2021: Running with the lessons of ‘a record year’ in 2020

January 28, 2021
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

At this time last year, none of us would have predicted what was to come in 2020 — a global pandemic, a prolonged halt to our work and most economic activity, and a number of seismic shifts in the economic, social and cultural landscape — all of which led to widespread reflection on how we live and work.

Early on, we worked together on industry communications related to the unfolding health crisis, then pivoted to recovery as soon we were in a position to understand the breadth of criteria and protocols (May-July 2020) that would be needed to enable a safe return to work, as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow.

An industry coalition led by Creative BC, in close consultation with WorkSafe BC and the province’s Public Health Authorities, developed the BC Pandemic Production Guide, our compass for the restart of production. In this painstaking process, industry employer, labour and supplier organizations together assembled an exhaustive layer of  health and safety measures to be adapted by the production community across the diverse scenarios and environments that we typically work.

These efforts were rewarded by our industry’s successful, safe return to work in BC in 2020. A carefully considered, incremental restart of production over the third and fourth quarters of the year not only brought us back to pre-pandemic production levels, but took us to a new record  number of simultaneous projects, as the BC production community stepped up to meet the pent up demand.

I have a special admiration for the resilience, respect and cooperation shown by each and everyone in our community — from the leaders who worked tirelessly on the roadmap back to work, to all across our workforce who adhered to every new measure to ensure our mutual safety.

In 2020 — a ‘record year’  — we reinforced the ways that we excel together.  The BC production community managed to virtually rally and regroup to work on a way forward, gathering in numbers  and frequency like never before in the virtual community: thousands (30k+) over several town hall panel sessions where we considered the challenges, the solutions and the ways we can do better together as an industry.

It has also been humbling to say the least — to confront an historic public health threat together and in so doing, consider the protocols, practices, challenges and inequities that deserve more devoted attention and action as we move ahead. In this sense, 2020 was an eye opener that slowed us down, but also sped us up, by helping us refocus and redirect our energy towards our key priorities.

We are driven by the values of a progressive, vibrant, and influential industry sector and the diverse communities and audiences that shape our work: On-going priorities of community engagement, environmental sustainability, education and training, and equity and inclusion across our industry ecosystem all took on heightened meaning on our road to recovering the health of our industry in 2020.

I look forward to working together to advance our work in all of these areas in 2021.

Happy new year,

Peter Leitch, MPPIA Chair