murray

After almost two decades of faithful leadership, the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) Executive Director Virgil Chambers has announced his well-deserved retirement, effective September 30, 2013. Virgil began his service with the Council in 1996 as its first director. Through his leadership, recreational boating safety has been elevated to new levels of professionalism and excellence. The CSBC wishes Virgil well as he embarks on a new chapter of his life. (On departing Whistler, Virgil signed on to be an individual CSBC member, so we are confident he will remain part of the CSBC family for many years to come!). 

Rachel Johnson

Selected by the NSBC board as the new Executive Director, Rachel Johnson, Certified Association Executive, assumed her duties on October 1. Her achievements with the North American Safe Boating Campaign are legendary, and her passion for boating safety is contagious. Rachel shared the following message with the CSBC upon taking office, "On behalf of the NSBC, I am very excited to continue the long-standing partnership our organization has with the CSBC. Our collaborative efforts throughout North America have truly helped make recreational boating safer."


The CSBC is thrilled that Rachel is taking the helm and looks forward to more great collaborations in the future with the NSBC.


(Visit safeboatingcouncil.org to read complete press releases about these two exciting events in NSBC history). 

CASBA nominations will close on November 11: Be sure to nominate your local boating heroes today!


As the days grow shorter and shorter, we are reminded that the 2013 boating season is quickly winding down. Take the time now to consider your own local boating safety advocate or hero and nominate him or her to be recognized by the CSBC for their outstanding or life saving efforts in the field of recreational boating safety and environmental stewardship. They may have pulled someone to safety from a capsized boat, taught school children about the importance of always wearing a lifejacket, or helped to keep the waterways clean and free of pollutants and debris. Whatever they have contributed to the boating community, we want you to nominate them!


Nominations close on November 11, 2013. If you know or hear of some deserving individual or organization in your area, please submit a nomination in one of the following categories with related details by completing the form which can be found by clicking here. 


Rescue of the Year

Marine Professional of the Year

Top Volunteer Dedicated to Safe Boating

Ontario Power Generation - Best Boating Safety Initiative

Safeguarding the Environment

Marine Industry

Visible PFD Wear in Advertising

Best Media Contribution to Boating Safety


The Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) are like the People's Choice Awards of Safe Boating.  What makes the CASBAs so very special is that nominations come from people like YOU! An annual awards ceremony and dinner takes place every January to recognize the efforts of the general public, volunteers, professionals, agencies and organizations who have distinguished themselves in the fields of boating safety and environmental stewardship. Perhaps you or the company you work for has developed a product that enhances boating safety; it may be that you or someone you know was walking along the beach, heard someone calling for help and decided to react. 


Help the Canadian Safe Boating Council say 'Thank You' to deserving Canadians for their stellar efforts and let them know that their work is greatly appreciated. Visit www.csbc.ca  under the Events tab for more information about the CASBAs and to submit your nomination. 


CASBA Fever - This is one you want to catch!


Plan to catch the CASBA fever and join us at the gala event itself which will take place at 6:00 pm at Toronto's Sheraton Centre (123 Queen Street West) on January 12, 2014.  We guarantee a fun evening, an opportunity to honor meritorious folks making a difference, and network with colleagues across the boating community. Make this the annual event on your post-Christmas calendar! Click here to register and book your hotel soon to get the Toronto Boat Show rate. Registrations close December 31, 2013.


For further information, please call Ian Gilson at (905)719-5152 or email him at igilson@shaw.ca.