Before we get into this column, I’d like to start out – on behalf of the entire team at Trenchless Technology Canada – by wishing all our readers a joyous holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year. We hope everyone can take some time with family and friends to relax and enjoy a safe, incident-free, close to 2022.
Finally, a Return to Normalcy?
It’s hard to believe that almost three years ago that we first started hearing about a potentially deadly virus spreading across China. I don’t think at that time that anyone could have predicted what was to come and its long-lasting impacts on the world.
As things progressed, it was clear that there would be no in-person gatherings in 2020 – outside of those that took place in Q1. That same feeling of uncertainty crept its way into 2021 and much of that year had the same doubts.
I remember the first set of shows – Utility Expo and No-Dig North 2021 – that I was able to attend had a slight unease about them. People were unsure about how they would socialize. Was it a handshake, fist bump or a simple nod? Were you allowed to go maskless? Was it mandated you keep it on?
Don’t get me wrong, it felt great to be able to interact with friends in the industry, but things did not feel the same as they did at the end of 2019 when I attended The Utility Expo and No-Dig North 2019. That feeling even dominated some of the early conferences in 2022 as we faced a post-holiday uptick in cases.
Why this trip down memory lane?
Well, it’s all to report that it feels like things are finally back to normal in terms of trade shows and conferences. I made this epiphany at No-Dig North 2022, which took place Oct. 17-19 in Toronto. Many who were there will agree that there was a familiar and long missed energy in the air at the Beanfield Centre, as we gathered with our peers.
Sure, some attendees still wore masks, others opted for a fist bump, and I saw plenty of people judiciously applying hand sanitizer, but all those who were there were ready and eager to conversate and broaden their trenchless knowledge base.
Attendance at the show proved this with more than 800 people interested in minimally invasive underground infrastructure construction making the trek to Toronto. This not only speaks to the size of the trenchless market in the Greater Toronto Area and across Ontario, but the market across Canada as a whole.
Kudos to the volunteers from the NASTT Canadian Chapters and all those who made No-Dig North 2022 a rousing success. Not a group to rest on its laurels, planning for No-Dig North 2023 is already under way. The show will once again head West. This time to Edmonton, Alberta, Oct. 23-25. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, visit nodignorth.ca.
2023 Here We Come!
Looking ahead at 2023, Trenchless Technology Canada once again plans to bring you four issues – March, June, September and December – that focus on the Canadian underground infrastructure market. Whether it be cleaning and condition assessment or rehab and new installation, our plan is to give you a first-hand look at the great work being done across the country. This includes case studies, personal interest stories and much more.
To make this happen, we’re always looking for story leads, suggestions to commentary from those involved in the Canadian trenchless industry. It’s quite simple to get involved. The phone line and email inbox are open, and I’m listening. Drop me an email at email@example.com or call 330-752-1916.
Again, wishing all of you a happy holiday season and a joyous new year.
Mike Kezdi, Managing Editor