Stanley Park

Vancouver Aquarium

Grouse Mountain Tram


Welcome to the 2023 CRAC ANNUAL CONFERENCE

We are thrilled that you are considering attending the 2023 Annual Conference and AGM of the Crane Rental Association of Canada. We will be meeting in the beautiful Westin Bayshore Hotel with Stanley Park at our doorstep, water lapping the Coal Harbour shores, snow-capped North Shore Mountains in-sight and the vibrant city center around the corner. The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver offers perfect balance in breathtaking surroundings. You may review the photo gallery and the hotel amenities.

This event is exclusive to members. If you would like to join this important crane industry network, please visit our Membership page.

Arrival Monday, May 15, 2023

The “Spreader Bar” our hospitality lounge, opens at 8 pm in the H Tasting Lounge               

Day 1              Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Networking activities are at the heart of our conference. We live by the principle that we do business with people we know, like and trust and what a better way to get to know you than spending quality time on the golf course or on a discovery tour of Vancouver.

During your registration process, you will be invited to select the golf or the tour. These are optional activities at extra cost and well attended by our membership .

Golf Event

Our Golf Event will be held at the beautiful Furry Creek Golf and Country Club. Furry Creek is the essence of “Sea to Sky”. With its signature 14th hole located right at the shore of Howe Sound to the 1st tee where you hit your tee shot 165 feet down to the fairway, to the 7th hole placed over 300 feet above sea level. Furry Creek twists and turns through the rainforest and ravines in this unique ecosystem to offer you a golf experience like no other. This is 6000+ yards of game exploiting, soul testing golf adventure that you will never forget.

Transportation will leave from the Bayshore Hotel at 7:30 am Tuesday morning. Grab and Go Breakfast will be ready in the Hotel Lobby by 7 am. If you require golf cub rentals, book early as there is a limited number available this year.

The $275 fee includes: golf fees, golf cart, practice balls, water, Grab & Go Breakfast, lunch, and transportation. 

Vancouver & Grouse Mountain Tour

For the Vancouver and Grouse Mountain Tour , we will be leaving from Bayshore Hotel at 9:00 am Tuesday morning. Our day will begin with a discovery tour of Vancouver winding through the North shore to the base of Grouse Mountain. Making our way out of downtown, we will drive through Stanley Park with a photo stop to see the famous Totem Poles and views over the marina and Coal Harbor. We will be arriving at the base of Grouse Mountain around 11:00 AM. The famous Grouse Mountain Skyride (North America’s largest aerial tram system) takes visitors on a one-mile aerial journey to the Alpine Station, 3,700 feet above sea level. Breathtaking panoramic views of the city, sea and surrounding mountains unfold, culminating with a summit altitude of 4,100 feet. From shopping to dining, to entertainment, to walking trails, the vistas are endless. Walking shoes, sunscreen, fleece and wind breakers recommended.  It is important to stay hydrated in higher altitude. Included in the admission are the world-famous lumberjack show and the visit to the wildlife Refuge.

This tour includes Grab and Go Breakfast, transportation and driver gratuities, experienced, fun and friendly tour guide, admissions to Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park fee, a three-course lunch with a cash bar on Grouse Mountain including gratuities and all Canadian taxes and fees. The return to the hotel is expected around 3:30 pm

4 -6 pm              Welcome Reception

Foyer of the Stanley Park Ballroom

Meet the Board of Directors before heading out for dinner with friends

Wrap up the evening by joining old and new friends at the “Spreader Bar”

The “Spreader Bar” our hospitality lounge, opens at 8 pm in the H Tasting Lounge

Day 2              Wednesday, May 17, 2023

7:00 – 9:00 am Networking Breakfast

9:00 a.m            Opening Keynote by Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts aka The Skidrow CEO is an expert on resiliency and change. Having experienced both catastrophic failure and extraordinary success Joe teaches how to overcome the roadblocks that get in the way of high performance. He helps companies and individuals redefine what’s truly possible by confronting limiting mindsets. Participants at Joes’ events leave inspired and moved to action. What is most amazing about Joe is that in 1989 he was living on the streets of Vancouver as a homeless skid row addict. Through perseverance, determination and his resilient human spirit, Joe pulled himself out of darkness and despair, to become a highly respected business and community leader.

10:15 am           Networking Break

10:30 am           Technical Presentations: A look into the present and future of AI and autonomous technology in the crane industry

Peter Hird, Business Development Director, The Crosby Group – BlokCam

“Using cameras to improve the safety of lifting operations”

Peter Hird has been in the crane and lifting business for 38 years, starting out at the family business Peter Hird & Sons in 1983 and progressing into specialist lifting and rigging project management.

In 2004 he became managing director of  Peter Hird & Sons Group , and subsequently also Valla Cranes UK, Valla Cranes USA and Compact Lifting Group. Compact Lifting Group was at the forefront in the development of the mini crane market worldwide and rapidly developed into a significant business.

In 2015 he and Ben Windass launched Blokcam after seeing a gap in the market for a high quality camera system that would fit to the hook block of many types of cranes. Blokcam is a multi-million dollar business and has a distribution network in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia.

In 2021 they sold Blokcam to The Crosby Group, where he now works as business development director. Crosby has been in the lifting and rigging business for more than 130 years, and manufactures a wide range of products including shackles, hoists, hooks, wire rope fittings, sheaves and blocks.

Dr. rer.nat. Sascha Lange, PSIORI

Crane atomization: The future is here

Dr. Sascha Lange started programming computers since he was 10 years old, founding his first small hardware and software business from his childhood room at the age of 17.

Sascha Lange has worked about 10 years in academia, doing research on neural networks, reinforcement learning and autonomous robots. During this time, he received a doctorate for his pioneering work in Deep Reinforcement Learning and won the Robocup, the Robot Soccer World Championship twice with the Brainstormers Tribots in 2006 and 2007.

After leaving academia in 2011, Sascha Lange founded several tech spin-offs of the Technical Faculty of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg with the goal of making recent research results available to German industries. He is presently leading PSIORI, a constantly growing, internationally operating consulting company, with a strong focus on industrial applications in Data Science, Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Synopsis of presentation to be added shortly.

Casey Savlov, Executive Vice-President, Vita Industrial

Eliminate preventable deaths and accidents through modern technology solutions

We all know the impacts spinning loads cause on lifting operations. We all know of accidents and injuries caused from the use of taglines which have been the only means used to control loads that pose a hazard to employees. For example, if wind or other adverse conditions can cause the load to swing, rotate, or become unbalanced, then tag lines are advised to be used to control the load. At times, the use of tag lines can be more hazardous than not using tag lines at all. With the advancement of new technologies come alternate ways to control loads without the use of taglines which can better protect the workers and allow teams to operate more efficiently. Learn about some of the newer technologies on the market that allow workers to control loads safer, more precise, and faster.

12:00                  Networking Lunch

1:00 pm             Thomas Benjoe, president & CEO, FHQ Developments Ltd.

                               Indigenous Engagement Framework and Procurement

Thomas Benjoe is the President & CEO for FHQ Developments and is from Muscowpetung First Nation. Through his leadership, FHQ Developments is growing Indigenous capacity through investments in new businesses across multiple sectors, and leading strategy in economic development and Indigenous HR.

Thomas currently serves as the Past-Chair of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, Board of Director at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Board of Director of Economic Development Regina, SIIT Indigenous Innovation Advisory Council, Saskatchewan Roughriders Indigenous Task Group, and is a Member of Leaders Council at the Hill & Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina.

Thomas recently received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for contributions to Business & Commerce, was recognized in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine as a Top 50 Changemakers in Canada, and was recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Economic Developers by Treaty 4 News.

2:00 pm             Networking Break

2:15 pm             Canadian Lift of the Year Over 20T & Under 20T Presentations

Competing companies will each have 15 minutes to present their company’s lift of the year. One company took both awards home last year and this year, we look forward to see a variety of quality lifts, engineering excellence and best practices.  

4:00 pm             End of Day 1 Presentations – Free time until 6:45 pm


6:45 pm             Shuttles will leave in front of the lobby of The Westin Bayshore

Our evening will take us to a sanctuary in the heart of Stanley Park. The renown Vancouver Aquarium brings you face to face with aquatic creatures. Great Entertainment by talented musician and song writer Ryan McAllister. Our Get Together is our time to reconnect with old friends and make new friends. Food stations throughout the galleries will provide plenty of food and refreshments for everyone. This will be our opportunity to introduce new Member Companies and their leadership team in attendance.

The Vancouver Aquarium is a 10-15 minute walk from the Westin Bayshore, a beautiful stroll along Cole Harbour. A shuttle bus service will also be available. It’s Vancouver in May, we hope you’ll enjoy being outdoors!

Casual and comfortable wear. 

Wrap up the evening by joining old and new friends at the “Spreader Bar”

The “Spreader Bar” our hospitality lounge in the H Tasting Lounge upon our return from the Aquarium


Day 3              Thursday, May 18, 2023 

7:00 – 9:00 am Networking Breakfast

9:00 am             Bob Collins, Senior Economist. Buildforce Canada

                           Build Force’s 2023 construction outlook and expected market trends 

Canada’s construction industry rebounded quickly post-pandemic with strong levels of activity and recruiting challenges as employment growth outpaced the available labour force. In addition, industry retirements are expected to reach their highest levels over the next few years as workers from the baby boom generation exit the industry, a significant loss of skills and experience.

Join Bob Collins, a senior economist with BuildForce Canada, as he presents Build Force’s 2023 construction outlook and expected market trends across Canada.  Bob received his undergraduate degree from Memorial University (Newfoundland and Labrador) and a Masters in Economics from Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia).  He has over 30 years of experience as a consultant and business economist with extensive experience in the construction industry, tracking construction investment and assessing labour market trends.

9:45 am             ELD Panel Discussion

  • Ryan Long, President – A.W. Leil Cranes & Equipment Ltd.
  • Bob Picken, Global Vice President Risk Management – Sterling Crane
  • Andy Whitehouse, General Manager-Tadano/Kobelco Product Group – Cropac Equipment Inc.

10:30 am           Networking Break

11:00 am           Annual General Meeting

12 noon            Networking Lunch

1:00 pm             Provincial updates

Alberta All-Terrain Pilot Project Update

  • Justin Andrews, Regional Business Manager, Tadano Corporation
  • Mike Lavoie, Operations Manager, Myshak Crane & Rigging Ltd.

Quebec Update – Association des propriétaires de grues du Québec (APGQ) – TBD

Ontario Update , Crane Rental Association of Ontario (CRAO) – TBD

British Columbia Update

  • Clinton Connell, Executive Director, BC Crane Safety
  • Roberta Sheng-Taylor, Director Certification and Licensing, BC Crane Safety

2:00 pm             Networking Break

2:15 pm             CSA-Z150 Canada Wide Assessment

  • Jason Brown, Technical Project Lead, Kova Engineering Ltd.
  • Paul Walchuk, CEO, Kova Engineering Ltd., Chair of the CCRC Technical Committee
  • Darin Richards, VP Regulatory Affairs, Kova Engineering Ltd.

3:00 pm             City of  Vancouver Risk Assessment Pilot Project

  • Frank Carr, IUOE Local 115
  • Chalys Joseph, Senior Branch Manager, City of Vancouver
  • Doug Younger, Manager, Prevention Field Services, WorkSafe BC
  • Clinton Connell, Executive Director, BC Crane Safety
  • Gary Coupal, Owner/Operations Manager, Coupal Cranes

4:00 -4:10 pm  Closing Remarks – Free time until 6:00 pm


6:00 pm             Cocktail – Foyer of the Stanley Park Ballroom

A final evening of celebrations and music!

In an elegant formal setting of silver, black and white, prepare to celebrate our 25th Anniversary with great entertainment and Awards Ceremony.  

On our final night the “Spreader Bar” will be in the Foyer of the Stanley Park Ballroom



Hop on Hop off SightseeingFrom C$59 per adult ( tax included)

Start at 8:45am and run every 70 minutes

Your view of the city will be like no other as you tour the streets with the wind in your hair, experiencing our vibrant downtown with all of your senses. You will be accompanied by a recorded commentary that is available in multiple languages.

Vancouver Restaurants – Liste des restaurants de Vancouver

Grandville Island

As Vancouver’s premier artistic and cultural hub, located in an urban, waterfront location and steeped in a rich industrial and maritime heritage, this unique destination attracts millions of visitors each year from Vancouver and around the world. 4.7 km from Westin Bayshore .

Public Market open 7 days a week
from 9AM – 6PM

Bicycle Rentals from The Westin Bayshore – 2 hours (free of charge)

Coal Harbour Bikes

A large selection of bikes, times to rent and prices – 1 minute walk from hotel

Spokes Bicycle RentalsAdult

Adult bikes starting at $8.57 per hour – 6 minutes walk from hotel

E-Scooter Rentals

Your e-scooter rental rate is pro-rated by the minute and not hourly at 50 cents/ minute which allows more flexibility with the time you actually use and no need to rush back to return to store if you have a limited budget.

i.e. 30 minutes = $15,  90 minutes = $45.

Also offers 1/2 day rates of 4 hours for $90 on weekdays only – About 20 minutes walk from hotel, 5 minutes by car