For the past several years BC Wood has been promoting design related products in Japan such as furniture and millwork. We have been successful in having such products specified into several high-profile projects. Recently even one of Japan’s top department stores came to us as they were interested in using some pieces in a display.
Isetan’s flagship Shinjuku store attracts wealthy, fashion conscious shoppers from across Kanto. The Canadian Embassy in Tokyo has worked with them to promote Canadian apparel and recommended BC Wood when Isetan was looking to create a stylish, woody atmosphere to launch a new line of clothing.
We introduced them to a variety of furniture pieces as well as millwork options, but the store’s designers knew they had found exactly what they were looking for once they saw Brent Comber’s work and the WRCLA published Cedar Book. Using selected pieces from Brent as well as a selection of WRC products, Isetan was able to create a sophisticated yet woody display. The store felt that their customers really enjoyed the warmth of the Canadian wood products. Hopefully this will encourage some of their clients to consider using Canadian materials for their own homes in the near future.
As always, BC Wood greatly appreciates all of the support given to us by the Canadian Embassy. We look forward to more such collaborative efforts in the future.read more
By Roy Manion
This is a short, midsummer report and it is all about the GBM.
The Specifier Program at the GBM is coming along nicely. All the speakers and seminars for Thursday’s Wood First Forum are in place as is Saturday’s lunch & learn session which features Neil Godin. The entire program provides architects with 9 learning units, half of what is required for the entire year; a great incentive for the architects, so we are expecting a good turnout.
This year, we have developed a brochure for the Specifiers Program at the GBM / Wood First Forum. To access the agenda brochure, click here
Now we are focusing on finalizing the exhibitors who will be participating in the mini-seminar series on Friday afternoon. Everyone involved in the Mini-Seminar session will meet for lunch at Kypriaki Norte Restaurant near the Conference Centre then back to the Centre for the sessions.
This is a great opportunity for exhibitors to reach out to the Specifiers (Architects, Designers, and Contractors) who will come to exhibitor’s booths to receive an education on the nature of the exhibitors’ products. Invitations to the exhibitors to participate will be going out the next couple of days. Some exhibitors are not waiting for an invitation and have already signed up for the program.
The 2011 Global Buyers Mission, held September 8th to 10th, welcomed almost 700 delegates to Whistler for the third year in a row.Many thanks must go to our funding Partners this year including our Platinum Partners: Natural Resources Canada Wood Export Program (CWEP), Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. (FII), and Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC); our Silver Partners: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau (CSSB); and our Bronze Partners: Industry Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). We were pleased to again have the collaborative effort made by CSSB and the Western Red Cedar Lumber & Export Associations (WRCLA & WRCEA) in recruiting participants and assisting BC Wood with the organization & delivery of the event.
Pre-qualified international buyers came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Eastern Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. We were pleased that the majority of our buyers were new to the GBM again this year, offering excellent opportunities for Canadian manufacturers to build new business.
We also hosted over 80 North American architects, designers, contractors, developers, engineers and specifiers this year, to participate in our Living & Building with Wood Program, held on Thursday, September 8th and via the LBWW display on the showroom floor for the rest of the event. Architects & Designers also participated in “speed learning sessions” Friday afternoon, with 20 manufacturers exhibiting at the GBM. This was a new activity this year and has received high marks from both the architect community and participating exhibitors.
Products on display at the 2011 GBM from 75 exhibitors, represented by over 200 participants included timber frame structures, engineered wood products, treated lumber, windows, doors, mouldings, cabinetry, building systems, flooring, western red cedar products and a variety of other value-added wood building products. 25% of the companies were new to the GBM, offering our returning buyers some additional resources and products not seen at the GBM in the past.
For the past seven years, BC Wood has organized pre and post event site visits and tours for our incoming delegates. This year, the GBM Extended Mission Program included 7 groups that once again toured production facilities and visited construction sites in the lower mainland and the interior of BC to meet participating manufacturers. Besides helping buyers immediately source high quality, innovative and competitively priced wood products, the tours helped build future business relationships by familiarizing potential customers with BC’s wood species. We thank the many local companies that made the effort to open their mills and plants for these informative and productive tours.
Held at the Whistler Conference Centre, the GBM continues to be Canada’s largest event dedicated to promoting value-added wood producers.
Next GBM scheduled for Whistler, September 6th to 8th, 2012.
Every year there are many interior design shows besides Tokyo Designers Week held in Tokyo and I try to visit as many as possible to prepare for our own activities. Recently I was able to walk the annual Interior Lifestyle show.
I was particularly interested in seeing this show as it is one of the major ones and it is also the first big design event held since 3/11. Everyone is worried about how the triple disaster is affecting business sentiment as well as overseas company interest in the Japanese market. The Interior Lifestyle show demonstrated that while business is getting back up to speed, things definitely remain bumpy.
The biggest news from the show was that it was reduced from four halls at Big Sight to three. Apparently several of the main overseas exhibitors were still worried about aftershocks and the nuclear situation and thus cancelled their participation right before the show. This left the organizers in a tough spot and forced them to reduce the scale of the show. However, I was happy to see that countries like Austria, France, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, and Taiwan exhibited with significant pavilions despite these circumstances.
Talking to exhibitors I know, it sounded like attendance was also down about 15-20%. People felt that with a smaller show people did not think it would be worthwhile to make the trek out to Big Sight. However, they also reported that those who did come showed interest and felt that their efforts at the show would lead to sales. This positive result was also a result of extra efforts that many put into their booths to attract and catch attendees within their borders. I noted a few ideas that we might “borrow” for future BC Wood pavilions!
Walking around I also saw many new and interesting products. The one that fascinated me the most was this cast aluminum “Dumbbell” created by former Sony product designer Shinichi Sumikawa (http://www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/sumikawa/dunbell.html). It is a real 2kg dumbbell that would also look great on a living room shelf. I encourage you to take a look at his “Fruit Bowl” piece as well as his other works (http://www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/sumikawa/aqua000.html).read more
The Business Innovation Partnership (BIP) is about to launch the Working Wood Mentoring Program for our 3rd year. This dynamic training and mentoring program is for small, start-up designer/manufacturers in BC who are ready to take the next step.
Mission: Assist selected furniture designers /manufacturers in a comprehensiveeducational/mentoring program to provide tools and skills to successfully participate in a trade/consumer event and grow their businesses, thusly the furniture sector in general.
The program includes a variety of workshops, in-house one-on-one training and site visits, and covers important topics such as business planning & management, marketing and branding for your core audience, product development and finally, actual participation in an important local trade event; the IDSWest Show.
This BIP initiative is one of our shining examples of how working closely with small, almost start-up wood working/ furniture designers in BC can lead to successful company growth. We believe that BC has some of the best designers and craftsmen in the world and are pleased to have this opportunity to help them grow their business.
If you, or someone you know, would like to apply to be part of the upcoming program, please contact Jason Heard at Jason@idswest.com for more information. Space is very limited and the workshops start soon! Check out this video to hear what some of the 1st year participants had to say:
If the above video does not work, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz8jwLMIgIIread more
On Friday, I met with Bird Construction who is constructing a large acute care facility in the Lower Mainland. Currently it is constructed out of steel and concrete; however, due to the pending Wood First Act, the contractor advised that there needs to be a relatively significant wood component added to the project. More than anything, the contractor is looking to industry for assistance in nature of product and designs that might be acceptable. Here are some of the issues:
1. First of all, as the architect did not incorporate any wood into this project, the contractor said that they are essentially starting with a blank sheet of paper and are looking for industry to provide some interesting concepts using wood. While the main structure has been competed, there is still opportunity for entrance ways which can incorporate structural wood including glulams, beams, posts, etc. as well as non-structural wood including cladding, paneling, cabinets, furniture, millwork and the like.
2. Ideally, but not totally necessary, the wood and or design should have a story to tell; ie: wood from our MPB forests, recycled wood, etc. Local species would get preference over imported species.
3. Now comes the challenge, as an acute care facility, the contractor advised that all integral wood components need to pass the following standard - CAN/ULC-S134, and vertical fire spread test. As such, if you have supplied wood products to similar type projects, the contractor would like more information about it. While this standard would apply to certain products, such as, the exposed structural components,cladding, paneling, etc., it wouldn’t apply to all millwork (aside from required fire rated door), cabinetry, and furnishing.
4. Last but not least, there are budgetary issues.
I wish I could be more specific but the above is all the information that was provided.
If anyone has any suggestions or questions, please contact Roy Manion at email@example.com contact Roy at BC Wood’s office at 604 882-7100read more
The best designed wood projects in British Columbia took centre stage as Wood Works! BC held its 6th annual awards gala. “The awareness and appreciation for wood is growing at an unprecedented rate,” said Mary Tracey, Wood Works! BC executive director.
“As world attention focuses on our environment, wood continues to gain momentum as its environmental attributes are recognized.”
More than 100 projects were nominated in 12 categories, with the majority of projects located in B.C., except for a single Yukon project.
“We’re seeing wood used in unique and innovative ways both architecturally and structurally which showcase its beauty, strength, versatility and cost effectiveness,” Tracey said.
“The increasing variety, diversity and sheer number of projects using wood is without a doubt building the already burgeoning wood culture in B.C.”
Premier Gordon Campbell attended the gala and presented the Premier’s Wood Champion Award to Castlegar-based Kalesnikoff Lumber Company. The family-owned business has been around for 65 years.
A new award, the Wood Innovation Award, recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood. It went to structural engineer Robert Malczyk at Equilibrium Consulting Inc. for Austria House, built for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler. It features the first Canadian application of Cross Laminated Timber panels.
The premier had a few words to say about the use of wood. “Wood is simply the world’s best building product. It’s visually appealing, versatile, sturdy, takes less energy to build with and is the only construction material that actually sequesters carbon,” said Campbell. “The leadership shown by individuals and organizations who champion wood construction is critical as we spread the word throughout Canada and beyond about the benefits of building with wood.”
Wood Works! BC is an initiative of the Canadian Wood Council. Its goal is to support the use of wood and wood products. The association provides education, training and technical expertise to building and design professionals.read more
A great article from the Vancouver Sun on one of our members :
Monsieur Stumpy grows into larger, unassuming businessBy Malcolm Parry, Vancouver SunJuly 23, 2009
MAKING STUMPS JUMP: Fourth-generation North Vancouver resident Brent Comber, 47, seems to prosper by having his wholly owned firm do everything backwards. First, eight-employee Brent Comber Originals Inc. (www.brentcomber.com) is intentionally very difficult to find on Burrard Band land beneath the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing.
Second, the superbly crafted furnishings and ornamental pieces it ships across Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere aren’t carved from select, straight-grained wood. Instead, Comber uses cedar and fir that would otherwise be chipped, burned or thrown away. “I never use wood that would have a higher value for any other purpose,” the former oilfield worker and landscaper said, pointing to huge blocks of cracked, sinewy and knotted wood that sawmills, veneer plants and other processors were happy to set aside for him to collect.
Third, rather than add distributors, he’s reduced them from 16 to two. Former booksellers Celia Duthie and Nick Hunt represent him in Canada via their five-year-old Salt Spring Woodworks outfit in Ganges. His sole U.S. distributor is Allison Mills, who owns the Inform Interiors showroom in Seattle.
Now in its fifth year, The Interior Design Show West, is the West Coast’s only premium industry and consumer show for contemporary residential design. Attracting a balanced audience of both architecture and design professionals and design savvy consumers, IDSwest 2009 will welcome more than 25,000 visitors from September 17 to 20 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Over 100,000 sqft will be transformed into an inspirational design forum showcasing latest products and services from 200 world renowned designers and local icons. Please click this link to view the exhibitor prospectus and here is a link to the website www.idswestcomread more
The 2009 Global Buyers Mission is shaping up to be another great event! I’m pleased to say that our partnership with the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau and the Western Red Cedar Lumber and Export Associations has strengthened our abilty to bring the important US buyers to our event, particularly given these challenging economic times.
We’re also thrilled to see such a strong interest from our off-shore recruiting efforts and expect to surpass our target of 150 pre-qualified international buyers from Australia, China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Roy Manion has already indicated in his Architects Update that we have pretty much over-sold the Architects/Designers Program for the GBM, and have a waiting list for interested participants.
We’re happy to announce that Minister Pat Bell will be joining us to officially open the event Friday morning and welcome the participants on behalf of the Province of BC.
If you haven’t registered yet but are interested in participating, please contact me ASAP in the office at 604-882-7100, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for regular updates…read more
We now have received over 100 applications from architects and designers to attend the GBM. Of these, 95 have registered. We anticipate that we will achieve our goal of 100 registrations by the next few days, a record for this event. Of the applications we have received, the split between new and returnees is 50/50 which we are also very pleased with. For more information on the architect program of the GBM, please feel free to give me a call at BC Wood offices at 604 882-7100.read more