Specifier Program Update

Posted by Roy Manion
July 3rd, 2013

June continued the trend of being another busy month for the specifiers program with ongoing weekly lunch & learn sessions, group seminars, beginning the process of becoming registered providers for both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA), and preparing for another GBM.

For yours truly, the highlights of the month were the very well attended group seminars that featured Live Edge Designs (LED) and Unison Windows and Doors respectively.

The event with Live Edge was on exploring the use of wood in West Coast Design. It was held at the BC Showcase in Robson square on June 6th. This was somewhat Déjà vu for us as BC Wood partnered with LED back in ’09 to hold a session in the same BC Showcase which at that time had just opened in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. This year, our target attendees of 50 included architects and designers. As it turned out, significantly more were interested in the event and we ended up with over 70 attendees with many more being regrettably turned away. For those who attended, it was both a fun and informative event as they learned much about wood species, how to care for wood furniture, and the design process. BC Wood had a presentation on the up and coming furniture manufactures throughout the province and featured companies in the “Working Wood” Program.

The following week, we had another highly successful seminar and factory tour at Unison Windows and Doors on the introduction of made-in-BC hybrid wood curtain wall window systems. Similar to the session with Live Edge, interest for this event greatly exceeded our expectations. With limited space, we had to add more sessions; a good “problem” to have. Aside from introducing the hybrid wood curtain wall window system (including an installation demonstration), the session also covered low maintenance wood products that could be used on the exterior of windows and doors and a demonstration on the rigours of water testing to obtain a B3 rating and beyond.

While both these events have taken considerable time and resources by all involved, the end result is well worth it. We are already working with other companies for tours and seminars for this Fall. Our target for this fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 for these type of events is 8, so if you want your company to participate, we still have room and would be pleased to hear from you.

On another subject, June also was when we began, in earnest, the process of becoming Registered Providers for both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Alberta Architect Association(AAA). While neither will be included in the Specifiers Program as it is currently structured, they will be included in other BC Wood programs which will provide BC Wood members an excellent opportunity to meet with architects and designers from both associations. Details will be forthcoming once we have completed the process. I can tell you that the process of becoming a registered provider with AIA is a very rigorous one and it will take some time to complete. Once completed, being part of both associations will also provide incentives from both the US and Alberta architects to attend our upcoming GBM.

Regarding the GBM, Scott Thompson in our office is taking on the lion’s share of the Architect Program at the GBM. This is freeing me up to move forward to other programs including working with AIA and AAA.

One last note!!

If you are interested in assisting First Nations in a very worthwhile endeavour and at the same time develop a relationship with six of Vancouver’s leading Interior Designers then read on.

There is a renovation that is taking place at Skwatchays Lodge in Vancouver. The plan is to re-position the lodge as Canada’s only Aboriginal arts hotel. Once completed, guests can immerse themselves in First Nations culture by staying in the arts hotel, having breakfast in a fine art gallery, and perhaps participate in a workshop with the artist who created the room. To accomplish this, six aboriginal artists are teaming up with six of Vancouver’s leading Interior Designer firms with each team tasked with designing and furnishing 3 rooms. For their part, the Interior Designers are donating their services and are now soliciting donations from BC’s furniture, millwork, and cabinet industry in the form of a piece of furniture, a cabinet or a vanity as part of the renovation. They are not seeking large volumes from a single manufacturer, but rather have multiple manufacturers become involved with a donation of just a single piece. All those who donate will then have the opportunity of meeting and working with the various designer firms.

The first of these opportunities will be on August 8th when Skwatchays Lodge will be hosting a meet and greet event. All Interior Designer firms along with the aboriginal artists will be attending. This will be a thank you party for all those that have donated time, money or goods, and also a way to introduce them to most of the Interior Design firms that do hospitality design in Vancouver.

If you wish to become involved in this project or require additional information, please contact Vicki Pearson of Porada Design Group at Vicki@poradadesign.com or myself at rmanion@bcwood.com

As always, should you want more information on any aspects of the Specifiers Program, you can contact me at  rmanion@bcwood.com.

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