2012 Conference and Exhibition of the Transportaion Association of CanadaTAC/ATC - Transportation: Innovations and Opportunities

2012 TAC Conference & Exhibition Recap

Built with green principles in mind, the LEED certified Fredericton Convention Centre welcomed over 850 delegates including companions at the 2012 TAC Conference & Exhibition. The TAC Exhibition, held in conjunction with the annual conference, showcased 65 transportation-related booths, featuring top-notch products and services from Canadian and American preeminent suppliers.


Over 90 local conference volunteers sporting bright yellow vests representing New Brunswick Transportation and Infrastructure and the City of Fredericton worked tirelessly to ensure delegates and companions had a positive experience at the 2012 TAC Conference & Exhibition.



New opportunities in the 2012 expanded sponsorship program included on-stage roles, speaking opportunities and advertisements in the conference delegate program. TAC and the Local Organizing Committee’s partnership provided high levels of visibility for both local and national sponsors at key conference and exhibition events.

Greener practices implemented at the 2012 TAC Conference & Exhibition included digital signage, virtual conference promotion, badge recycling bins, and fewer copies of printed materials on site. All promotional materials emphasized online registration. As a result, more than 550 attendees out of 858 registered for the conference using the online registration system.


The Sunday Welcome Reception held at the Fredericton Convention Centre allowed delegates and industry stakeholders to visit the 65 transportation-related booths showcased at the TAC Exhibition. The 2012 W.H. Yeates Award for Best Exhibit was presented to Atlantic Industries Limited, while ADS Canada and Armtec received an honourable mention. A complimentary breakfast with TAC exhibitors was also held to meet and network with booth representatives.


The theme of the 2012 TAC Conference & Exhibition, Transportation: Innovations and Opportunities, was well represented at the Monday Opening Plenary Session. Emceed by TAC President Doug McNeil and held at the Fredericton Playhouse in an informal setting, the session featured six keynote speakers each offering a unique take on the conference theme.    



The Monday afternoon panel discussion, Lions’ Den, created an animated buzz among delegates by providing an innovative platform to share high-priority information and instigate change within their own organizations. Comedian facilitator Simon Cutter guided the Lions, Innovators and Audience Members through this interactive presentation, where viewers were invited to vote by electronic audience response system. TAC’s Education and Human Resources Development Council Chair Kerry Buckley summed it up best, “Innovation is voluntary – it takes energy and courage.”

TAC Executive Director Michel Gravel addressed a packed house at the Monday Awards Luncheon. Among the celebrated recipients, TAC conferred three special awards to recognize the technical excellence of its members in Educational Achievement; Environmental Achievement and Sustainable Urban Transportation.  The TAC Foundation, who awarded fifty-one scholarships to university graduates and undergraduates in transportation-related disciplines in 2012, recognized the students at the luncheon. The 2012 TAC Student Paper Awards also showcased the importance of helping promote careers in transportation.


The state-of-the-art Richard J. Currie Center, located on the beautiful University of New Brunswick’s Fredericton campus, set the stage for traditional local food delicacies and award-winning entertainers at the Monday evening Local Showcase. Delegates were greeted by period-dressed guards, while members of the UNB Woodsmen Team offered a first-hand demonstration of traditional lumber-jacking techniques. Musical performances showcasing New Brunswick’s rich heritage wowed the crowd, including Winner of three 2012 Maple Blues Awards, Matt Andersen.

TAC’s Small Municipalities’ Task Force organized a Tuesday morning panel discussion entitled New Brunswick’s Experience: Innovations and Opportunities in Small Municipalities. A group of five panelists presented their findings on transportation-related municipal projects from their respective organizations. Objectives of this panel included profiling issues and challenges faced by small communities and creating interest in joining the Task Force.  

The Honourable Claude Williams, Minister of New Brunswick Transportation and Infrastructure and Chair of the 2012 TAC Conference & Exhibition emceed the Tuesday Annual Luncheon which featured Trans Canada Trail National Director Jane Murphy as special keynote speaker. “The goal is to have the remaining 6, 000 kilometres open in time for Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017. It will be the longest recreational trail in the world.”  

The customary President’s Luncheon presented on October 17 by TAC President Doug McNeil provided delegates with a TAC snapshot of past and future accomplishments. The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, also touched on the conference innovation theme through a bilingual presentation.


The 2012 Annual Banquet treated delegates and special guests to a wonderful dinner during an authentic performance by St. Mary’s First Nation dancers and drummers. Wabanaki Elder and lodge keeper Maggie Paul gave the blessing before the meal service, accompanied by her grandson.


    The 2012 recipients of the Canadian Transportation Awards, recognizing leadership, excellence and achievement in all modes of the transportation sector, were presented by TAC President Doug McNeil and Minister Claude Williams. Intus Road Safety Engineering President and Chief Engineer Gerry Forbes received the coveted Transportation Person of the Year Award.




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