We're into the Holiday Blur!
Every year when December peeks around the corner, I am always amazed at how quickly it seems the year has flown by. As you read this letter, I hope you're in the blur of the holiday season, surrounded by family, with cheesy Christmas music in the background and the aroma of holiday baking wafting down the halls. It's the time of year when we reflect on the last 12 months and look forward to the future.
This year, I was grateful to be your president and to travel from coast-to-coast to see the amazing work done by REALTORS® across this country. Together we have had an impressive year of accomplishments: internationalizing the REALTOR® experience with CREA Global, being awarded the National Association of REALTORS® Bilateral Partner of the Year and, my personal favourite, hitting the $100+ million mark for donations reported by REALTORS® since 2012. It's been a busy year and the success we had is a tribute to you and your hard work.
Winding down 2017 is not only about recapping this last year, but also the last 20 years as we say goodbye to Gary Simonsen as CREA's CEO. I've had the privilege of working with Gary for the last several years and he's been an incredible colleague and an even more incredible friend. Our industry is lucky to have benefited from Gary's knowledge, experience and even-handed perspective for the last two decades. His impact on real estate in Canada will be long-lasting. Thank you Gary, for everything and your dedication to CREA and our members.
Looking to 2018, I am excited to welcome Michael Bourque as CREA's new CEO. I look forward to the vision and experience he will bring to our industry and our members.
Counting down the final days to holiday magic, I'm reminded of how lucky we are to live in Canada and enjoy a quintessential Christmas… I mean, even Santa lives here!
From coast to coast, we gathered some of our directors' favourite holiday traditions.
"Our holiday season kicks off in the week before Christmas as we take a drive down to look at the light displays in the neighborhood. On Christmas Eve the kids take part in the pageant at our church and we end the evening with a dinner that always includes fresh maritime lobster. For me, it is a time to spend with those I consider most important in my life."
– Jason Stephen, Vice President
"Every year my family and I wait for a break in the usual rainy west coast weather and head out to Victoria's famous Butchart Gardens - most people know this as a beautiful botanical garden in the spring and summer, but it really comes alive at Christmas. Thousands of lights brighten up the night sky, and my three girls love finding all the '12 days of Christmas' displays throughout the gardens. With carolers, hot chocolate and even an ice rink, it's a Christmas wonderland that we enjoy year after year."
– Tim Ayres, Director-at-Large
"Our house has always been 'action central' for Christmas dinner and that tradition has never faltered—even as our kids have moved into middle-age! There is no gift in the world that could replace the hustle and bustle of Christmas dinner with the family. Every now and then we think 'you know – maybe it's time one of the kids took this over.' Then we laugh and come back to our senses – we wouldn't think of trading in our favorite Christmas tradition. Whether it's for 10, or as many as 25 one year, it's always a night to remember and cherish."
– Bill Briggs, Regional Director (Alberta)
As you pop through those last few days in your December advent calendar, I hope you're able to spend time with your family and friends, enjoy your holiday traditions and get outdoors in the winter wonderland (if Santa listens we may even get some snow out in Vancouver)!
On behalf of the CREA Board of Directors and staff, we wish you a merry and bright holiday season and all the best in 2018!
What a Legacy! Over
$1 Million Raised and a Final $75,000 Donation
After 10 years in operation, the Canadian REALTORS Care® Foundation has been replaced by a new CREA committee. Don't worry! Our national REALTORS Care® programs will live on.
The foundation leaves behind a legacy of raising over $1 million for victims of national disasters. The foundation's remaining funds —$75,000— have been donated to the Canadian Red Cross.
We will continue to launch national fundraising appeals in response to select disasters. Since we no longer have our own charity, all funds raised will be collected directly by the beneficiary charities, as was the case for our recent BC wildfires campaign.
Click here to learn more about REALTORS Care® and these recent governance changes. As always, please let us know about your charitable activities by emailing info@REALTORSCare.ca so we can help spread the word