The 8th Annual IDSWest show was held in the New Vancouver Convention Centre, September 27th to 30th, 2012.  The Interior Design Show West (IDSwest) is Western Canada’s annual premiere residential design show featuring over 300 exhibitors showcasing quality cutting edge and original design products and services to an audience of industry professionals, architects, designers, consumers, and media. This is about a 30% increase in exhibitors from the past year and all the participants agreed, it was the finest one yet!

An amazing array of both internationally renowned and local designers (including a fab fashion show), critics, and popular magazine editors spoke throughout the course of the event, drawing standing room only crowds over the weekend.

We had good representation of BC Wood members participating in our joint booth this year, including:

Brent Comber Originals
Coulson Mfg.
Kettle Valley Moulding & Millwork
vin de garde cellar systems
Wide Plank Hardwood Ltd.

The overall displays were great, offering the 30,000+ audience lots of ideas and opportunities to see what exceptional talent we have here in BC. Results received from members to date make it one of the most successful Canadian activities that BC Wood participates in. Congratulations to all our members for their hard work and ingenuity.

 

A special display sharing our space this year was the Picker’s Shack, designed by UBC students in Michael Green’s program. The fruit stand was designed for a Naramata orchard that wanted to increase their on-farm produce sales. They wanted something functional, well shaded, naturally ventilated, and moveable. The student’s goal was to rethink the modest fruit stand to attract more drive-by customers. The concept is a functional box with subtle complexity. Protection from the elements, display space, views, and seating are all accomplished through an operable wall system made from custom cut pine beetle infested lumber. The roof is made from reclaimed Canada Place roof fabric. When in its closed state, the fruit stand shows hints of the operable elements. When open, the operable elements reveal colourful surfaces that relate to the families heritage and the colours of agriculture. It was a hit at IDSWest, particularly the fresh apples, pears, and cider that were distributed by the students throughout the event.

To see the program and speaker highlights, as well as listings of all the exhibitors, visit their website at www.idswest.com

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India Delegation

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Last week, BC Wood Specialties Group hosted the 9th annual Global Buyers Mission in Whistler, BC. Among the 19 international delegations that attended were timber importers from India looking to replace current wood sources with Canadian wood products. After attending the successful Global Buyers Mission, the India delegation visited BC value-added wood manufacturers as part of their extended mission. One of the companies they visited was International Forest Products (Interfor) Acorn Division in Delta, BC. The Acorn mill is an export sawmill dedicated to manufacturing high value squares and timbers that are used in housing and industrial applications across global markets.

Dave Hayer, MLA Surrey-Tynehead, opened the event on Tuesday at Interfor by welcoming the India delegation to BC. He stated that one of the goals of BC’s Job Plan is opening up markets abroad for BC goods. “Helping companies like Interfor make connections with new companies overseas is one of BC Jobs Plan initiatives that we have been focused on.” Mike De Jong, Minister of Finance, took the podium on behalf of Premier Christy Clark and Minister Pat Bell to further explain the BC Job Plan strategy and outcome.

Following the opening speeches, the India delegation attended two seminars, went on a tour of the mill, and learned about grading standards at Interfor. The seminars, delivered by John Leahy from Canadian Mill Services, dealt with the phyto-sanitary rules for sending forest products from Canada to India and BC’s tree species and wood products. The mill tour lead the delegation through the mill, letting them observe how a log is remanufactured into a timber product. Lastly, the delegation was shown the different types of wood species Interfor remanufactures at their plant and how they are graded.

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With the GBM over, BC Wood’s Japan office is now working on bringing members into the market through two major fall shows. One of course is the famed Japan Home Show (Nov 14th – 16th) that has been welcoming overseas suppliers for more than three decades. The other, the Osaka Living and Design Show (Oct 24th -26th), is a new show for us and is a part of our continuing efforts to brand Canadian wood products in the high-end, Japanese commercial construction and interior design market. This is the last chance for members looking to take advantage of these exciting programs. Only a few spaces remain so please act fast if you are interested.

 

Osaka Living and Design Show

After a long absence from taking members to trade shows in Osaka, BC Wood will be organizing a Canadian pavilion at the new but highly regarded Living and Design Show. Over the past few years we have participated in Tokyo Designers Week, but decided to change to L&D as it is more focused on B to B for interior design and also gives us a chance to target the lucrative but underserved Kansai region in Japan (all foreign competitors go to Tokyo). This area that includes Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe has a larger economy than all of Canada and is also experiencing a flourishing commercial construction sector. Another benefit of this show for members is that it better covers building products such as flooring and millwork.

 

Japan Home and Building Show

BC Wood will once again be organizing the Canadian wood products pavilion at the annual Japan Home Show. This year the show will return to its traditional November schedule and run from the 14th through the 16th at Tokyo Big Sight.

The JHS typically attracts about 90,000 industry people ranging from importers and distributors to builders and architects and has long been the highest profile building products show in the country, particularly for imported products. This year the organizers have decided to strategically partner with JAPANTEX which is one of Japan’s largest interior trend shows for professionals. With the JHS and JAPANTEX collocated together in Big Sight’s East Hall, it is expected that JHS exhibitors will see a dramatic increase in designers working on non-residential projects.

Also, we expect positive synergies from the HOSPEX show, catering to the owners/operators of medical and elderly care facilities, which will be run concurrently by the same organizers in an adjacent hall. Elderly care facility operators have been adopting 2×4 buildings more and more in recent years because of the perceived therapeutic benefits of wood framed buildings. COFI’s Japan Office has been very active in targeting this market on the structural side and we are endeavouring to find more opportunities for value-added products on such projects.

BC Wood will also be working with the Canadian Embassy on a program timed around the show to target the reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region. As a result, members attending the JHS will also be able to take part in some match-making activities targeting local companies working on both non-residential and residential projects in the tsunami devastated communities.

This show offers a great opportunity for companies looking to enter the Japanese market and take advantage of the many positive trends we are seeing.  Products sectors covered: cabinetry, engineered wood, millwork, log and timberframe, packaged homes, as well as reman and specialty lumber including WRC.

For more information about either of these shows please contact Jim Ivanoff at ivanoff@canadawood.jp.

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All of the companies who just exhibited at the 2011 Global Buyers Mission were able to experience the level of enthusiasm Chinese buyers have for Canadian wood products. BC Wood is now organizing another opportunity for members to target the Chinese market through the China International Exhibition on the Housing Industry (CIEHI).

Last September, BC Wood participated for the first time in the CIEHI. The show was very well attended and the participating companies reported some very good leads from Chinese builders, developers, and architects. A main theme of the show was green and energy efficient building with wood construction and building products featuring prominently throughout the show. A number of foreign log-home and panelized house manufacturers were promoting their products, in particular a large number of Russian log home builders. To maximize profile and traffic, BC Wood located its’ display area within the Canada Wood booth partnering with the Coast Forest Products Association and Council of Forest Industries.

BC Wood will be returning to the CIEHI show in Beijing this coming November 21st – 23rd. From our previous experience at this show, we expect that the best opportunities for new contacts and increased exposure in the marketplace will be achieved by manufacturers of prefabricated homes, log and timber frame structures, engineered wood products, WRC lumber decking and siding, and construction lumber.

For more information or to register, please contact Jim Ivanoff at ivanoff@canadawood.jp.

Click here for more information on the show

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Japanese Delegation at the 2012 GBM

On August 30th, 2012, posted in: Global Buyers Mission, Japan by Comments Off

Another year has passed and another great GBM is upon us. I am happy to report that we have an excellent 24 member delegation coming from Japan, many of whom are first time participants. The Japanese buyers are looking for everything from flooring and millwork to WRC products, engineered wood products, packaged homes, and lumber. Some of the companies are new to Canadian wood products while others are looking to expand on items they are already importing from BC. We also have a reporter from Nikkan Mokuzai which is the largest wood products industry newspaper. Make sure to find him if you have some new and innovative products that you would like promoted in Japan.

We are also honoured to have the construction company that has been selected to build one of the Canada-Tohoku Reconstruction Projects. This project consists of the reconstruction of the largest and most famous public market in northern Japan. This market project has received extensive media coverage as it will lead the economic rebirth of this area and the return of communities destroyed in the tsunami. The builder selected for this very important assignment is the largest Canadian imported house builder in Japan and is coming to look at products for both the market project as well as their main home building business. Please feel free to ask me if you would like set a meeting with this company or any of the other eager buyers in our delegation.

If you follow the Japanese construction industry, you already know that the housing market is very strong right now with both pent up demand as well as the reconstruction efforts in Tohoku. Labour shortages in various construction trades have been reported across the country which is pushing up wages. Some market analysts are even predicting that starts will top 900,000 for 2012 which would be the first time in 2008. Despite these significant time and work pressures our Japanese delegates are still making the long trip over to BC showing how much they value the opportunity given to them by the GBM. I look forward to seeing you all in Whistler!

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A few quick thoughts on two markets that are providing members with opportunities but truly are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

As most members know, BC Wood has been active in the Hawaiian Islands for the last decade. Hawaii has proven to be a solid market for companies that manufacture high quality products for the resort, light commercial, and high-end residential construction sectors. In particular, companies in the timber frame, millwork, and Western Red Cedar sectors have all developed sales and market share in Hawaii.

Since all construction materials need to be shipped into Hawaii, BC manufacturers are on an equal playing field with both domestic suppliers and manufacturers from the continental US. For BC companies wanting to develop a market in Hawaii, you can sell contractor direct or to established building product distributors.

One such company who has had considerable success supplying high quality building products to contractors throughout the islands is Seattle based Pacific Source www.pacsource.com

Pacific Source was founded in 1992 by five partners who had the idea to become the top supplier of building materials to general contractors in Hawaii. Their business model was different from Hawaii based building yards in that they believed that Hawaiian builders are best served by having allied with a mainland facility near a major port (Tacoma) with easy access to shipping, mills, and manufacturers. Their model proved to be correct, as since being founded, Pacific Source has grown to having over seventy employees and annual sales of $45 million.

Pacific Source has a six acre yard and distribution facility in Snohomish, Washington and has smaller yards and showrooms on a number of the islands including Kauai, Maui, and Kailulu Kona.

If you’re looking to develop a foothold in the Hawaiian market, it may be worth your while to contact Pacific Source. The key is having a product that is both well suited to the Hawaiian market and is priced well enough that all parties can make a margin. Mark Mason, one of the original partners of the company is expected to be at the GBM next month in Whistler.

Now for the other opportunity, which by all accounts is a far cry from the exotic local of the Hawaiian Islands, is North Dakota. A while back I wrote about the building boom that is currently underway in the northwest corner of the State. Towns such as Williston, Minot, and Watford city are all experiencing extreme housing shortages as thousands of new oil field workers are flocking to the state to work in the booming oil and gas industry.

Today, North Dakota is the US’s number 2 oil producing state, having leapfrogged over Alaska and California. The discovery of vast reserves of natural gas and oil in the northern part of the state have led to a huge influx of oil industry workers moving to the region who require housing. Oil companies have tried to address the shortfall of housing by building temporary housing units known as man camps (picture below), but there remains a serious need for quality residential homes for this well paid workforce.

I will be travelling to the region over the next week to meet with builders, developers, and distributors to gauge the market opportunity for BC suppliers of prebuilt and panelized housing and related products. I will report my findings in an upcoming Wood Connections Newsletter.

For more information on either of these markets, please contact me at  dfarley@bcwood.com or on my cell at 604-728-8786.

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Last November, BC Wood, with a small group of member companies, completed a very successful trade mission to Moscow to explore opportunities for value-added wood products in the Russian market, and to participate in the Fall Holzhaus trade show.

BC Woods’ members showcased log home and timber frame structures, factory built homes, high quality millwork, and specialty Western Red Cedar building materials. Members were able to engage with industry professionals from all over Russia and surrounding countries. Developers, architects, builders, distributors, importers, and designers were all in attendance at the show, many of whom came specifically to the show to speak to the Canadian manufacturers.

Based on the success of last year’s program, BC Wood is planning to return to Moscow and the Holzhaus show this coming fall, November 1st- 4th. Space will be available for BC Wood members wanting to participate in the Holzhaus trade shows and I would encourage any companies interested in more information to contact me at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or in BC Wood’s offices at 604-882-7100.

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A reminder of BC Wood’s presence at this year’s Interior Design Show West (IDS West) – September 27-30th. Over the past couple of years, the IDS West has become the venue to see the best of international and local designs. BC Wood will bring together local companies that produce a full range of design-oriented products; everything from custom furnishings and architectural millwork, to cabinets, doors, mouldings, and flooring.

The objective will be to feature the individual companies by drawing more traffic to a centrally located “Design BC” pavilion. The pavilion will be an 1800 square foot of exhibition space, with BC Wood covering a good portion of the hard costs for this sector wide display.

If you plan to participate in the IDS West show this year, please contact me to see how we can save you money and ensure you higher visibility through the “Design BC” pavilion. Call 604-882-7100 or email me at  bhawrysh@bcwood.com.

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If you have not yet considered participation in the 2012 Global Buyers Mission in Whistler, think of this: What other opportunity would put you face-to-face with 200+ wood products buyers from currently registered markets like Australia, Belgium, Eastern Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Taiwan, United States, and Vietnam?

This is the only event of its kind, specifically developed to help Canadian wood products manufacturers connect with pre-qualified international buyers. It is also one of the most significant events for introducing specifiers like architects, designers, engineers, contractors and developers to our important wood products suppliers, through educational programs and exhibits.

There is still some space available and thanks to our partners and sponsors, at a surprisingly affordable rate, for those looking to expand their book of business into lucrative new markets. You don’t even have to sell abroad to build new business. There are plenty of US buyers and even those from eastern Canada looking for new suppliers.

However, we will be closing our space bookings by August 22nd, so you must call us by then to ensure your participation at what is certain to be your best business building event of the year!

For more information, please email me at rwalker@bcwood.com  or call me at 604-882-7100.

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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.

If you have any questions on the Specifiers Program and the above, please contact me at rmanion@bcwood.com or 604-882-7100.

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BC Wood will be ramping up its’ presence at the Interior Design Show West (IDS West) this coming fall September 27-30th. In an effort to bring more attention to the growing strength of wood design and manufacturing in BC, BC Wood has partnered with the show organizers of IDS West to create a high profile “Design BC” pavilion. The pavilion will showcase BC Wood members and their products, everything from custom furniture and architectural millwork, to design-inspired finished products such as kitchen cabinets, doors, flooring and paneling. The objective will be to feature the individual companies, drawing more traffic to the centrally located space. BC Wood is currently working with the IDWS West show organizers to develop promotional strategies that will highlight the companies participating in the “Design BC” pavilion and promote the strength of the growing design sector in BC.

A total of 1800 square feet of exhibition space has been set aside for the “Design BC” pavilion, with BC Wood covering a portion of the hard costs for this sector wide display. If you plan to participate in the IDS West show this year, please contact me to see how we can save you money and ensure you higher visibility through the “Design BC” pavilion. Call 604-882-7100 or email me at bhawrysh@bcwood.com

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Want more than your fair share of attention from delegates at the GBM this year? How about putting an ad in the Mission Program Guide, or supplying the pens for the delegate kits, or make a really big impression and sponsor the first drink at the Roundhouse on Thursday evening!

We have many opportunities available for you to get attention and exposure, whether you are targeting in incoming international buyers, our manufacturing exhibitors, or architects and builders. We have some ideas, but you might have some too! Give me a call and we can find the right thing to fit your budget. 604-882-7100 or toll free at 1-877-4BCWOOD.

(FYI – you do not need to be an Exhibitor to be a sponsor or advertiser)

For the Mission Program Guide Ad Form, click here.

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You are invited to participate in a special networking event to kick-off the 2012 GBM, on Wednesday, September 5th.

As part of our Extended Mission Program, incoming international buyers will be participating in a private Sunset Dinner & Harbour Cruise aboard the MV Harbour Princess, departing Coal Harbour Vancouver at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, September 5th. This special “pre-event” Global Buyers Mission evening is with our participating International buyers from Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Mexico, and Vietnam.

Due to the popularity of the event, we are opening registration early for all our industry members in BC. Please be advised that space is limited.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet the pre-qualified buyers, particularly if you are not already participating in the GBM in Whistler.

Click here for the registration form to guarantee your space on the Cruise!

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I am pleased to announce that, effective immediately, Jim Ivanoff will assume the position of Director – Asia Pacific Region with BC Wood. Jim’s broader role within BC Wood will include the responsibility for the day to day operations of BC Wood in the Asia Pacific Region with specific focus on Japan, China, and South Korea. Providing support for its members in these Asian markets is a critical component of BC Wood’s mission and we will maintain our current staffing in Japan, China, and South Korea to carry out this mission. BC Wood’s representatives in these markets will continue their efforts on behalf of our members with an added level of coordination and direction from Jim in Tokyo.

As most of you know, Jim has been valuable asset to BC Wood and its members in Japan since he joined the BC Wood team nine years ago. Jim’s new role and responsibilities will help to integrate BC Wood’s program across the Asian markets and provide even better services for our members going forward. Please do not hesitate to contact Jim at  Ivanoff@canadawood.jp for any additional information on BC Wood’s programs in Asia this year.

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BC Wood Specialties Group 2012 Annual General Meeting
9:30 – 10:15 AM, Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Whistler Conference Centre

BC Wood will be holding its’ 2012 Annual General Meeting on Thursday, September 6th at 9:30 AM at the Whistler Conference Centre in Whistler, British Columbia. All BC Wood members are encouraged to attend.

To register or for more information, please contact me directly at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or by phone at 604-882-7100 (toll free 1-877-422-9663).

We look forward to seeing you in scenic Whistler, BC for BC Wood’s Annual General Meeting on September 6th, 2011.

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BC Wood will once again be organizing the Canadian wood products pavilion at the annual Japan Home Show. This year the show will return to its traditional November schedule and run from the 14th through the 16th at Tokyo Big Sight.

The JHS typically attracts about 90,000 industry people ranging from importers and distributors to builders and architects and has long been the highest profile building products show in the country, particularly for imported products. This year the organizers have decided to strategically partner with JAPANTEX which is one of Japan’s largest interior trend shows for professionals. With the JHS and JAPANTEX collocated together in Big Sight’s East Hall, it is expected that JHS exhibitors will see a dramatic increase in designers working on non-residential projects.

Also, we expect positive synergies from the HOSPEX show, catering to the owners/operators of medical and elderly care facilities, which will be run concurrently by the same organizers in an adjacent hall. Elderly care facility operators have been adopting 2×4 buildings more and more in recent years because of the perceived therapeutic benefits of wood framed buildings. COFI’s Japan Office has been very active in targeting this market on the structural side and we are endeavouring to find more opportunities for value-added products on such projects.

BC Wood will also be working with the Canadian Embassy on a program timed around the show to target the reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region. As a result, members attending the JHS will also be able to take part in some match-making activities targeting local companies working on both non-residential and residential projects in the tsunami devastated communities.

I am very excited about this year’s Japan Home Show as the housing market overall has been strong this year and the show organizers have been working hard to bring more value to exhibitors. This show offers a great opportunity for companies looking to enter the Japanese market and take advantage of the many positive trends we are seeing.  I will be booking booth space soon so for more information please e-mail me at ivanoff@canadawood.jp.

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Reform Industry Newspaper Show 2012

On July 20th, 2012, posted in: BC Wood Activities, Japan, Trade Shows by Comments Off

Over the past few years there has been a lot of interest in the “reform market” (renovation) amongst industry people in Japan. This is due to the fact that homes built since the early 1990s are quite structurally sound, but they have a reached a point where they need upgrades. In the past, 20+ year old homes would almost automatically be torn down and rebuilt, but many consumers are now comfortable with the idea of renovating over rebuilding both to save money and to reduce waste.

For these reasons, I had wanted to take space at the Reform Industry Newspaper’s annual show at Big Sight and I got the opportunity to do so this year. BC Wood exhibited on behalf of the value-added industry and used sample products ranging from doors, mouldings, windows, kitchen cabinet doors, flooring, as well as WRC furniture and fence systems in our 3m x 6m space. I also made-up picture panels of renovation projects in Canada to cover the walls.

Visitors to our booth were very impressed with the pictures of “extreme renovation” projects that doubled the floor space on homes as well as how renovating a kitchen in Canada can completely change the character of the homes main living space. In talking to the reform specialists that came by, I learned that many of them want to use more natural materials on their projects to also offer a completely new level of comfort to their clients. This is in contrast to the image of “reform” in the past when it was mainly seen as replacing worn-out kitchens and flooring with new “material” or “equipment” with little consideration for space design. I think this shift provides Canadian building products a much greater opportunity in this market.

Going forward, I will follow-up with some of the key contacts I made at the show to do more research on how BC Wood can best approach this niche market. I believe that this will be a growing market segment and that we need a sound strategy in targeting it.

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What does a trade show on the skids, mathematical equations, and NHL players loving Kelowna have in common? Read below to find out.

I was in San Francisco last week for the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC). The city was abuzz, with restaurants, car rentals, and hotels at near capacity, so I was excited hoping that the show was turning the corner after being on life support the last five years. Well, like most things, my excitement soon turned as I realized all the buzz was for the Google app conference that was happening at the same time as PCBC. In fact, Google has taken over occupying three of the four massive building that make up the conference center. As late as 2005, PCBC filled these four buildings with the latest in construction and building products supplies, now PCBC is confined to ¾ of the south hall.

That being said, PCBC this year had all the excitement of a party in a kitchen because the small size of the place seemed much busier than it actually was. Show organizers listed some 5000+ attendees at this year’s event, which provided a good venue for networking between builders, architects, and suppliers from the Northern California market. It’s too early to tell what the change in location to San Diego will do to attendance next year, but suffice it to say, the show could not survive another year in San Francisco.

Last year, I did a quick survey of members to see how their “Bid-to-Close Ratio” and see how the downturn had effected their bottom line. As discussed, the ratio last year was skewed, with members bidding on a high number of projects, but closing with far less frequency than in the past. Most blamed the market conditions at the time, as buyers were checking prices with alternative suppliers, and manufacturers were said to be “giving jobs away” just to stay in business. This time, it seems that the bid-to-close ratio is beginning to return to normal, especially with higher value manufacturers in the millwork and engineered wood products sectors. One manufacturer that I spoke commented that while they are signing more contracts, delays on project start dates have impacted the ratio. The bid-to-close ratio is a benchmark for the overall health of the industry and having this ratio gradually return to historic averages is, I believe, reflective of an improving residential and light commercial construction sector.

Finally, on the celebrity front, it seems that we have a few members who like to rub elbows with the rich, famous, and powerful.   For example, Kelowna based BC Wood member, Norelco Cabinets, has developed a niche market building custom kitchens, high-end cabinetry, and millwork for NHL hockey players including Wade Redden, Jerome Iginla, and most recently that ginger-haired grinder from Philadelphia, Scott Hartnall. It turns out that Kelowna has become a hotbed for NHL players to live and train during the summer months and a fraternity of players have built homes on Okanagan Lake over the past few years.

Also hobnobbing with the rich and famous is Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs. His use of beetle kill pine in recent projects creating one of kind furniture and wall panelling attracted the attention of the Minister of Tourism and Trade, the Hon Pat Bell who stopped by his shop in Vancouver this past week to view some of Jud’s latest designs. It seems that Jud has become a favorite of Victoria’s political elite as he also was commissioned to build a beetle pebble wall a few years back for former premier Gordon Campbell.

 

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We are very excited to announce that BC Hydro has signed up to support the GBM as a sponsor, as well as HSBC taking a higher profile role as another one of our Corporate Sponsors. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) has also recognized the value of the program for international market development and has significantly increased their contribution to support the GBM this year.

These changes recognize the value of the GBM program and the new business it brings to Canadian wood products manufacturers. We have also seen a dramatic increase from our exhibitors, in requesting we invite their targeted buyers from many different markets. Plus, we have just completed a strategic, targeted direct mail campaign to US buyers, which we believe, along with the efforts of the WRCLA, will bring us a substantial increase in American buyers, builders, developers and distributors.

If you have not yet signed up to participate, please call me at 604-882-7100 or toll free at 1-877-422-9663. There is still some booth space available and this is the best, most cost-effective opportunity for you to meet buyers from all over the world that might want to buy your wood.

A significant number of buyers from China, India and Pakistan have already signed up to meet our manufacturers. Will you be there?
 

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By Roy Manion

 

I just returned after spending most of June in Europe, primarily in Croatia where my wife was born. One of many features of Europe that is immediately evident to most North Americans travelling to that continent is the architecture – and the age – of many of the buildings there. Along with the architecture of these buildings, one didn’t have to look hard to see a large amount of wood used in these buildings including timber frame, millwork (most had wood windows and doors), flooring, ceilings, and panelling.

For example, the hotel we stayed in Delnice, a small town in North Western Croatia, was several hundred years old – I was told 500 years old. This hotel was a timber frame structure imbedded into a combination of stone and concrete foundation and walls. As you may be able to see from the picture of the dining room, the interior walls, floor, and ceiling also were wood.

Surprisingly, this was not uncommon throughout Croatia. Everywhere we went, we saw wonderful uses of wood being used, whether the buildings were institutional, places of worship, commercial, or residential (including my wife’s 250 year old family home). For the most part, the wood was in excellent condition. When these buildings are eventually torn down, I am sure this wood can be salvaged and reused in new buildings which will most likely last for additional centuries. All in all, for me this was great reinforcement that our activities in promoting the use of wood as a viable and long lasting building material are on the money.

GLOBAL BUYERS MISSION

As I am sure you will be reading in other parts of the Wood Connections, preparation is in full swing for the GBM. We are looking for another strong representation from the architect and designer community. We are also expecting to see good support from the construction and engineering communities.

Once again, we will have a strong program set for our Wood First Forum on Thursday. We have some great speakers committed to the program including three amazing speakers from Europe, thanks to our friends at CAWP. Last year we introduced what turned out to be a very successful mini-seminar series for the architects and designers given by 20 exhibitors at their respective booths. Since this was such a success, we are continuing with it this year. Expect to hear more about this in the days to come.

For further information on the above or any issue related to the Specifiers Program, please feel free to contact me at rmanion@bcwood.com.

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