The 13th Annual Global Buyers Mission was held September 8th to 10th, 2016 and welcomed over 800 delegates from all over the world to Whistler this past year.
Many thanks must go to our funding Partners who without their continued support, we would not be able to deliver this world class event: Natural Resources Canada Expanding Market Opportunities Program (EMO), Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. (FII), Western Economic Development and Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Our main Corporate Sponsors this year included The Waldun Group, Terminal Forest Products, Livingston International, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Interfor, Glandell Enterprises, BFL Insurance, EncoreFX, Helijet International and Baywest Manufacturing.
CEO Brian Hawrysh and our new elected Board Chairman Robert Mitchell welcomed our Opening Ceremony guest speaker, the Honourable Minister of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, Mr. Steve Thomson, who then officially opened our 13th Annual GBM.
This year, we registered more international buyers than ever before. They came from as far away as Australia, China, Japan, India, the United States, Korea, Nepal, Taiwan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Czech Republic, Belgium, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Germany. Again, many thanks must go to the Trade Commissioner Service from a number of international markets that greatly assisted with getting the word out and organizing the buyer recruiting again this year. With their help and dedication, many of the buyers were new to the GBM this year, opening opportunities for Canadian manufacturers to build new business opportunities. We anticipate an estimated $35+ million in new sales from the GBM this year.
We also hosted North American architects, designers, contractors, developers, engineers and specifiers this year, to participate in our WoodTALKS Program held from Thursday, September 8th and included a mini-seminar series on Friday afternoon and tour of the beautiful new Audain Art Museum. This activity was again well received by both the architect community and participating exhibitors. The extensive program included successful lunch and learns and presentations by renowned local architects and speakers John Patkau, Daryl Conden, Gord Macdonald and Peter Moonen.
Products on display from across Canada included timber frame structures, engineered wood products, treated lumber, reclaimed wood, windows and doors, building systems, Western Red Cedar products, and a variety of other value-added wood building products.
For the past eleven years, BC Wood has organized extended mission programs for incoming delegates including site visits and factory tours around the province. This year, pre-qualified buyers once again toured production facilities and visited construction sites in the lower mainland, Vancouver Island, and Northern 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 Western Canada’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.
Mark your Calendars! The next GBM is scheduled for Whistler, September 7th to 9th, 2017.