Saturday, February 28, 2015

Conference 2015

CGA Gem Conference 2015

October 16, 17, 18
Terminal City Club
837 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1B6

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conference Includes

Friday evening wine & cheese welcome reception
Full program of speakers, Saturday & Sunday
Continental breakfast and two coffee breaks per day, Saturday & Sunday
Saturday gala dinner, dance and graduation ceremony.

See also:

Schedule of Events

Friday, October 16

6:00 pm to
10:00 pm
Conference registration with wine & cheese welcome
reception and book signing event    
Saturday, October 17
8:30 am - 9:00 am Conference registration & continental breakfast
9:00 am Opening session with keynote speaker. Speaker sessions
continue throughout the day
~12 noon Buffet lunch
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Ruby Martini Reception - sponsored by True North Gems
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Graduation Ceremony, Gala Dinner & Dance
 Sunday, October 18    8:30 - 9:00 am Continental breakfast
 9:00 am  Opening session with keynote speaker. Speaker sessions continue.
 ~12 noon  Buffet lunch
 4:00 pm  Conference closes

Conference Program Speakers - Confirmed to Date
Dr. Jim Shigley
Dr. Cigdem Lule
Dr. Lee Groat
Richard Drucker
James Riley
Kelly Ross
Andrew Fagan

Early-Bird Member Prices

Code Event Price (add GST)
CRN 30134     Full 3-day conference registration $499
CRN 30144 Friday evening only: wine & cheese reception $59
CRN 30136 Saturday lecture & lunch only (no gala dinner & dance)     $195
CRN 30142 Saturday dinner & gala only $149
CRN 30140 Saturday full day: lectures & gala $379
CRN 30138 Sunday only: lectures & lunch $195

Terminal City Club Hotel - Booking Information

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Call: 1.855.678.8998.

Booking Code: DHC


Deluxe king or double room - $159 + tax
City View suite (king) - $179 + tax
Harbour View suite (king or double) - $199 + tax

Please note that rooms are available on a first come, first served basis!


Year after year, the CGA brings together gemmologists from across Canada and around the world to network, share the latest news in the field and attend special workshops. Our sumptuous banquet dinner provides a classy setting to honour graduates of our professional gemmology programs and to welcome new Fellows into the Association ... and the silent auctions can't help but add a little spice to the occasion!

In today's competitive, fast-changing environment, it's important to stay abreast of changes and demonstrate involvement in the community on an on-going basis. Add the CGA gem conference to your schedule today!

Grad & AGM 2014

CGA Grad Dinner & AGM 2014
with Special Workshops

November 13 - 14, 2014
The National Club, Howland Room
303 Bay Street
Toronto, ON  M5H 2R1

Organizer: Anita Beardwood
Workshops Coordinator: Karen Howard

The CGA's 2014 Annual General Meeting of members was held in conjunction with the end-of-year graduation ceremony and dinner at the Howland Room of the National Club in downtown Toronto. An accompanying selection of special workshops was held just before the event to provide an opportunity for additional skills development in the area of gemstone treatments and pricing.  

The event featured a cocktail reception at 5:30 pm followed by a speaker, dinner, Annual General Meeting and graduation ceremony.

Registration Form - Grad & AGM - click here to download
Registration Form - Special November Workshops - click here to download
Notice of AGM & Proxy Form - click here to download
Director Nomination Form - click here to download

Member price: $75; 
Student price: $60
Non-Member & Guest
 price: $85

Student price is applicable to currently registered CGA, GBC, VCC & CIJT students, plus anyone receiving a CGA preliminary or professional certificate.
Please advise of any dietary restrictions.


Thursday, November 13

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Corundum Treatments and Pricing Workshop
Instructor: Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
CGA Classroom, 55 Queen St E, Lower Concourse 105
Friday, November 14

9:00 am to
1:00 pm
Cultured Pearls and Pricing Workshop
Instructor: Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
CGA Classroom, 55 Queen St E, Lower Concourse 105    
2:00 pm to 5:30 pm Emerald Treatments and Pricing Workshop
Instructor: Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
CGA Classroom, 55 Queen St E, Lower Concourse 105
5:30 pm - 

Cocktails, followed by speaker, silent auction, AGM, dinner and graduation ceremony.

Annual General Meeting - Elections for Positions on the CGA Board of Directors




President Donna Hawrelko Vancouver, BC
Vice President Duncan Parker Toronto, ON
  James Denas Toronto, ON
Secretary Breanne Avender      Calgary, AB
Treasurer Adam Ostrow Coquitlam, BC 
Director of Education      Derek Jackson  Vancouver, BC

Voting members who cannot attend the meeting are asked to complete a proxy and return it to the office.

Biographies for Board Nominees
Donna Hawrelko (nominated for President)
Donna Hawrelko (FCGmA, FGA) is Program Coordinator at Vancouver Community College in British Columbia, and administers delivery of the CGA's professional gemmology program under an affiliate agreement. She is Past President of the AGA (Accredited Gemologists Association) and has served as CGA's Director of Education since 2007. As Conference Chairman for CGA's upcoming 2015 Annual Conference, as well as for many conferences in the past, Donna is deeply involved in building and supporting the gemmological community in Canada.
Duncan Parker (nominated for Vice-President)
Duncan Parker (FCGmA, FGA) has worked as a gemmologist, appraiser and jewellery consultant for thirty years, including over two decades at Harold Weinstein Gemmological Laboratory in Toronto, and currently as VP with Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers. He has participated in the development of gemmology- and jewellery-related course material for the CGA, George Brown College, Ryerson University and the Government of the Northwest Territories, and has worked with Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC) to draft industry guidelines. He is immediate Past President of JVC, and has served the CGA as President for over a decade.
James Denas(nominated for Vice-President)
James Denas (FCGmA, HRD CDG) is a gemmologist and an Antwerp-certified diamond grader. He is the owner of Designed by You Custom Jewellery, President of the North York Faceting Guild, and an instructor of the preliminary-level part-time evening gemmology program with the Canadian Gemmological Association. Mr. Denas also narrates audiobooks for the CNIB and broadcasts for AMI Audio, where his recent three-part documentary Death of a President: The Moment and The Controversy won the 2014 bronze medal at The New York International Festivals.
Breanne Avender (nominated for Secretary)
Breanne Avender (FCGmA, FGA) has been in the jewellery industry since 2002. In 2012 she received her BFA in Jewellery and Metals from the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), and was a finalist in the Niche Awards program celebrating excellence and innovation in fine craft. She has participated in 4 shows and was the October 2014 spotlight artist at the Alberta Craft Council. She currently works with a Calgary jewellery store specializing in custom design, and has taught numerous day courses in gemmology at ACAD.
Adam Ostrow (nominated for Treasurer)
Adam Ostrow (FCGmA) is a certified insurance appraiser and accredited senior gemmologist with the AGA. He is President and owner of Rockcliff Design Group, Ltd., a jewellery, gemstone and appraisal company that is a member of the AGTA. He holds Masters Degrees in Business Taxation and International Finance, and has been a Senior Manager with both PwC LLP and with KPMG LLP. He has served the CGA as Treasurer since November of 2012.
Derek Jackson (nominated for Director of Education)
Derek Jackson entered the jewellery industry in 2008 as an independent designer, and started working as a bench jeweller in 2010 completing repairs and making jewellery. He currently manages a small wholesale company where he directs job flow, quality control and the procurement of gemstones and supplies, as well as writing appraisals and making CAD models. At Vancouver Community College, Derek teaches the Registered Master Valuer course, and acts as a teaching assistant and substitute teacher for the gemmology program. His contributions as part of the CGA Conference Committee in Vancouver help foster interaction between gemmologists in Canada.


CGA Classroom
55 Queen St East, Lower Concourse #105, Toronto, ON  M5C 1R6
Instructor: Dr Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance from GemWorld International upon completion of their workshops.

Corundum Treatments and Pricing Workshop (full day)
Thursday, November 13, 9:00 am -4:00 pm; CGA Member $420/Non-Member $450

This class is an intensive one-day workshop on corundum treatments and pricing. Heating and other methods used to enhance the appearance of corundum are having a profound effect on the market. The sale of treated corundum has dramatically increased the supply of products sold as ruby and sapphire. Accurately pricing corundum requires the professional gemmologist to distinguish not only between treated and natural, but also between the various treatments encountered in today's global market.

This workshop is designed to reconcile the pricing of rubies and sapphires by specific treatment type. 

Participants will examine a variety of natural and treated ruby and sapphire, followed by a presentation concerning pricing considerations. This hands-on session is supported by a PowerPoint presentation featuring high quality images of characteristic features that reveal whether stones have been enhanced, and how.

Friday, November 14, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm; CGA Member $220/Non-Member $250

Cultured pearls are one of the fastest growing sectors in the gem trade. Many varieties of Chinese freshwater pearls have earned widespread consumer acceptance across the global market. However, visual similarity of these pearls to the once dominant seawater varieties like Akoya and South Sea pearls has created some challenges for buyers, sellers and appraisal professionals whose responsibility it is to accurately grade and price pearl products for their clients.

Today, cultured pearls are produced in an array of colours, shapes and sizes, yet the standard remains the round to near round white products. Although visually similar, beyond appearance these products share little in common. Market availability, surface quality, and of course price, differ greatly from variety to variety, as well as among pearls of the same variety. Accurately pricing cultured pearls requires the professional gemmologist to distinguish not only between types, but also to correctly assess quality and shape factors within the same variety.

In this workshop, participants will examine and grade a variety of cultured pearls, followed by a presentation concerning common enhancements and pricing considerations. The hands-on session is supported by a PowerPoint presentation featuring high quality images of certain characteristics useful for assessing overall grade.

Emerald Treatments and Pricing
Thursday, April 3, 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm; CGA Member $250/Non-Member $280

This is a half-day hands-on class working with treated and natural emerald specimens, including pricing information.

Participants will examine emeralds treated by various methods and learn the practical techniques used in the field to recognize them. The degree to which an emerald has been enhanced is one of the major considerations when accurately pricing these popular gems. Tips regarding how to estimate the treatment level are also presented.

Value factors such as colour, clarity and transparency are discussed based on the GemGuide pricing system. Emerald specimens have been specifically treated for this program to illustrate the common treatment types and levels of enhancement encountered in the market.

Past Conference List

The Meeting Place for Gemmology in Canada!

The CGA's regular gem conferences have been bringing together colleagues in the gem and jewellery business since 1990.

Date & Location Conference
October 1990
George Brown College
Toronto, ON
Robert Shore
Zia Hasan
October 26, 1991
North York Novotel
Toronto, ON
 James Hergel
October 24-25, 1992
Park Plaza Hotel,
Toronto, ON
 Robert Shore
October 23-24, 1993
Park Plaza Hotel
Toronto, ON
Duncan Parker
October 22-23, 1994
Park Plaza Hotel
Toronto, ON
Colette Bensimon
October 1995
Renaissance Hotel, Harbourside
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
October 19-20, 1996
Hart House, U of Toronto
Toronto, ON
Duncan Parker
October 25, 1997
Delta Chelsea Inn
Toronto, ON
Jeannine Dykstra
October 24-25, 1998
Montreal Board of Trade, Place Ville-Marie, Montreal, QC
Francois Longere
Hart House, Univ of Toronto
Toronto, ON
October 20-22, 2000
Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel,
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
Metropolitan Hotel,
Toronto, ON
Anna Jankowiak
November 2, 2002
Ontario Heritage Centre
Toronto, ON
Duncan Parker
Ontario Heritage Centre, Toronto, ON
Anita Beardwood
October 22-25, 2004
Terminal City Club
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
The Ontario Club
Toronto, ON
Eden Rathwell
October 28, 2006
The Ontario Club
Toronto, ON
Jennifer McKercher
Oct 19-21, 2007
Terminal City Club
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
November 7-9, 2008
Dominion Club at One King West, Toronto, ON
Anita Beardwood
Hart House, U of T
Toronto, ON
Mike Hyszka
September 26, 2010
Universite de Montreal
Montreal, QC
Chandra Horn
Nov 18-20, 2011
Terminal City Club, Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
October 21, 2012
The Gallery at the Heritage Centre, Toronto, ON
Anita Beardwood