The Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association (CRVA) held its Annual General Meeting on May 15 in Quebec City, Quebec.
“This is the CRVA annual meeting of the RV manufacturers and suppliers equivalent to the RVIA annual meeting you have in the U.S.,” CVRA President Shane Devenish told RVBUSINESS.com. He added that the organization also manages the Canadian Camping and RV Council, (CCRVC) the campground owner’s organization in Canada.
The all-day annual meeting was structured to accommodate all the major players of the Canadian RV scene.
“We have a closed session in the morning for our CRVA business,” related Devenish. “Then we have an open session where we invite all the other RV organizations in Canada which include Go RVing Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council.
Devenish said that the vibe at all the meetings was upbeat but pointed out that the Canadian RV marketplace is facing some serious realities in the first quarter of 2019.
“We just got the first quarter’s report on the RV business and we are down,” he said frankly. “We are down 39% or so. I have not sent out my figures yet, but Canadian wholesale shipments are probably experiencing the same issues that the U.S. is having in that we are trying to get dealer inventory levels aligned.”
He added that the province of Alberta is suffering from some economic concerns due to the impact of oil prices and the lack of pipeline capacity supporting the oil and gas industry. He also noted that the weather has also been tough on the RV market for this first quarter.
“The Canadian weather for this first quarter has just been brutal,” said Devenish. “It’s been cold and wet all across the country. We are coming up on Victoria Day weekend (the long weekend ending on May 20) which is our first long weekend of the summer. Many campgrounds are simply unable to open because conditions are still too wet.”
Other major topics included tariffs on steel and aluminum, which were lifted by the U.S. on Friday (May 17), Go RVing Canada’s marketing initiatives, an update from CCRVC, and private campground small business tax issues.
“The Canadian RV and camping Industry is in a good place but we have some economic policy challenges that we are dealing with right now,” said Jeff McDermott, CRVA’s chairman in an organizational press release issued Friday. “We were fortunate to have all of our partners join us in Quebec City to discuss the current issues in the RV and Campground Industry in Canada. Our industry is strong but we are truly strengthened when we all work together.”
According to the release, new board members were also announced at the meeting. Joining CRVA’s board in Quebec City were Eleonore Hamm president and current chairman, Herb Cowen from RVDA of Canada, Robert Trask, chairman of the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC), President Chris Mahon and Cyrus Irani, director digital strategy from Go RVing Canada.
The CRVA also welcomed Dwayne Torrey, director of construction and infrastructure standards of the CSA Group, and David Stefanuk, national sales manager RV & Marine of RBC’s Retail Dealer Services, to its board following selections at CRVA’s annual general meeting.
“Holding CRVA’s annual general meeting in Quebec City and experiencing its charm and tradition was an exceptional and thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone,” said McDermott. “Quebec is an important part of the Canadian RV and Camping Industry and it was great to hold our AGM in their Capital to help celebrate the province’s tremendous contribution to our success.”
The Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association has been in existence for over 40 years and works continually to promote all of the aspects pertaining to the quality and safety in the RVs built by our CRVA member companies in Canada and the United States.