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CanWell 2010: what’s the vision?

December 15, 2010  By Inez Miller and Les Connor

Open a specialty contractor’s bag of tricks and you will find more solutions than you could imagine. When faced with a new challenge, contractors will often take bits and
pieces we have learned from a multitude of different experiences, and
combine them to provide a solution.

Open a specialty contractor’s bag of tricks and you will find more solutions than you could imagine.

When faced with a new challenge, contractors will often take bits and pieces we have learned from a multitude of different experiences, and combine them to provide a solution. This is how we contribute to the development of new products and techniques. The word used to describe this behaviour is innovation.

canwell planning  
The CanWell 2010 planning committee (left to right) Laurie Frost (MWWA), Ron Robbins (MGEA), John Friesen (MWWA), Jason Friesen (MWWA), Jeff Bell (MWWA), Eric Henstridge (MWWA), Les Connor (MWWA), Richard Tattersall (MWWA), Crystal Thibeault (MGEA), Inez Miller (MGEA). Absent: Don Jago (MWWA), Braden Harder (MGEA).


Innovation can be a key contributor to the success of any undertaking; this is true in contracting, manufacturing, distribution, and even trade associations.

The host committee for CanWell 2010 represents a partnership between the Manitoba Water Well Association (MWWA) and the Manitoba Geothermal Energy Alliance (MGEA). This alliance was born of the common ground we share, and the common desire to contribute to the success of our members. It is also a first for CanWell. We believe in its innovation!

Increasingly, water well drilling contractors and geothermal contractors have found themselves working alongside each other. In fact, more than a few drilling contractors have added “geothermal” to their yellow page ads, and more than a few geothermal energy contractors have added drilling capabilities to their businesses. Manufacturers and suppliers serving these industries are beginning to focus on tuning their products to the needs of these hybrid businesses and business partnerships.

In the water well industry, drilling contractors, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers have developed expertise in completing boreholes in every imaginable ground condition. There is a huge pool of established resources in the water well industry, resources that are not immune to changes in market demand. The challenge for many is how to utilize this capacity in different ways, and in profitable ways.

At the same time, the geothermal segment of the HVAC industry is bursting with new products, techniques, alliances, and market demand. Here, also, there are challenges. For example, vertical closed loops have become the predominant geo-exchange vehicle. It is not uncommon for the installation of the ground loops – the drilling, installing, and grouting – to represent 50 per cent of the cost of a geothermal project. Many geothermal contractors have invested in drilling capabilities because not doing so would limit their core business. Many of these same contractors will be the first to admit that the capabilities and efficiency of their drilling operations are not serving them as well as they would like.

We have a lot to offer each other.

Far from being contractors alone, our members are manufacturers and suppliers, engineering and design professionals, and regulatory bodies and agencies – all essential participants in maintaining a vibrant and healthy industry, and all with lots to contribute at CanWell 2010.

Every committee in the CanWell 2010 organization has representation from both the MWWA and MGEA, focusing on solutions to industry challenges that we can meld into opportunities. You will see this vision reflected throughout the conference – in the exhibits, the technical presentations, and in the fantastic live outdoor equipment, product, and technique demonstrations.

Perhaps you are only interested in ground water related topics. Or, perhaps you are only interested in geothermal related topics. No worries – there are also training sessions, presentations and exhibits with exclusive focus.

The partnerships we forge with those who manufacture and supply us with equipment and materials are critical to the success of our businesses. A poor choice could lead to a business interruption we may never recover from. The manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting and presenting at CanWell 2010 are our true industry partners – they have a vested interest in our success. These are the folks you want – you need – to be doing business with in the coming years.

While the official CanWell 2010 tagline starts with “Shaping the Future,” it is not actually CanWell that is shaping the future. That part is up to you. Your future is yours to shape, but what you take from CanWell 2010 will be invaluable as you make decisions that will affect your future prosperity!

The vision for CanWell 2010 is to provide a forum in which our members can share ideas, and look to each other for new solutions and new opportunities that might not otherwise come to light in isolation. Strengthen these bonds. Build new business relationships. Innovate. We want to build confidence, which leads to investment, which leads to employment, which leads to prosperity.

The effectiveness of our industry associations is measured by the success of our membership. Our vision is to provide the forum that offers you the opportunities to prosper.

There is plenty of additional CanWell information in these pages, and on the CanWell website, including that registration form you are looking for. Register now!

We look forward to seeing you in Winnipeg. Bring your bag of tricks, but make sure it has enough free space in it to accommodate a few new ones.

Thank you,
Inez Miller (MGEA) and Les Connor (MWWA), CanWell 2010 Committee Chairs.

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