The History of the Project Management Association of Canada

Predecessors (1990s)

In the early 1990s, a group of patriotic Canadians gathered together to discuss the formation of a Canadian project management association to be the national representative of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) and offer the IPMA 4-level competence-based certification program in Canada. The group applied to the Canadian federal government for the creation of a national non-profit corporation, and on 16 February 1996 the government issued Letters Patent, and the organization was born as "PMI Canada". Despite some initial difficulties concerning trademark infringement, the organization eventually negotiated a joint cooperation agreement with the Project Management Institute in the USA along with some seed financing to help get them started. Unfortunately, there were significant challenges creating a national organization with a group of individuals scattered across a large country like Canada. Initial funds were quickly consumed with the expense of travel and long-distance telephone calls. The organization shut down within a couple of years.

Laying the Groundwork for a New Attempt (2000 to 2005)

Since the turn of the millennium, a number of Canadians had again been talking about forming a Canadian IPMA member association. In 2004-2005, Kevin Aguanno and Erik Hamburger discussed joining forces to incorporate a Canadian PM association to apply for IPMA membership with support from Stacy Goff of the USA IPMA member association, the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management . This initial group expanded with the addition of Grant Kerr and later others.

This core group was determined to make another attempt at forming a Canadian IPMA affiliate organization but this time, taking advantage of new communication technologies to reduce travel and phone costs, making the organization more viable. The new organization would focus on delivering services using Web sites, teleconference calls, and webinars wherever possible.

The Birth of PMAC (2006)

In early 2006, the intial group expanded to include Kevin Aguanno, Sloan Campbell, Grant Kerr, Erik Hamburger, George Pasieka, and Bob Robinson. In the summer of that year, Beverly Pasian also joined the group. Max Wideman (who was involved in the earlier attempt to form a Canadian IPMA member association) acted as an advisor to the group, along with Stacy Goff of the ASAPM.

After a number of gatherings and the formation of the initial Board of Directors, the association formally applied to the Canadian government on 25 October 2006 to create a nationally-licensed non-profit organization called the Project Management Association of Canada. The Canadian Minister of Industry formally approved the application and issued Letters Patent on January 18, 2007. The initial Board of Directors consisted of Aguanno, Campbell, Hamburger, Kerr, Pasian, Pasieka, and Robinson.

PMAC's First Year (2007)

After its official birth in January 2007, the association had a busy year getting itself organized, creating a logo and an initial web site, seeking new members, and beginning the process of preparing for official IPMA membership. Grant Kerr represented Canada at the IPMA World Congress in Krakow, Poland.

At the first annual general meeting in August 2007, the initial directors elected Beverly Pasian as president, Andy Jordan as Vice President, Kevin Aguanno and Grant Kerr as directors at large.

 

Present at the 2007 AGM were (left to right) George Pasieka, Andy Jordan, Kevin Aguanno, and Grant Kerr. Beverly Pasian attended by telephone.

Year 2 (2008)

The association grew quickly in 2008 redesigning and relaunching its website, growing membership, and holding its first educational event, a webinar by Mark-Kozak Holland. The association also began in-depth discussions with the IPMA about formal membership in the association as its Canadian representative organization.

During 2008, Keith Farndale, Morley Selver, Paul Todd, Alex Jalaian, Bob Robinson, and Tamer Atiba joined the Board of Directors through presidential appointment, to be confirmed at the next AGM.

In August 2008, Kevin Aguanno and Beverly Pasian presented "Introducing the Project Management Association of Canada" at the Project Business Connections conference hosted by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

The Board of Directors and a majority of members decided in 2008 not to bear the expense of holding a formal annual general meeting and deferring the meeting until 2009. During this time, Andy Jordan decided to end his term as Vice President, and Kevin Aguanno was elected by the board as interim Vice President, to be confirmed at the next AGM. In addition, Tamer Atiba was appointed as interim Director of Certification, pending formal election at the next annual general meeting.

PMAC on the World Stage (2009)

On March, 28, 2009 the PMAC formally applied to the IPMA Council of Delegates in Nuremburg, Germany for membership. Grant Kerr made the formal presentation, and the IPMA delegates voted in favour of the application. PMAC was formally awarded membership status as a "transitional" member.

 


Grant Kerr, PMAC Treasurer, making the formal request for PMAC membership in the IPMA

In June of 2009, Beverly Pasian, PMAC president, traveled to Helsinki, Finland to participate in the 2009 IPMA World Congress where she represented the association and started building bridges with other international associations.

 

David Teh (Conference Presenter), Beverly Pasian (PMAC President), and Miles Shepherd (IPMA President)
David Teh (Conference Presenter), Beverly Pasian (PMAC President), and Miles Shepherd (IPMA President)

In July of 2009, PMAC launched its new PM specialty certificate programme with the Certified Agile Project Manager (Cert.APM) program. At the same time, it announced the formal adoption of the IPMA International Competence Baseline (ICB) version 3.0 as the standard for the Canadian National PM Competence Baseline. The first exam for the new agile certification was held on October 28 in Toronto. In November, the PMAC announced the first exam dates for the IPMA Level-D exam in Canada.

PMAC also launched is course accreditation programme in 2009, and accredited its first course from an external provider on agile project management.

On 5 December 2009, the PMAC held its first annual general meeting since 2007 in Toronto. Beverly Pasian was reelected as president, Kevin Aguanno was confirmed as Vice President, Grant Kerr retained his position as Treasurer, and Morley Selver retained his position as Secretary and was appointed Director of Certification. Remaining on the board of directors were Alex Jalalian as Director of Awards, Paul Todd as Director of Membership, Keith Farndale as a director at large, and Bob Robinson as a director at large for western Canada. At the AGM, the IPMA formally presented PMAC with a list of five First Assessors who have been approved by the IPMA for conducting PM assessments using the IPMA 4 level certification program in Canada. Also at the event, the first Canadian IPMA Level-D exam was written (and passed), leading to the first award of an IPMA qualification on Canadian soil. Guest speakers at the event included Lew Ireland from the ASAPM and Miles Sheppard from the IPMA.

Rapid Expansion (2010)

2010 saw the association rapidly expand services to its members, its role in the community, and its world-wide presence. The Web site was restructured and dramatically expanded, with a resultant growth in traffic and web-based inquiries. Membership grew significantly, supported by a new online membership application and renewal process. A number of new IPMA Level-D qualifications were awarded along with many Certified Agile Project Manager qualifications as this latter was supported by the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo. A number of educational events were run via webinar, and the new specialty qualification, the Advanced Certificate in Critical and Structured Thinking, was added with the first exam scheduled at the December annual general meeting in Toronto.

2010 also saw the addition of the PMAC awards program. This consists of the Canadian National Project Awards, the Canadian Project Management Book Awards, and the PMAC-AGPC Volunteer of the Year Awards.

PMAC accredited two other agile project management training course plus a general project management course ideal for preparing for the IPMA Level-D exam. This brings the number of accredited courses to 4, from 3 different training providers. Some of these accredited courses are offered both directly through training providers and also through university settings.

PMAC representatives were present at the Council of Delegates meeting in Rejkavik, Iceland and PMAC had a booth at the ProjectWorld conference in Toronto where PMAC Vice President Kevin Aguanno participated in a panel discussion on the value of PM certification.

 


PMAC Director of Awards, Alex Jalalian, and PMAC Vice President, Kevin Aguanno,
manning the booth. Photo taken by PMAC Director Keith Farndale.

The 2010 AGM on December 10 and 11 included, for the first time, a pair of 1-day workshops followed by a 1-day conference and AGM. Guest speakers included Bill Richardson and Mark Kozak-Holland. The 2010 Canadian Project Management Book Awards were also awarded at the event.

Sigificant Events since 2010 
 

In 2013 Beverly Pasian and Kevin Aguanno were inducted as Fellows of PMAC-AGPC.

The Project Management Association of Canada was the proud sponsor of the spring 2014 IPMA Council of Delegates (CoD) meeting, in which delegates from approximately 60 countries came together in Toronto to discuss and vote on significant issues. The event was held downtown Toronto at the prestigious 1 King St. West hotel and conference centre. It was the first time a CoD meeting was held outside Europe.

 

Get in touch with us

General Address

Project Management Association of Canada

1234 Kingston Road, Suite 125
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M1N 1P3

PMAC Certification Body

Project Management Association of Canada

Box 58043, Rosslynn RPO
Oshawa, Ontario
Canada L1J 8L6

Fax: (416) 986-5777

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