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ORFA Facility Focus

Author: Ontario Recreation Facilities Association Inc.

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Hosted by Terry Piche, CRFP, CIT, Technical Director, Ontario Recreation Facilities Association Inc.
27 Episodes
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Recently, the ORFA Provincial R&D Group met virtually to discuss topics that members are raising as issues and challenges while ORFA staff presented their priorities to the group for awareness and feedback. The Provincial R&D Group consists of representatives from every region of the province. This network allows the ORFA to instantly connect with frontline practitioners on emerging issues, share ideas and challenges. In this podcast, the Director, Training, Research and Development h...
In this podcast, ORFA Director Training, Research and Development speaks with Guelph Turfgrass Institute’s (GTI) Communications and Outreach Coordinator Dr. Sara Stricker about the “grass root” start of the GTI, its growth and future goals. The ORFA has had along relationship with the GTI and has partnered to bring education and training to ORFA members so they can understand the science, chemistry and best practices for both natural and artificial turf. ORFA’s Ground Management and Operation...
In this podcast, ORFA’s Director of Training, Research and Development looks back at the history of refrigeration training for ice rinks and the evolution that the Association has undertaken to get to where we are today. He answers the question that members are asking… is “BAR On Line Self Study” for our staff the right pathway? Spoiler alert….200+ member registrations seem to say yes!
In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director looks back at the evolution of ORFA course final assessments while sharing the options that are coming on-line that will provide members with more flexibility to complete the final step in the training process. No longer does a member have to complete the final course assessment at the end of a in-class session – they now can have up to 30 days to complete it.
In this weeks podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director discusses recreational user fees. The current Hockey Canada saga includes the use of registration (user) fees for something their members deemed inappropriate. User fees are always a sensitive topic. Historically, the industry has not taken a business approach to setting these necessary fees and the result is a lack of ongoing investment in the facilities. Finding a balance between the user and non-user who are often both paying every time a re...
In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director looks back at the training event held each spring at the University of Guelph and explains that this format no longer works as we move forward. The Annual Spring & Fall Professional Development Programs are the new format that will drive how business will be conducted moving forward. Past President Tony Brenner would always say that “the only real constant is change”… this change will allow ORFA members help decide where the Association is ...
In this podcast, the Technical Director explains the history of ice thickness calculations. If you want to know how the “industry best practice” of 1.5 inches was arrived at and why it may not be the safest ice thickness in 2022.
Often when the facilities electrical system stabilizes after a disruption our users are eager to get back in the facility. Determining when the doors can in fact be reopened takes some thought and planning. In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director explores the question of “when can we safely let users back into the building”? He looks at operational consideration such as emergency lighting system recharging capability to meet the Fire Code requirements and other facility factors that need t...
As part of the ORFA 75th anniversary celebration ORFA CAO John Milton and TD Terry Piche recently caught up with current USA Hockey Executive Director Pat Kelleher and Dave Wescott owner of All-Star Arena’s to reflect on the start of the Canadian/US ice rink facility training relationship. Early in the 2000’s USA Hockey had a vision as to how they could assist rink owners in their efforts to grow the sport and provide safe and serviceable facilities. Rather than “reinvent the wheel” a decisio...
In this Podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director untangles the legal requirements associated with playgrounds and play spaces. These facilities are an important part of every communities outdoor recreational environments. Creating an operational and maintenance plan that is balanced with an assert management plan is essential in today’s litigious world. There is no doubt that there is a roe for a certified play space inspector but having one on staff might not be the best investment.
ORFA’s Technical Director speaks with Amanda Nadeau from Timmins, Tiffany Vis from Thunder Bay and April McNamara from Parry Sound on how the Pandemic and loss of Canadian Red Cross aquatic training programs are impacting their ability to provide service. There has been a 2-year in service recertification pool gap and a loss of trained lifeguards that are going to limit aquatic programs and services across the province and beyond.
Understanding Training

Understanding Training

2022-05-1817:40

In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director goes down the “what is training” rabbit hole while looking back at ORFA’s evolution in training, professional development and certification over the past 75 years. As a supervisor you need to consider do I want an employee who has graduated from the Harvard of the industry or a pop up trainer? The ORFA pathways have been designed by practitioners who work in the industry full time. Not all training is equal or carries the same weight when called into...
The May 9th, 1992 Westray mining explosion that claimed 26 lives resulted in accountability change across Canada as Bill C-45 was created to help ensure that those directly responsible for the health and safety of others are held criminally accountability should they fail to act appropriately. In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director looks back at the Westray accident and the legal wranglings that occurred post event that had Canadians coast to coast demand change. He also overlays the West...
In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director Terry Piche chats about the first aid responsibilities and misconceptions of recreation services as it is a unique work environment that balances both worker and public safety. Understanding the potential return on investment for quality First Aid and CPR training and on site equipment was once again highlighted in a recent event at a Collingwood Arena. Are facility staff expected to respond as EMS when the publics health at risk. The ORFA recognizes...
In this podcast ORFA’s Technical Director shares how the ORFA arrives at industry best practices by clarifying ORFA’s role which does not include evaluating any product or service that is available in the marketplace. The conversation includes a discussion on the question of “is it time to rethink hot water flooding”? If we look back at how we have changed many of our operational approaches but not really changed flood water temperature maybe it is time to re-evaluate what works – but that’s ...
In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director shares what he didn’t know was legally required, some of the historical gaps and the roles and responsibilities of refrigeration plant stakeholders as it relates to plantroom logbook information. Read ORFA Technical Corner on this topic.
ORFA’s Technical Director, Terry Piche chats about the gifts that the “light bulb salesperson” used to bring in the olden days to the benefits and challenges of having a purchasing department to navigate in todays workplace. When buying any equipment in our industry just because it walks like duck and quack likes a duck doesn’t always mean it is a duck.
In this podcast, ORFA’s Technical Director chats about the OHF/ORFA Return to Play joint statement and what this type of relationship could mean to the future of our industry. He discusses why an employer has the right to release workers that are unvaccinated and the vandalism that occurred in Ottawa during the recent protests. Lots of recreational brain food to digest in this session.
ORFA Technical Director, Terry Piche discusses the history of staying connected at work. Specifically, the evolution of recreation staff being a constant point of contact by phone or other electronic means during work or non-work hours. This constant point of being connected appears to replace strong training programs or assists in meeting the required “supervising” provision requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The introduction of Bill-27 is governments attempt ...
ORFA’s Technical Director speaks with CIMCO staff on a variety of topics that impact ice sheet refrigeration plant operations. Not every podcast will have a return on investment but this one does. Any member who has refrigeration plant operations or maintenance responsibilities will benefit from taking the time to listen to this information.
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