As I write this letter just one week after the close of the 2012 CITE Conference, I still can't believe that it is really all over. For those of us on the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC), the four days were a whirlwind of organizing and reorganizing, with some sessions and social events thrown into the mix.
We started the conference Sunday morning with a very informative workshop on Bicycle Facilities Design, and the festivities officially began with the well-attended Welcoming Reception on Sunday evening. Dr. Andreas Kopp from the World Bank kicked off the conference Monday morning with a very motivating discussion that set the stage for the next two days of stimulating technical sessions and tours. The annual street hockey game went ahead on Monday evening despite the cool and rainy weather, as we were able to shift the game from the top of the parkade at The Forks one level down in order to put a roof over our heads (Team Manitoba still won). The Student Mixer at Finn's Pub was very busy, and delegates stayed well past the end of the official program to socialize with other conference attendees. The weather improved slightly by Tuesday evening for the start of the banquet at the Manitoba Museum. Delegates were treated to unrestricted access to the museum exhibits, as well as delicious local prairie cuisine and fantastic singers, dancers and musicians. The University of Toronto defended their CITE Traffic Bowl title on Wednesday morning and will represent the Canadian District at the ITE Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia this summer.
As past LACs can attest, organizing a CITE conference is a challenging and time-consuming task. It requires a dedicated group of individuals who are willing to work hard and work together in order to succeed. For the 2012 conference, we had an amazing group of people who came together to produce a great conference and a wonderful experience for delegates from across the country. We have made some new friendships through this process that will last far into the future. I will actually miss hosting our regular LAC meetings in my office – co-workers used to ask me how we managed to get any work done with all the laughter coming from the boardroom!
As the work for the Winnipeg 2012 LAC winds down, the Calgary2013 LAC is gearing up for the next 10 months of preparations for what is sure to be another exciting and engaging event. I look forward to attending the 2013 CITE Conference and seeing you all again in Calgary.
Kerra Mruss, P. Eng.
Chair, Local Arrangements Committee
All images courtesy of Robert Kurylko Photography