There is no better place in St. John’s Newfoundland, and maybe Canada, to hold the opening reception for the Buildings Owners and Managers Association of Canada annual conference (BOMEX) than The Rooms. The Reception was held on Sunday evening, September 25 with about 100 of the 325 BOMEX registrants attending.
(Picture from The Rooms website)
The Rooms is a cultural facility opened in 2005 that houses the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Archives and Museum. It is located on a hill overlooking the city and can be seen from almost any point in St. John’s.
The top floor of the building provides a panoramic view of St. John’s harbor and out across the Atlantic Ocean where the next piece of firm ground is Ireland. It is ‘the best view in Canada’ according to Dana Penney, Project Manager with Perennial Management in St. Johns who is attending BOMEX. Uncharacteristically sunny weather for St. Johns meant the scene from the window at The Rooms, during the reception, was perfectly clear.
An Architectural Technologist, Penney was employed by architectural firm The PHB Group during construction of The Rooms. The Rooms is an exceptional building, said Penney that is ideal for gatherings such as the BOMEX reception.
The Rooms is modeled after the fishing sheds used historically by Newfoundlanders to process their catch. There are three distinct structures, ‘the rooms’ that make up the building, each housing one of the Provincial cultural facilities, connected by a multi-level atrium and meeting place.
Beneath The Rooms is an unexcavated, 250-year old archaeological site, the location of Fort Townshend. The Fort was a star-shaped citadel, one of the largest British fortifications in North America at the time, built to defend Britain's fishing interests. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the St. Johns Fire Department occupied the site subsequent to it being a fort.
The Rooms is just one of many little known Newfoundland treasures, natural and human, that are evident by a visit to St. John's. Many people attending the BOMEX conference are extending their visit to see more of the Province.
Troy Ryan with Infrared Imaging Solutions who is exhibiting at BOMEX is taking five (5) additional days to stay in Newfoundland.
Neal Bach, owner of Energy Profiles, came to the conference along and his wife Joanne, in part because they had never traveled east of Quebec City. 'It has been a treat' said Joanne. We went on a hike to day for eight hours. It was wonderful — weather, views and the company.”
Lori Augustine, a Senior Consultant with Stantec Consulting in Hamilton has many reasons for attending BOMEX. She is speaking on a panel, supports BOMA events, serves on the Toronto Awards Committee, writes award proposals and she has customers in Newfoundland. She too is taking a couple of extra days to be a tourist.
Patrick Penpeluk, Vice President of Operations in Edmonton with Humford Management is attending as a fact find mission, to exchange information, get new ideas and learn new processes. He walked around St. Johns for four hours today and took 180 photos.
Romeo Milano with Safetech Environmental Ltd. said for ‘people from Toronto who need an excuse to get out of Toronto’ BOMEX serves that purpose. He had been visiting the restaurants in the downtown, one of his favourite past-times.
The conference is being held at the Delta Hotel adjacent to St. John's downtown. It is a short walk to the business and entertainment district where there is an abundance of restaurants, bars and shopping. The area is also located next to the magnificent St. John’s harbour.
Bob Perkins with Taggart Construction in Ottawa remarked how impressed he was by the quality of shops in St. Johns as he was returning to the Delta Hotel with a parcel in hand.
BOMEX is a two-day conference taking place on September 24th and 25th ending with BOMA Canada's annual awards banquet on Tuesday evening.