Every year we bring a new group of buyers from Japan to BC Wood’s GBM in Whistler. To be honest, this year I was quite worried about who from Japan would be willing to travel overseas considering everything that has happened since the March 11th earthquake. However, it turned out that there were many people that despite everything did not want to miss this opportunity to visit Canada and meet with potential suppliers. As a result, we have another great group of 24 Japanese industry professionals coming for the GBM.
The core of this year’s delegation is a group of nine interior design professionals. Through our participation in Tokyo Designers Week we have become quite close with Hiroko Machida who not only runs her own interior design schools (Machida Hiroko Academy), but is also credited with being one of the first to bring “imported housing” to Japan from North America. She personally wanted to attend this year’s GBM and then decided to organize a group of interior designers she is connected with to come with her. For this reason, our extended mission this year is going to focus on how wood is used in Canada both as a finishing material and structurally on buildings that would typically not be built in wood in Japan. Hiroko and her group are also excited to see new and innovative products when we get to Whistler.
The rest of our delegation is made up of a wide spectrum of companies spanning the Japanese housing industry including trading companies, WRC specialists, a sawmill, log home builders, import housing companies, as well as general building products importers. One new interesting member of our delegation is a company based in Japan that maintains all of its manufacturing facilities in China. They currently already use Canadian SPF, but are now looking for other lumber from Canada including hardwoods. Hopefully BC Wood members will be able to meet all of our Japanese guests in Whistler and I encourage you to stop me on the show floor if you would like a specific introduction.
See you in Whistler!