We Are Sunshine

JCTA Annual General Meeting Held November 12th and More

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

The Joint Canadian Tanning Association Annual General Meeting was held November 12th via webinar. The meeting was viewed by salons and suppliers across the country. Everyone is welcome, no matter if you’re a member or not. This was the second time the webinar format was used since there are no national trade show in North America.

The reelected JCTA President, Mat Rockey, gave his insights on 2019, as well as where he sees the industry for 2020. This is one of the first years in a long time that, in general, salon sales showed increases across the country, and salon owners were looking into new tanning equipment as well purchasing other equipment to diversify their operations. By all indications, the industry is in a growth pattern. Some salons are saying they’ve had their best year.

The JCTA has a new Board Director for the Prairie Province, Lloyd Fischer, who owns a salon in Grande Prairie, Alberta. He has been a small business owner for many years and owned different service businesses as well. He’s worked with other nonprofit association and served as a board member. He is politically involved both provincially and on the federal level. He will make a great advocate for our industry.

Both Doug McNabb and I were reelected, Doug as Industry Advocate Director and myself as the Education Director. Both Doug and I have served on the Board since the rejuvenation of the JCTA in 2006. Board members serve a two-year term and half the Board is elected every second year.

As the JCTA Executive Director, I presented the financials for the fiscal year ending July 31st, 2019. The biggest spend for the 2019 season was marketing the industry. The JCTA Board continues looking at options for salon insurance, since full-coverage insurance has become harder and harder to get. The JCTA has made this a major priority this year. I was at the Uvalux Show in Kitchener/Waterloo this year – great to see everyone for the first time in a couple of years and at the salon owners lunch. Owners were asked to complete a survey on insurance. We hope to use a survey like this to improve our insurance program.

Negative research papers on the Canadian industry starting showing up over the last few years, beginning in late 2018. This research could be used against us when the Federal Provincial Territorial Radiation Protection Committee (FPTRPC) starts their review radiation regulations, which is done about every 7 years. We expect this review some time in 2021 to 2023. The review is for all types of radiation equipment from X-ray machines to sunbeds. Part of the reason we did the JCTA Tanner Survey in 2019, which was a great success, was the Canadian Health Survey for 2019, which included indoor tanning questions again. We’ll use our survey as a comparison. These questions are added into the survey every 5 years. We expect a research paper out some time next year or early 2021. The 2017 paper indicated we were improving and following regulations for the most part. The JCTA has moved funds from the marketing fund and created a political fund to prepare for any changes. Hopefully we’ll see more salons joining, and we can move funds back to marketing. Salon training and a ban of self-serve will probably be a big part of the review of the radiation act for sunbeds, since this is mentioned in the HC Operator Guideline in 2017. With Smart Tan training recognized by most government and insurance companies, this should show regulators we have the training under control, just as the alcohol beverage industry has done with training like Smart Serve

The AGM presentation went on to show where funding will be spent this year.

The JCTA continues to support research and like-minded advocacy groups to promote the benefits of sunlight. Marketing the “Please Tan Responsibly” message will continue to be the biggest spend for the JCTA. This message seems to be resonating with Canadian consumers. As opposed to 5 years ago, more and more salons are telling stories about people wanting more information about indoor tanning. The Please Tan Responsibly campaign will include information on properly pretanning both for vacation and summer, sunburn prevention as the key to a great vacation, a checklist for tanning indoor and outdoor, sunlight being just as beneficial as fitness, and spray tanning at a professional salon. As an industry, we need to show we follow professional standards set out by the JCTA and insurance companies. We are here to protect our clients from overexposure both indoors and outdoors. The marketing campaign has just started, and Google is outperforming Facebook with impression rates, website visits (where they see the closest 3 salon to them) and time spent on the TanResponsibly website.

The JCTA continues to work with other tanning associations around the world to show health agencies and governments that the research used against sunbeds is not about a professional, controlled salon. The data includes equipment before regulations even existed in Canada – 1989, Skin Type 1, confounders – sunburns outside, and other types of equipment – self serve, home, medical. Regulations and the industry have evolved to control exposure based on skin type. The industry does not allow a Skin Type 1 (always burn, never tan) person to UV tan. Over the last few years, more and more researchers are showing the benefits of sunlight far exceeding the benefits of vitamin D production. A supplement will never replace the benefits of sunlight. Some research is even showing sunbeds could be a surrogate for sunlight. We must always remember our equipment is regulated as a piece of equipment to produce a natural tan – photoprotection. Until this changes, we can’t promote our equipment as a medical device. If clients ask about medical benefits, you should refer them to website like, or .

First, I’d like to thank all the JCTA Members that fund the efforts of the JCTA and ask salons that are not members to join, so we can all work together to benefit the industry and promote it. Government looks at how many locations a Professional Association represents in an industry. Normally, the higher the percentage of representation an association has, the less regulations are required.


Steve Gilroy, JCTA  Executive Director