BC Value-added Wood Product: Workforce Development Strategic Plan
BC Wood Specialties Group is excited to release BC Value-added Wood Product: Workforce Development Strategic Plan. Employers in British Columbia’s value-added wood (VAW) sector are experiencing a number of key workforce challenges that are impacting their ability to meet their business development goals. In 2018, BC Wood Specialities Group Association, a sector-led not-for-profit trade association, led a labour market information research project funded through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s Sector Labour Market Partnerships program. This research identified a number of workforce challenges facing employers in the VAW sector, including acute labour shortages, a lack of diversity in the sector, low levels of awareness about career paths and advancement opportunities in the sector, and a lack of effective and available training.
BC Wood would like to thank all those who contributed their time and expertise to this Value-added Wood Workforce Development Strategic Plan. This project would not have been possible without support from the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement, the Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program, and the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.
We would like to thank the project Advisory Group members for their guidance and contributions to the development of this Strategic Plan. We would also like to thank all the employers, employees, training providers and other sector experts who contributed to this report through interviews.
Ultimately, this is the first step. I would like to see some pilot projects. Let’s try it in a few spots! We’ve been doing the same things year-in year-out, so how about we try something new in a small town with high unemployment […] once we see success in a pilot project, employers can then say “that’s something that works and is worth the investment”.
  • Grant McKinnon, All-Fab Building Components
In order to have a successful value-added industry that’s actually going to grow we need to give it the attention that it deserves. Training and education in the industry are one of the pillars! […] What I would like to see happen is more education from the younger age, get them excited about the industry, so we get more participation. Not just at a high school level, but also someone further on in their career who would like to get into the value-added industry.
  • Ken Kalesnikoff, Kalesnikoff Lumber and Mass Timber

With this announcement, BC Wood will now begin the process of looking at options to fund and implement the strategies recommended in this workforce development plan.
Wood First
Wood First: General Assessments

General Assessments are a free, confidential conversation with BC Wood that will help identify the specific areas limiting your company’s growth. Typically, there are three general areas of concern for most value-added wood manufacturers: Marketing and/or Business DevelopmentTechnical Expertise, or Product Development and Design.

Once the assessment has been completed and gaps to growth identified, we will work to develop programming intended to build the skills and capabilities within your company. BC Wood can help by providing cost-shared professional business development services at your company level, or to groups of companies with like needs, either related to business organization, marketing, product development, or enhancing manufacturing processes.

For now, all assessments are done virtually, but once it is safe to travel, we would be happy to meet you at your place of business! Please contact Kit Crowe at to arrange your general assessment.
Future of Prefabrication Building Symposium (Hybrid)
February 25 & 26, 2022
Registration is Open!
AIBC LU’s (pending)

Prefabrication in mass timber buildings is fast becoming a reality and, through digital design and manufacturing processes, is bringing forth a disruptive effect on the building industry. In order to maintain BC’s lead in innovation in wood and to promote value added processes within the province, it is timely for BC to lead a symposium on the state-of-the-art in Wood Prefabricated Buildings. This symposium is held jointly by University of British Columbia in collaboration with British Columbia Institute of Technology and University of Northern BC.
The 2-day symposium will be delivered in a hybrid (in-person & virtual) format and will focus on aspirational outcomes for prefabrication bringing together architects, engineers and fabricators who are interested in the potentials for their disciplines using prefabrication in wood. The conference will be focused around four key themes;(1) State-of-the-Art in Prefabrication (2) Vertical Integration, (3) Industry 4.0, and (4) British Columbia Innovation in Prefabrication. As such the event will appeal to architects, engineers, manufacturers and building professionals seeking more information on prefabrication that will enable them to fully participate in the growing market for prefabricated mass timber, tall wood, passive house and large multi-family wood structures. 
UBC - Industrial Wood Finishing Certificate Course
A unique Industry Training Program
This part-time online training program with a one-week hands-on practical session is North America’s most comprehensive wood finishing certificate program.
The certificate program provides participants with a broad understanding of the field of wood finishing. It's designed for individuals who have some general experience in wood finishing and would like to expand their knowledge.  
Once completed, learners will have knowledge and experience to do the following:
  • Understand why the finish is applied to wood and how wood properties affect finishing
  • To be able to identify the best finishing system based on the end-use
  • Trouble-shoot wood finishing problems
  • Design a safe and efficient finishing facility
This course will provide you with the knowledge and tools to start a finishing business, or to improve an existing one.
Starts January 10, 2022– April 8, 2022
One week intensive practical – April 4 - 8, 2022
Space is Limited, Register Now!
Tel: 604 822-0082
Robot Made: Large-Scale Robotic Timber Fabrication in Architecture
February 19th to February 23rd, 2022

Assistant Professor David Correa from University of Waterloo and Associate Professor AnnaLisa Meyboom from UBC SALA, will hold a technical workshop on robotic fabrication, in collaboration with UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP). While many industries have made leaps and bounds in adopting highly flexible and fully automated fabrication workflows using robotics, the construction and design industry are only just starting to open the door to these technologies.

Recent developments in robotics combined with more accessible design-to-fabrication tools can now offer architects, designers and fabricators unprecedented access to a new design paradigm.

We are pleased to welcome two experts to share their knowledge and experience with students and practicing architects here at UBC. Using a state-of-the-art eight-axis industrial robotic work cell in the CAWP manufacturing pilot, the workshop will guide participants through the unique technical and conceptual foundations that underpin robotic milling in wood, through the development and construction of a full-scale fabrication project.
UBC Wood Products Processing Co-op Job Postings Call for Summer 2020

Co-op postings for the Summer 2022 term (May/June 2020 start) are now being accepted. For more information, please view the program overview, examples of co-op positions for Wood Products Processing students and a job template. Students are available for 4 months (May to August) or 8 months (May to December).
Students are qualified for positions related to marketing/sales, business process analyses/improvements, engineering processes, manufacturing, quality control, research, testing and technical analysis.

For a list of potential co-op funding opportunities, please go to:

*Please note that students get taken up quite quickly so it is highly recommended to send job descriptions as soon as possible and move quickly with the recruitment process.
BC Wood Program Updates

BC Wood Is Excited To Announce A New Digital Marketing Campaign Promoting BC Value-Added Wood Products To The Province’s Architect And Designer Community.

The campaign will be an emotional pitch to feel good about sourcing value-added wood products from our own backyard – for sustainability benefits, economic benefits, support for local businesses, a healthier lifestyle, beautiful aesthetics, and to be on the good side of climate change. This brand-new series will run for 3-months, starting the new year off strong from January, across social media platforms featuring interviews with manufacturers, their products, projects, and facilities.
Specifiers Guide

The Specifiers Guide has recently been updated with new companies and new information for previous listings! BC Wood will be promoting the guide as part of the WoodTALKS Lunch and Learn program, as well as handing out USB versions at the upcoming Buildex Vancouver, February 16th and 17th, 2022. 

You can view the guide here:
Building Connections Mexico & Latin America
January- March 2022

Through BC Wood’s in-market and online activities over the past seven years, BC value-added wood manufacturers continue to develop on-going and new business relations with Mexico’s Industrial Wood Market, and have been pursuing pre-built housing, timber structures, and cabinetry opportunities with Mexico & Latin America’s architectural communities.

During January to March 2022, we will be delivering an online activity to provide market intelligence and mentoring to BC companies, prepare effective sales tools, and then arrange on-line business-to-business meetings with pre-qualified potential partners primarily in Mexico, including importers, distributors, architects, builders, developers, and manufacturers.

As travel opens-up, this activity will act as a precursor to BC Wood’s Trade Mission to Mexico & Latin America scheduled for August 2022. At that time, participating companies can meet directly with these potential partners, as well as other new contacts which we will coordinate for you in-market.

BC Wood member Cost: $875 + GST (application deadline is December 15, 2021)

For more information contact: Ken Hori E:
Spring Cottage Life Show 2022
March 24-27, 2022, The International Centre, Mississauga, ON

The Spring Cottage Life Show is the unofficial kick-off to cottage season for 39,000 cottagers. In one of Canada’s hottest recreational property markets, the show attracts an elite consumer: high household income, high net-worth, dual home owners. In these ever-changing times, the Cottage Life Shows are dedicated to the health and safety of the attendees, exhibitors, partners, and employees. As such they will be implementing new protocols to address the COVID-19 reality. This may include measures such as mandatory face masks, timed entry for attendees, one-directional aisles, and full-side drapes on all booths. Don’t miss your chance to join the more than 600 businesses that come together to capitalize on this unique opportunity each spring! 

BC Wood member cost: $2,195 + HST (application deadline December 8, 2021)

Trade Show Exhibit
10’ x 10’ booth space, including drapes, carpet, electrical, 6’ draped table and chair

Building Connections Event
One day Building Connections Event prior to the trade show – pre-set meetings with key builders, architects, and/or distributors in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

For more information contact: Ken Hori E:  
Japan Home Show 2021
Jim Ivanoff |
From November 17th to 19th BC Wood was back at Tokyo’s Big Sight to exhibit at this year’s Japan Home & Building Show. This has traditionally been our largest event in the market with many members making the trip over to take part. Unfortunately, Japan did not open its borders to foreign business people early enough to allow for such in-person participation this year. For this reason, BC Wood once again deployed a hybrid approach allowing members to still develop business leads at this major industry event.
Since October Japan has been fortunate to have been able to maintain very few new COVID-19 infections, averaging only 150 a day for a country of 125 million. For this reason, I had been very optimistic that the show would see big crowds again. Unfortunately, we did not see such a return to pre-pandemic attendance and there were many theories why, including the fact that with all business restrictions having been lifted around that time people were too busy rushing to meet with customers that they had not been able to visit in the past year and a half.
Despite the lower-than-expected number of visitors, the people who did come were serious. Last year, visitors would come, grab information, and try to move as quickly as possible, obviously in an attempt to reduce their time spent at the show and thus minimizing exposure. This time the customers who came to our booth were relaxed, asked many questions, and spent time giving us detailed inquiries. For new sales leads, this was by far the best show we have had since the pandemic began.
The hybrid system we developed to promote participating members products was also very effective this time. With actual product samples from members in our pavilion and enough staff hired to handle the flow of traffic, we were able to generate a great number of actual inquiries as well as new contacts. This system worked so well that we will again offer it to members at the Nikkei Architectural and Construction Materials show in March.

For more information on Japan’s new entry system or the upcoming Nikkei Show in March, please contact Jim Ivanoff at

Spotlight: Greenspan Adjusters International
Greenspan Adjusters International represents policy holders that have suffered major property damage. Their role is to ensure policy holders are indemnified when they have a first party property claim, levelling the playing field to ensure they optimize all available coverages under their policy. When a business suffers property damages that they have never dealt with before, they are often at wits’ end, so Greenspan helps take the burden off the policy holders’ shoulders by putting together a claim, presenting it, negotiating it, and securing all the proceeds available.

Greenspan has handled a number of losses in the lumber industry, with the notable client of Trinity River Lumber, who, after a suffering a major loss, were initially offered $6 million. With the help of Greenspan, they settled the claim for $18 million. These achievements were accomplished through their large team of in-house experts, including forensic construction cost estimators, inventory specialists, in house legal expertise (they do not practice law) and forensic accountants – CPAs - who ensure the damages to the building, equipment, inventory & other property, along with the business’s loss of sales & income are calculated correctly.

Founded 75 years ago, Greenspan has headquarters in both the San Francisco and Seattle with numerous other locations in the West, and have become the oldest and largest adjustment firm west of the Mississippi. Over the last 5 years, Greenspan has been contacted by many BC based companies. To accommodate these requests, they went through the process of becoming licensed to help British Columbia-based clients. Although Greenspan are often contacted after a disaster, they are always happy to answer questions policy holders may have. Ken Crown, Vice President, will be holding a noon hour seminar via Zoom on insurance policies for wood manufacturers and other associated businesses on February 1st. More details will be available in the next Wood Connections.
Industry News
Timber Tiles: Creating Beauty and Adding Value One Wooden Wall Tile at a Time
Forestry Friendly Communities

Today’s forest industry is finding innovative ways to use every part of the tree and Timber Tiles, a new manufacturing company based out of Port Alberni, is a prime example of that. We spoke to Mark Anson, Owner of Timber Tiles, to learn more about how he is creating design-forward architectural wall tiles from BC wood that was previously thought to have little value.
Colourful Mass Timber Social Housing to Replace Imperial Theatre on Main Street
Kenneth Chan

The southwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Cordova Street in the Downtown Eastside is set to see a drastic mixed-use transformation.

Happy Harvest has submitted a development permit application to the City of Vancouver to redevelop 305 Main Street. This would replace several buildings, some more than a century old, as well as the historic Imperial Theatre, which would be replaced by a new smaller on-site venue. The name of the project is simply “MAC,” as a nod to the names of the property’s two cross streets.
Preparing For Travel & Trade Shows
January 21, 2022 at 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Trade shows are crucial to expanding your sales outside B.C.’s borders, but the culture, etiquette and expectations of doing business in each country are different.

Export Preparation is key for making the most of your trip.

Join us for this FREE interactive webinar and learn everything you need to know about trade show preparation. From promoting your attendance at the trade show to creating an eye-catching booth, there are many factors that play a part in ensuring a successful experience. We’ll also cover upcoming B.C. and Canadian pavilions at trade shows around the world, and the funding that can take you there!
Quesnel Value-added Mill Presents to Council
Cassidy Dankochik

Quesnel’s city council appeared impressed by Kandola Forest Products (KFP) after a delegation of higher-ups reported on their progress. The company began operating in April of 2021.

Neal Kandola, the CEO of the value-added mill reported KFP has captured a bigger market share than the previous company operating out of their mill ever did.
Coming Full Circle: Wood and the Circular Economy

British Columbia’s construction sector is coming full circle—and thinking differently about the environmental impact of materials they specify. They’re looking for ways to change from a ‘take-make-waste’ approach to a more circular economy - one that considers building materials beyond their end-of-life. When designed with this in mind, buildings, like biological processes themselves, can have a more regenerative life cycle. And naturally renewable products, such as wood, have an important role to play in this shift to more enduring, sustainable design.
Mass Timber on the Rise in BC

Faced with climate change and the need for lower carbon solutions, mass timber is opening new design and construction possibilities for BC. 

Advancing the use of mass timber supports new jobs and long-term investments in value-added manufacturing, green building and forest sector diversification. This collection of key resources helps to both show and tell how BC is leveraging the mass timber movement to help deliver more value out of BC's forests.
How Your Website Can Get You Export Ready
Export Navigator

When you think of exporting, you may not immediately connect it with digital marketing. The prominence of the Internet and online shopping has drastically changed how businesses export. For many exporters, e-commerce is now a big part of exporting and requires business owners to adapt digitally.