TIAC was founded in 1962 by early contracting pioneers whose goal was to share regional knowledge and acquire more information as the industry began to be influenced by other contractors, distributors, and manufacturers who were national or international in scope. Within a few years, TIAC became the national voice of the mechanical insulation industry in Canada.
At the inaugural convention in Gray Rocks, QC, Ernie Eaman was appointed as the first president with Ian Dewar assuming the vice-presidency. The rest of the board of directors consisted of Alex Guildford (Maritimes); Bill Wilson (Quebec); Charlie Thompson (Ontario); Jack Steel (Manitoba); Bud Cameron (Alberta & B.C.); with Norman Barr as the manufacturers’ representative and Don Book as the distributors’ representative. Many of these gentlemen have passed on but their early efforts are still in practice today.
Within a few years of this groundswell movement, the TIAC Conference became the success that it remains today and TIAC became the national voice of the mechanical insulation industry in Canada. Members look forward each September to congregate and renew long-time friendships and acquaintances in the industry.
Early efforts to promote the industry were spearheaded by the national group with solid liaisons to the various Provincial and American Associations. Many committees, studies, and issues occupied much of the earlier members’ and Board’s time and became the building blocks and cornerstones for the progression of the industry and the TIAC that we know today. Current members can now recognize the early legacies and successes of these times in more modern endeavours such as the Best Practice Guide, the TIAC Times, and the TIAC website.
Much has happened in the 50 years of TIAC and this history has been faithfully chronicled in early issues of the Times newsletter. The Times is now a proud, modern, glossy publication distributed to all members and related industry contacts. The TIAC Times is the voice of the Canadian mechanical insulation industry and acts as a sounding board for members’ ideas and opinions.
TIAC is extremely important to anyone who has been actively involved in the association. TIAC has weathered many storms since its inception, but today it is as financially sound and fiscally responsible as it has been at any recent time in its history. Our relevance in the industry continues to grow. We owe it to all the enthusiasm of our founding members of nearly two generations past to ensure that we continue to strive and remain a strong Canadian organization.
Then and Now – Up Close with TIAC Past-presidents
by / Jim Flower
The group with a vision for a National Insulation Contractors’ Association was made up of Ernie Eaman (Eaman Rigs, Quebec), Ian Dewar (Dewar Insulation, Ontario), Honourary Life Member Bill Wilson (Asbestos Coverings, Quebec), and Honourary Life Member Bud Cameron (JKCampbell, Alberta). They were all owners of the biggest industrial insulation contractors/distributors in their geographic areas.
I did not Know Charlie Thompson. Alex Guildford (Guilfords, Atlantic Canada) ruled as the largest insulation contactor/ distributor in the area. At the time, most large contractors also had a distribution component and Guildfords also had siding, drywall, and flooring divisions. They also built 50-foot turnkey fishing vessels that can still be found lurking in the bays.
I did not know Irving Kaplan. Jack Steel (Manitoba) was a former Navy man stranded in Winnipeg at HMCS Chippewa who mostly did commercial work and could be counted on to have a by-law question or opinion at the AGM.
Ross Lewis (Ontario) held court in Hamilton and was a steel town social leader. I did not know Bob, Doug, or Don. Bill Dykeman (Edmonton) and Charlie Money (Calgary), were both leading commercial contractors in family businesses. Charlie was also a recreational pilot. I did not know Lloyd Fleet. Skip Eaman (Quebec) was a toiler for the Montreal Alouettes, looked great in a suit, and fiddled with distribution, insulation contracting, and vessel fabrication. His main asset was a beautiful wife.
Honourary Life Member Don Bell (Insulation Applicators, Saskatchewan) was a swamper and holder of the “Golden Shoe” award. He’s a big time Regina booster who spends his days sitting on the porch watching his dog run away while he waits for the Grey Cup to land.
Alan MacDonald (Guilfords, Atlantic Canada) is a highly respected gentleman still trying to achieve a decent golf handicap. Ken Chan (FA, Cartier, Pro, Alberta) is a fugitive from Glace Bay and Moose Jaw.
Jim Ferguson (Pro Insul, Ontario) is a swamper and infamous scout who kept the TIAC board of directors sort of safe in unexplored territories. Bill Wilson is one of the founders mentioned above but forgot to say that he and Deloris managed to raise five daughters on the meager earnings of an insulation contractor. (Oh, he was also a distributor—that explains it).
Honorary Life Member George Pachon (C&G Insulation, BC) is a swamper who established the myth of giant creatures in Lake Okanagan to keep competitors away and created a son who perpetuates the myth. Who’s going to argue with George?
Jim Flower (FA, Guildfords, Pro Insul, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario) is a perfect gentleman who never does anything wrong or says anything stupid. Barry Nichols (Dewar, Asbeguard, Ontario) is well-trained in protecting us from all the evils associated with our industry. He hides out at the lake, oiling up a touring Harley. Honourary Life Member Harvey Webb (British Columbia) is a proud BC specification guru who volunteered to plagiarize the BC Spec Manual and turn it into the TIAC Best Practice Guide.
Brenda Ewing (Glencoe Insulation, Ontario) is a strong leader during difficult financial times and could be counted on to lead with her right. Pat Devlin (FA, Alberta) is a safety dude who specialized in social activities.
Honourary Life Member John Jackson (Altair Contracting, New Brunswick) escaped from Glasgow masquerading as a steam engineer, butchered the English language, and finally came to rest on Cape Breton, the rightful Canadian home of others who understand him perfectly. Down with the causeway. Norm DePatie (Systems Supply, Ontario) and Dave Pullybank (Thermec Insulation, Ontario) swampers, both of whom, in addition to their board duties, spent innumerable hours keeping their fellow swampers out of jail.
Peter Kelly, (Crossroads C&I, Multi-Glass, Alberta, Ontario) counted our pennies and saved us from self-destruction during difficult times. Rémi Demers (Isolation Val-Mers, Quebec) has almost single handedly created an atmosphere of tolerance with an L’ordre Du Bon-Temps not seen since Champlain vamoosed to Port Royal from Ste. Croix Island. Garth Liseth (Crossroads C&I, BC).
Cam Phibbs (Interprovincial Insulation, Ontario) swamper and natural orchestra leader—sometimes golfer. He managed to eke out a living along the shores of the Saint Lawrence.
David Reburn (Brock White, Alberta) is a salmon fisherman who knows how to run a successful distributorship and retain control of folks from Upper and Lower Canada. Chris Ishkanian (Burnaby Insulation, BC) is a big time contributor to the ongoing success of TIAC through the tedious administration of details that most don’t even want to know about.
Michael MacDonald (Guildfords, Pro Insul, Insul Energy, Nova Scotia) is the industry’s contribution to GQ Magazine and every women’s dream of the local perfect insulation contractor—not to be confused with the other 952 Michael MacDonalds in Nova Scotia.
Gerald Hodder (Tempro Tec, Alberta) is an ex-resident of Newfoundland who is one of the many from there who are improving the quality of life through out the province. See “L’ordre Du Bon-Temps”.
Walter Keating (Keating Insulation, Ontario) probably wants to go back to Long Harbour, but will most likely settle for Lake Superior in the long run—there is way too much fun up there with fewer competitors per square inch.
Editor's note: We were not able to retrieve information about every past TIAC president listed. If you are able to contribute some details about them, we would love to hear from you and add this information to our history. Jessica Kirby, <email@example.com>