October 8, 2020
Congress Connect 2021 - Conference

The 2021 Congress Connect Conference includes 30 sessions and 2 keynotes. Sessions include horticulture and business-related topics for green industry professionals. Some session are eligible for ISAO credits and will be indicated under the session information.


Include access to all 30 conference sessions, exhibitors, marketplace, new product showcase, Drive LIVE, Hardscape LIVE, Green LIVE and two (2) keynote sessions. Access to platform is for 1 year.*

Congress Connect Regular Pass - $225
Congress Connect Student/Educator Pass - $50
*IPM Symposium and Designer Conference are not included are a separate fee.

Register online

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Get New Clients and Retain Them With Effective Marketing

Catherine Luzena-Hall | Practical Marketing Group

With all the different types of marketing available today, it is hard to choose what to do to get and retain clients without spending more than you get back. Catherine will talk about practical strategies and best practices to maximize your ability to get new clients with less effort and money. She will cover effective strategies, campaigns, processes, and how to measure success. Walk out with actionable insights to help move your business forward.

Catherine Luzena-Hall

Session sponsored by:
Natural Stone Traders

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Eat that Yard: Edible Home Landscapes

Steven Biggs | Food Garden Life Media

With a burgeoning interest in growing vegetables, fruit, and herbs by gardeners with small urban and suburban lots, it’s time to think beyond the traditional stand-alone vegetable garden. You can make a visually stunning garden and yard—and eat it too. Use edible plants to create ornamental appeal as you incorporate edibles into existing garden beds. Or, add in ornamental plants that are also edible. Grow in unused spaces…like a driveway or on a rooftop. And maybe it’s time to give that front yard an edible makeover. If you have thought about helping clients grow more edibles but weren’t sure how or where to start, this talk will give you inspiration and ideas.

Steven Biggs

Session sponsored by:

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Strategic Planning For Your Landscape Company

Mark Bradley | LMN

Many landscape contractors don’t make strategic plans. But critically thinking about the direction of your company and where you want to be in three to five years, accomplishes three things:

  • It holds you accountable to achieving your goals
  • It lets you plan accordingly, guiding the development of annual finance, marketing and personnel plans
  • It allows your team to be on the same page.

Join Mark and see why implementing a strategic plan yields the best results for attracting new customers, employment development and improving profitability.

Mark Bradley

Session sponsored by:

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Collaboration Between Trades

Paul Brydges CLD, APALA, ASLA, CNLA, CSLA, OALA, FLP | Brydges Landscape Architecture Inc

Designing outdoor spaces that reflect and achieve the wants and wishes of the client would be impossible without collaboration. The initial stage of collaboration is between a Designer and the client. A designer must listen closely to what their client hopes to achieve and accomplish their outdoor goals. Allowing open collaboration in this stage also inspires creativity; when the client openly discusses ideas, a designer can provide an array of solutions for them to consider. As the client provides feedback to these solutions, both good and bad, the process continues to evolve in this way until a final design can be agreed upon. Sometimes it is crucial to involve additional expertise from the initial stage such as environmental scientists, engineers, landscape contractors, municipalities, and conservation authorities. When more people are involved, the inclusion of collaboration becomes even more important. Other people from various backgrounds with varying degrees of experience can offer insight and ideas that would otherwise not be considered. Collaboration with more individuals should be viewed as an exciting opportunity to learn something new, and achieve outstanding results

Paul Brydges

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

MTO Facility Audit - What You Need to Know

Ian and JoAnn Walters | Ian Walters Commercial Vehicle Consultant

Information session on what Operator requirements are for MTO Facility Audit.

Ian and JoAnn Walters

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Details to Make Wood Last Longer

Yuill McGregor | North on Sixty

This presentation discusses the science behind modified and pressure-treated woods as well as woods that naturally weather well outdoors. Numerous proven construction details are revealed allowing audience members to utilize them immediately. A digital copy will be made available to participants.

Yuill McGregor

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

KEYNOTE: Embrace the Unexpected

David Bastedo | Photographer for the Tragically Hip

In his talk, David speaks to audiences about the three key drivers that have helped shape his eclectic and successful career and can help them in theirs. Be Driven by Passion - Yes, one must be driven, but first, you must determine the passion which will drive you forward. Being driven by passion takes you further than you can imagine. For David, it took him across Canada, time and again, as the official photographer for Canada’s band, The Tragically Hip. Embrace Continual Learning - Curiosity is key and David helps people embrace the curious side of life by illustrating how it makes life much more interesting and can create some unexpected results. Be Open to Opportunity - This doesn’t mean always being on the lookout for the next prospect. It is a mindset of openness so that the opportunities can find you. And you can identify potential, hidden opportunities. David Bastedo will show you how to navigate the ups, downs and embrace the unexpected opportunities that will come your way. You just have to be ready for them.

David Bastedo

Session sponsored by:

SiteOne Landscape Supply

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

If Only Trees Could Talk

Jennifer Llewellyn B.Sc. M.Sc., Cert. Arborist | OMAFRA

Have you ever wished that you were a Tree Whisperer, someone who had inside knowledge on the many struggles of trees and shrubs? Do clients ask you about their landscape plants while you secretly hope for divine information from the universe to pop into your head? Then this is the seminar for you! Jen has over 20 years experience with the nursery, landscape and arboriculture industries and she loves to teach strategies for detecting, diagnosing and managing plant health issues. This seminar will give attendees significant insights into the underlying site condition, environmental, cultural and pest issues facing trees and shrubs in the Ontario landscape.

ISA Ontario CEUs available for this session.

Jennifer Llewellyn

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Open Book Management

Grant Harrison | Nextra Consulting

The philosophy of Open Book Management (OBM) is that businesses will experience greater success by sharing relevant financial and operational information with every employee. Employees will gain an accurate financial picture and feel a greater sense of responsibility for the success of the company. OBM encourages employees to look for ways to improve efficiency, increase profit and avoid mistakes. Join us to learn the basic principles of Open Book Management and ways to start implementing this practice in your business.

Grant Harrison

Session sponsored by:

The Toro Company (Canada)

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Building A Lean Landscape Co.

Mark Bradley | LMN

If you’re serious about the life of your landscaping business, it’s time to identify and eliminate waste. If left untreated, they’ll spread like stubborn weeds and kill your growth. ‘Lean Thinking’ for Landscapers is a concept that originated in the manufacturing industry and has been adopted by the world’s most successful manufacturers to increase efficiencies by eliminating wasteful activity. When applied to the service industry, it’s possible to eliminate 50% (or more!) of the cost of doing any activity. Anytime your people are working on processes that do not directly add value to the customer, these processes are considered WASTE. Join Mark as he shows your to identify waste in your landscape company.

Mark Bradley
Session sponsored by:

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Specialist Fruit Tree Pruning

Susan Poizner | Orchard People

One important way we keep our fruit trees healthy and productive is by pruning them correctly every year – starting from the very day we plant our bare root fruit tree. In this workshop urban orchardist and fruit tree educator Susan Poizner will teach you how fruit tree pruning is different from pruning native or ornamentals trees. You will learn how to use pruning to improve your fruit tree’s health, to spur vigorous growth or to slow down the growth of a larger, overgrown fruit tree. She will teach the difference between winter and summer fruit tree pruning and how pruning can help combat the common fruit tree diseases.

Susan Poizner

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Professional Sales for the Professional

Rob Redden | in-lite Outdoor Lighting

This interactive session will focus on Professional Selling techniques to help eliminate bad leads, qualify good leads, close the sale and get referrals. Engaging discussion around types of leads, how to work through your leads, qualifying questions, objections and closing will allow the attendee to understand the process of the sale and when to close. The goal here is to teach the professional ethical sales skills to understand which lead is right for your business, how to move past bad leads, and make the sale.

Rob Redden

Session sponsored by:
Aspire Software

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 12, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sustainability: Leading Your Team, Clients and Community to a Better Way

Paige Parker, BA, Dip., BRJR | Wentworth Landscapes
Scott Wentworth, OALA, CSLA | Wentworth Landscapes

The opportunities the coming decade will present for our profession lie within the areas of community health & wellness, environmental restoration and sustainability. It's vitally important that we as a profession take a leading stewardship role in these areas, and contribute toward establishing the best practices in:

  • leading our teams in how we can incorporate key sustainability principles in our design, construction and maintenance services
  • teaching our clients the importance of applying sustainability principles to their home landscapes
  • providing leadership within our communities to best practices within our individual and collective sphere of influence
Paige Parker
Scott Wenworth

Session sponsored by:

Jim Pattison Lease

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

The Accountability Fix

Jacki Hart, CLP | Consulting by Hart

In this 60 minute session, you'll learn the main reasons why accountability to tasks can be frustratingly elusive. There's an art to holding each other accountable at work, in a positive, effective way. In this session, you'll leave armed with an easy-to-use 7 step process to change the accountability culture in your business.

Jacki Hart

Session sponsored by:

Connon Nurseries

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

2020 Trial Garden Results

Rodger Tschanz, MSc | University of Guelph

The best performing and most popular new annuals and perennials from the 2020 trial garden season will be presented showcasing their uses in the landscape and containers where appropriate. The new pollinator trial site at the Milton Landscape Ontario office will be introduced along with a brief report on pollinator activity and diversity as seen on commonly available horticultural plants.

Rodger Tschanz

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Mental Health in the Workplace

Dana Hurst, BHSc, WWHP | People Corporation

Learn the impact the last year has had on mental and emotional well-being. Understand how our bodies react to stress and what this means, as well as how to recognize the signs of distress. Gain an understanding of mental illness (anxiety, depression, addictions) and what this looks like in the workplace, how to identify employees who are at risk and how to support your employees mental well-being through building resilience. Recognize the importance of taking care of yourself and learn what supportive resources are available.

Dana Hurst

Session sponsored by:

People Corporation
Hort Protect

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Increase Your Profit Per Employee by $1000 Without Adding One New Client

Domenic Richichi | EIO Solutions

In any service-oriented business, your employees are your greatest asset as well as your greatest expense and liability. Having the tools and insight to measure how you're doing against your peers and Landscape industry standards has never been more important than in today's Covid environment. It's not about what you sell, it's about how much you keep. Join us to learn how a 60 point EIO audit will give you back the control and insight so that whether you add one new client this year or not, EIO will guarantee to increase your profit per ee by a minimum of $1000. If you feel like your running your company is like carrying a bag of bricks up a hill, this session is for you. Using Landscape cases, In this session, we will discuss WSIB, Health and Safety, and more, but most importantly why some landscape companies have turnover as high as 50% and how to decrease to 10% or less..

Domenic Richichi

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Stories That Sell

Alyssa (Twist) Light | The Profitable Innovator

If you've ever wondered why some people can sell their products and services, while others struggle, this session is for you. Whether you are using stories on social media, in print, on lives, or on stage, they have the power to accelerate your business to new heights. Why? Because great stories evoke emotion, and emotions help us recall stories better. Learn how to craft stories that attract your people, how to be dynamic in delivery, and when to share them for the biggest impact. Stories have carried the world through history - they are the vehicle for tradition, art, and raw emotion. And, using them in your business could make the difference between success and failure. Simply put, stories sell. Join Twist on a dynamic adventure where you'll learn to tell better stories, and tell stories better.

Alyssa Light

Session sponsored by:

Banas Stones

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Landscaping for Crime Prevention

Amy Boudreau, B.A., ICPS, SAS-AP®

In this session, Amy Boudreau will teach you how to enhance your existing professional knowledge by harnessing your skill sets to critically think about your traditional landscaping and design practices. Crime Prevention is a tool that is needed and beneficial to all industry types. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity; Amy will teach you how to think like a criminal and apply it to your trade craft in order to “design out crime” and “build in safety”. Whether you work in a residential or commercial space, green industry professionals will learn better ways to do business, how to create a positive brand reputation, and prevent crime at the same time. Amy has taken the most relevant components which yield the highest outcomes and packaged them into 5 Key Objectives. For each objective, Amy will explain the why, give examples, share resources, and deliver a call to action for both individual professionals and business organizations.

Key Objectives:

  • Basic principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
  • Design Phase Key Concepts for Residential/Private Property, Parks & Rec, Commercial Property, Places of Worship, Property Management Groups, High-Rises
  • Re-designing space & reading the environment
  • Design & Maintenance Tips for Robbery, Break-ins, & other Crime Trends
  • Your Brand & Community Partnerships
Amy is an active police officer in Ontario Canada, she is a community liaison for the Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing, sits on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners (ISCPP), and is a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Level 1 instructor.
Amy Boudreau

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

KEYNOTE: Why What You Do and Who Your Are Matters

James Orbinski Ph.D. | York University

Fueled by seeing injustices around the world, from the failures in Rwanda, to the famine in Somalia and the war in Afghanistan, Dr. Orbinski shares the narrative of what he has seen and experienced, and how that inspired him to action. Confronted by pain, injustice, political and economic impasses, Dr. Orbinski had to make choices and delve within himself to define who he was as a man, a father, a husband, doctor and humanitarian. Choices may or may not be easy in difficult situations, but they must be made. He challenges us to take on the responsibility to choose, to act and to be involved; in your own life and in the lives of others, to make the world a better place.

James Orbinski

Session sponsored by:

Niagara Parks Alumni Association

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Building a Landscape Empire - How It’s Done!

George Urvari | Oriole Landscaping Ltd

Is it luck or decisions that determine who stays small and who grows to a formidable size. Find out Oriole’s critical decision points that enabled the journey from 1 crew to 12.

George Uvari

Session sponsored by:

Turf Care Products Canada

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Marketing to Attract your A-Client

Vanessa McQuade | Intrigue Media Solutions Inc.
Robert Murray | Intrigue Media Solutions Inc.

Create a marketing system for your business that is recession-proof.

Does this sound like you?

  • Own a landscaping business with over $1,000,000 in annual revenue.
  • Tired of quoting jobs for tire kickers that go nowhere.
  • Always getting something started, but don’t have the resources or plan for success.
  • Website and digital presence don’t represent the quality and professionalism you offer.
  • Constantly working in the business, instead of working on the business.

In this workshop, the presenters will teach you proven marketing systems to create a steady inflow of the RIGHT customers, so you can work smarter, not harder and stay top of mind for your best customers.

Vaness McQuade
Robert Murray

Session sponsored by:
NVK Nurseries

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Coordinating Supply & Demand of Local and Ethically Sourced Native Plants

Stefan Weber, BAS, MSc, PhD, ABD | Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance

We will discuss the ongoing demand for native plants, why local-provenance and seed-grown plants are better for the Canadian economy, and how we can plan effectively for a consistent, diverse, and long-term supply of wild-origin plants for our projects.

Stefan Weber

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Construction Act

Josh Winter, JD | Kennaley Construction Law

A brief overview of the changes to the Construction Act with a focus on Prompt Payment and Adjudication.

Josh Winter

Session sponsored by:

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Landscape Lighting - Another Layer of Creativity

Carl Hastings | Moonstruck Lighting Ltd
Ken Martin | Ken Martin Landscape Lighting and Design
Jamie Riddell | SiteOne Landscape Supply

A thorough step-by-step landscape lighting design mockup presentation. Learn from your industry leaders past mistakes, when planning your next landscape lighting design and crucial steps that are necessary in designing and executing another layer of creativity to your landscape designs.

Carl Hasting
Ken Martin
James Riddell

Session sponsored by:

in-lite Outdoor Design

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 13, 2021 | 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Developing A High Performance Team Using A Career Ladder

Mark Bradley | LMN

Employees usually feel more engaged when they believe that their employer is concerned about their growth and provides avenues to reach individual career goals while fulfilling the company's mission. Career ladders provide employees with an ongoing mechanism to enhance their skills and knowledge that can lead to mastery of their current jobs, promotions and transfers to new or different positions. Join Mark as he shows you how implementing career ladders may also have a direct impact on the entire organization by improving morale, career satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and responsiveness in meeting departmental and organizational objectives.

Mark Bradley

Session sponsored by:

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 14, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Why Some Companies Rise to the Top

Peter Guinane | Oriole Landscaping Ltd

Process, process, process. In the end its leadership and steady business administration which separates average companies from extraordinary companies. Find out key Oriole processes that make the difference for customers and make business easy.

Peter Guinane

Session sponsored by:
Rinox Inc.

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 14, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

The 'Unfair Advantage' of Using Augmented Reality for Landscape Projects

Mansoor Ma, OALA, CSLA | LANDinc

Most people have likely come across Augmented Reality (AR) at some point in time, such as putting funny cartoon ears on your smart phone selfie photos. However, AR is also an amazing tool for landscape designers and contractors. It allows your clients and your staff to “see” and “walk around” your design in 3d, rather than relying on your customer to understand two dimensional complex drawings and the misunderstandings that often happen during the implementation. Using AR will allow your Clients/customers to fully understand the design concept and get them excited at the same time. Also, a great advantage of implementing AR is that it does not require any special equipment. While Virtual Reality (VR) requires goggles, AR can be executed with any current smart phones or tablets that you and your Clients already have. These are incredible selling platforms for your next award-winning landscape project! During this presentation, Mansoor will explain how to “get in the game” which does not require a big learning curve or huge investment. More importantly, he will demonstrate and talk about the workflow --- procedure, time and cost involvement --- from a designer/contractor perspective in using AR. He will also share his experience and secrets behind the words “Unfair Advantage” in using AR for landscape applications, as compared to the conventional method of presentation. If you use 3d modeling such as Revit, SketchUp, ArchiCAD, Rhino, etc., you are just round the corner to having AR capability. This presentation will get you round that corner gearing yourself ready to engage your Clients with jaw drop experiences!

Mansoor Ma

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 14, 2021 | 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

How To Impact Your Performance in Real Time

Laura Cole | Your Latitude

Have you met a manager who enjoys giving performance reviews, or an employee who enjoys receiving one? No! And with seasonal employees, you can't wait for an annual review to impact performance - you want to impact performance in real-time on the job. This talk will introduce the Cycle of Performance Improvement as a tool to help managers and supervisors give on-the-spot coaching and feedback, to help impact employee performance right then when you need it the most, not once a year in a performance review.

Laura Cole

Session sponsored by:

Ariens and Gravely

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 14, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Using Ecological References in Planting Design

Jonas Spring | Ecoman

Buildings are cliffs! This session will focus on practical tools for generating appropriate plant lists for a variety of difficult urban sites. Using an ecological reference provides designers at all levels of plant knowledge a tool to quickly generate plant lists that will succeed in tough urban environments.

Jonas Spring

Session sponsored by:


AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 14, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The Stormwater Management Crisis in Ontario

Kyle Vander Linden | Credit Valley Conservation

Municipalities across Ontario are faced with the challenge of managing and treating stormwater, while contending with increased flooding, rapid urban growth, climate change and aging, with limited or no stormwater infrastructure. In fact, 65 – 70% of Ontario communities were built before current stormwater management or flood control standards were developed. The extreme cost of retrofitting stormwater infrastructure within public lands (road right of ways) makes it untenable for most municipalities. This leaves communities, the Province, businesses and its residents at greater risk of flooding and water quality impairments. A new approach is needed. This session will provide an overview of recent stormwater events in Ontario, the damage they caused and the opportunity that has resulted. We will share successful stormwater management and grey water re-use projects, as well as some innovative approaches to managing stormwater runoff using Fusion Landscape principles and how landscape professionals have a significant role to play.

Kyle Vander Linden

Session sponsored by:

Fusion Landscape Professional

Region of Peel

York Region

AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND - Originally aired January 14, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Which Comes First? The Disengaged Employee or the Frustrated Employer?

Jacki Hart, CLP | Consulting by Hart

Take an eye-opening dive into the root causes for the gap between what employers 'need' their staff to do, and how staff are (or aren't) 'showing up'. Industry expert Jacki Hart will demystify how to better engage and retain staff at all levels this year. You'll leave this seminar armed with a new perspective to super-charge your hiring and onboarding strategy. Hire better - and keep staff longer!

Jacki Hart

Session sponsored by: