Wood First
Wood First: Marketing Assessments

There is cost-shared support available for BC’s value-added wood products industry to help you improve your marketing strategies!

First, a marketing professional will review and evaluate your company's activities and strategies. Next, you will receive a comprehensive summary report that identifies each activity, recommended changes or improvements, and new activities/strategies that should be considered. Along with the report, you will receive recommendations on how to accelerate or improve your marketing strategies, as well as how to strengthen and improve your overall brand and messaging to further set you apart from competitors, and achieve your desired business goals.

  • 2-4 hour meeting with a marketing professional
  • Discussion of past and present marketing activities
  • Assessment of all communication pieces
  • Recommended improvements, changes, and additions
  • Overview of all products and services
  • Review of current revenues and goals
  • Discussion of other business goals
  • Understanding of competitive advantages
  • Profiling of target markets

  • Expert marketing advice at a fraction of your normal cost
  • A concise, easy-to-follow guide for improving the marketing of your business
  • New ideas and ways to stretch your marketing dollars
  • Simple changes to strengthen your brand and better position you against competitors


Contact Kit Crowe at kcrowe@bcwood.com to secure your assessment. We only do 5 of these per year, so don’t miss out!
WMC Management Skill Training Program
UBC - Online Managements Skill Training Courses
UBC – Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) will be offering the following “online” coursesQuality Management and Control, and Safety and Human Resources Management will run from May 31st, 2021 to July 12th, 2021.

These wood products industry specific courses are designed for owners, managers, supervisors or management tracked employees. These are not academic courses and the skills learned can be applied immediately to the work place. Each part time course is led by a tutor with extensive industry experience. 
For more information on the courses, please click on the following link: Management Skill Training or call Jason Chiu at 604 822-0082.
Join us for the next edition of TWIG Monthly, June 14th from 7-9 pm online via Zoom. 
Patrick Christie | info@twigbc.ca

The ‘Monthly’ event is a recurring get-together to connect with industry around topics, projects, and ideas that bring value to forest-based resources in BC. Each event has a featured guest, and we invite them to tell their story and share the why and how behind what they do.

Initially started in 2015 as an in-person meetup gathering under the name “Outside The Box Meetup Group”, TWIG emerged in the fall of 2020 as a response to staying connected during the global pandemic. The Wood Innovation Group (TWIG) is creating an industry-leading forest products innovation ecosystem, rooted in wood-science, informed by craft, and focused on increasing connectivity through design and creativity.

The focus of TWIG over the next few months will be centered around people who have developed and manufactured products, either through partnerships or their own production capacity. Information on our past Monthly events and future events can be seen at twigbc.ca/monthly. To get updated information directly, sign up for our mailing list on the website and/or follow TWIG on LinkedIn

This past month we heard from Felix Bӧck of ChopValue, and the process of manufacturing a reclaimed material into a high-performance end product. The news was also shared of the recent expansion of ChopValue to the Fraser Valley, where they partnered with TWIG member John Neels of Audacity Wood Products to open up the 5th Microfactory Franchise.  

To join our meeting, follow this link https://twigbc.ca/monthly and enter your email to receive updates, meeting invitations and special content. We look forward to seeing you. 
BC Wood Program Updates
Woodshock Talk in Japan
Jim Ivanoff | ivanoff@bcwood.jp

While the general public in Japan is focused on every new piece of news about the current 4th COVID-19 wave and what it means for the Olympics scheduled to start on July 23rd, the construction related industries are all abuzz about the “woodshock.” Unlike other advanced nations that have seen a dramatic increase in home construction during the pandemic, Japan has seen starts slide as famously risk-averse consumers sock away more and more money into no-interest bank accounts or under their tatamis. With restrictions on show home openings, salespeople cannot approach new contacts, further hampering contracts. This situation unfortunately also follows a sales tax increase in the fall of 2019, which pushed forward some housing demand to 2019, from 2020.
While the domestic Japanese market struggles with weak demand and builders trying to reduce prices to keep market share, booming housing markets in other countries are driving up wood prices at an unprecedented rate. For many months, trading companies and other importers tried to resist paying higher prices and desperately searched for other options. The deflationary mindset in Japan is still strong and the housing sector in particular is bent on pushing prices ever downward. However, as the United States sucked up more and more global supply with higher and higher prices, and ocean freight rates from Europe in particular further complicated the situation, less volumes were available to Japan. As a result, a state of panic has set in with the industry being forced to increase prices or face not getting supply.
A Look at Two Boutique Resort Projects
Dave Farley | dfarley@bcwood.com

A few comments suggestions and ideas.

As a lot of us continue to work from home, I thought it might be interesting to have a look at two boutique resort projects that I have come across while doing market research over the internet. One is in Napa California and the other is right next door in Alberta. Let us start there.

Situated in Bragg Creek, the Gateway Village Riverfront Resort in Calgary is a planned resort consisting of a conference centre, health, wellness and spa facilities, restaurant and a 120-room boutique hotel. The property sits on over 12 acres of land and the architectural design of the lodge will be “mountain contemporary”, with significant use of wood in both the structural and finished applications. The project team includes: Local developer Dick Koetsier, (Gateway Development,) Jubilee Engineering, and MTA Architecture and Interior Design. Construction is expected to begin fall 2021 with a projected budget of $100 million.

For our neighbours down South, there is new boutique resort project that has been recently announced in the wine country of Napa Valley California. The Oxbow Boutique Hotel and Conference Center, just outside of the town core is where a 74-guest room hotel and conference center is set to begin construction. This development features two complexes with a combination of loft style guest rooms, retail stores and interior courtyards with private terraces, along with a swimming pool, spa, fitness centre, conference centre and café featuring a sculpted garden. The architectural style is described as “California contemporary” with wood cladding and timber features utilized through the complex. According to the Napa Valley register, the project has recently been approved with the project team consisting of Developer JB Leamer, and Casey Hughes architects in Los Angeles.

If you are interested in finding more information on these projects, please reach out to me at dfarley@bcwood.com. As you know, our marketing programs are designed to uncover market opportunities for BC Industry and to get you directly in-front of key buyers and decision makers on projects such as the ones noted above.
Power Wood
Power Wood recently announced the purchase of a new12.2-acre facility in Agassiz, BC. With a brand-new office, an 85,000 sq. ft. heated warehouse plus new 4 dry kilns, planer line and dust collection system, the company plans to triple capacity within the next few years. 

Founded in 1995, Power Wood had its start in the basement of original owner, Steve Power’s, home. He bought tight-knot Western Red Cedar from custom cutters and wholesalers, kiln dried it, and sold it to the California market. At the time, Redwood was in decline, so Steve supplied an alternative that matched the needs of the market.
" Our Passion: Enhance an amazing resource into something that will
look remarkable for 100 years. "
It was during this time the company found its core values: to treat every sale as a service, rather than a product, focusing on relationships with both the customers and suppliers.

In 2003, the company bought their 4.9-acre distribution yard in Surrey, where they are currently located. At that time, they were strictly focused on distribution. This changed as the company acquired skilled staff such as Jake Power and Dustin Elliot, who tired of the challenges of doing custom reman through other plants. In their down time, they purchased equipment at discounted prices as they came up at auctions, which put them in the unique position they are known for today: a true custom cedar manufacturer who controls all the quality and runs to order.  
Industry News
Podcast with John Hemsworth and Robert Malczyk on mass timber, seismic design, and sustainable communities
Naturally Wood

On a special episode of the Construction Record podcast, digital media editor Warren Frey speaks with Hemsworth Architecture founder John Hemsworth and Katerra director of mass timber engineering, Robert Malczyk about mass timber and other wood-based technologies used on two significant British Columbia projects.

Hemsworth and Malczyk explain how oN5, a four-story office building located in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood uses insulative cross-laminated timber (CLT) assemblies, along with a damage-resistant seismic design built to a Passive House standard.

Malczyk and Hemsworth also speak about the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, a heavy timber and wood-frame building that not only replaced a 44-year-old ice arena condemned due to safety concerns but also became a new hub for the community. The project used skilled tradespersons from the community and locally available material. Building with wood meant construction could continue through the cold winter months.
Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-up Grant Program
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of B.C.’s manufacturing sector including its economic impacts, the critical goods it provides, and the jobs it provides in all regions of the province. 

In response, the Province of British Columbia committed to a $16.25 million one-time investment in the manufacturing sector which includes funding for the Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant Program. The program will spend $10 million to diversify and innovate the province's small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses.

Grants of up to $250,000 are available to eligible individual companies or up to $500,000 for groups in collaboration.

Small and medium-sized manufacturers (between 2 and 149 employees) from all industry sectors are being invited to apply to support the commercialization or processing of value-added goods. 

Applications will be accepted from April 15 until 6:00pm PST on May 31, 2021.
Interfor announces $35-million project for Castlegar
Kyra Hoggan
Interfor is announcing a $35-million improvement project in its Castlegar facility, according to vice-president of western operations Andrew Horahan.

In an interview Friday, Horahan said the project will have immense value for the community.
“We’re excited to be starting a project in Castlegar, rebuilding and replacing our planer mill,” he said. “It will improve grade, improve value, and improve productivity.”

He said extracting further value out of the logs and creating value-added products will make the Castlegar mill a very strong facility for years to come, offering stability for its workforce and the larger community.

This, after 2015 saw a $50-million upgrade project for the sawmill – Horahan said Interfor has every reason to invest in Castlegar operations.
Mass timber put to the test on Metro Vancouver school builds
Grant Cameron

Two elementary schools in Metro Vancouver are being built of mass timber as part of a pilot project that is underway to test whether the material can make the buildings safer and more resistant to earthquakes.
B.C. company wants to sell Vancouver Island cut and milled lumber at slight discount
Kendall Hanson

With lumber prices remaining at near-record highs a fully integrated forestry company is pledging to help.

San Group recently started operating its mill in Port Alberni and says their lumber is not only the most environmentally friendly choice but likely the most affordable thanks to a discount offered to Vancouver Island customers.
Province, business groups to strengthen B.C. supply chains
BC Gov News
Twenty-four projects from all over B.C. designed to strengthen manufacturing supply chains have received StrongerBC funding to help make the province more secure in the face of global supply interruptions.

The Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program has awarded one-time funding of up to $400,000 to organizations with wide-ranging projects that focus on various aspects of fortifying B.C.’s manufacturing ecosystem.
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July
Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level
Kevin Rothbauer

Vancouver Island tourists can include the Malahat SkyWalk in their plans for summer travel.

The new tourist attraction, located between Victoria and Duncan, will open for visitors in July 2021.

Promising “the ultimate natural high,” the SkyWalk will take visitors 250 metres above sea level, where they can experience 360-degree views of Finlayson Arm, the Saanich Inlet, the Saanich Peninsula, the Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, and the Coast Mountain Range.
Quesnel mill is reborn under new ownership -
Kandola Forest Products has begun production at the former C&C mill
Cassidy Dankochik

It looked like a regular day at Kandola Forest Products (KFP) on Monday, April 19.
Workers came in early, ready to begin the task of turning boards into siding. They were sorting, organizing and drying pieces to be cut and painted, before being shipped around North America.
But it wasn’t a normal day at the mill.
Sustainable student housing takes shape
University of Victoria

In September 2022, 398 UVic students will be living in the largest passive house building in Victoria. The sustainable student housing and dining construction project is taking shape on the outside of Ring Road, just south of the Student Union Building where Cadboro Commons used to stand. Featuring concrete and mass timber and, designed with the industry’s most rigorous sustainability and energy efficiency requirements, students will be able to enjoy all the best on-campus living can offer, while also knowing they are in a state-of-the-art green building. In the fall of 2023, the second building will be ready to welcome 385 more students into the dorms.