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The premiere of ISSA Show Canada took place at the Metro Convention Center in Toronto June 11 to 13, and, by all accounts, was a success.

"It's been four years since the last major sanitary maintenance and cleaning exposition was held in Toronto," says ISSA Canada executive director Mike Nosko. "By partnering with the REMI Network and IFMA, we have taken this trade event to the next level and are making great strides in our efforts of uniting the industry."

On June 11 ISSA hosted its Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) Accredited Auditing Professional (AAP) certification program for the Canadian marketplace. The CMI AAP program is designed for industry professionals looking to enhance their knowledge and skill with regard to quality assurance and building audits. Approximately 30 professionals participated in the session, which ran from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

ISSA Show Canada kicked off at 8 a.m. June 12 with a well-attended infection control session presented by Michael Patterson, IEHA executive director, and Julie Hoeflaak, CSS leader/trainer for Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Canada and education chair of the Ontario Healthcare Housekeepers Association (OHHA). Delegates were then treated to an informative and inspiring session encouraging  participants to take what they learn out of the classroom and onto the front lines to affect lasting change within their organizations.

At 10 a.m., the trade show floor welcomed over 1,000 guests representing the building service contractor, in-house service provider, infection control, and environmental services sectors, as well as the property management and real estate markets. The exhibit floor sizzled with energy for the better part of the day as deals were made and new contacts established. According to ISSA President Paul Goldin, the beauty of this trade event was that the exhibitors not only included manufacturers, but also distributors, wholesalers, and building service contractors, so even when there was a break in the crowds, key contacts could still be made between those exhibiting. 

Day one of the trade show concluded with an all-industry-reception featuring fine food, beverages, and entertainment, as well as a platform to network with industry peers.

The Annual Industry Breakfast, Awards, and Keynote kicked off June 13 with opening remarks from each of the ISSA Show Canada partners – ISSA, IFMA, and MediaEdge. 

“Thank you for joining us for the launch of the ISSA Canadian show,” ISSA Executive Director John Barrett, told delegates. “This is really a big deal for us and I want to recognize our partners MediaEdge, who’s Kevin Brown who leapt at the opportunity to serve the cleaning industry in Canada, and IFMA's top dog, Don Gilpin, who just as enthusiastically jumped in the boat to provide new value to the facility management community.”

Following the opening remarks, attendees heard the case for building to zero carbon with Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council, who reinforced the importance of green building and sustainable practices. 

The Industry Breakfast, Awards, and Keynote also provided ISSA, IFMA, and the REMI Network an opportunity to recognize individuals who have been leaders within their industries. ISSA was pleased to present the first annual Industry Leadership and Outstanding Contribution Award to Mike Watt, director of training and new product development at Avmor Ltd., Laval, Quebec, Canada.

Although day two attendance was affected by the media hype surrounding preparations for the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors’ “Jurassic Park,” it didn’t stop others from maximizing the day’s events. Once again, delegates were able to connect with exhibitors as well as attend the educational sessions offered during the day. 

The highlight of the day was an in-depth and interactive industry panel discussion sponsored by the ISSA Canada Building Service Contractor (BSC) Council. Approximately 50 delegates filled the room to hear from the expert panel of senior executives from leading facility management companies in Canada. The panel offered insight and perspective to help building service contractors successfully navigate the issues of minimum wage adjustments and labour cost increases. The session concluded with a lively question and answer session.