Forest Industry News

2014 Wood WORKS! BC Community Recognition Award winners showcase passion and appreciation for wood in local government projects.

Elected officials from five B.C. local government associations were honoured today at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention in Whistler, as Wood WORKS! BC presented the 2014 Community Recognition Awards. The awards are presented annually to communities that have been exemplary advocates for wood use in public structures. This may be demonstrated through the specification of wood in a community project and/or through visionary initiatives that work toward building a community culture of wood.

Download the Media Release

COFI Tokyo Technical Director Receives Dr. Sugiyama Award

Japan Timber Engineering Society (JTE) today presented Hidehiko Fumoto with the 2014 Dr. Hideo Sugiyama Award for contributions to the Japanese timber engineering industries. Hidehiko Fumoto, Deputy Director & Manager Technical Services of the Canada Wood/Council of Forest Industries Canada (COFI), is the first recipient who belongs to a non-Japanese organization. The award was presented by JTE Fund Management Committee Chair Dr. Ando at a special ceremony at Yayoi Hall in University of Tokyo.

View news release PDF

Free training seminars on preventing fires and explosions in wood products manufacturing facilities

Combustible dusts pose a risk of fire and explosion when specific conditions exist. Awareness of these conditions is the first step towards establishing an effective combustible dust hazard control program. It is critical that the management and staff of sawmills and other wood products manufacturing facilities gain knowledge in the area of hazard recognition, evaluation and analysis of potential explosion situations, and the steps required to eliminate the potential of a fire or explosion.

This free seminar is provided by WorkSafeBC and is strongly supported by COFI.

In this seminar, you will learn how to apply and interpret NFPA 664, the National Fire Protection Association’s standard for the prevention of fires and explosions in wood processing and woodworking facilities. The seminar will cover the following topics:

• Explosion fundamentals
• Evaluating dust explosion hazards
• Fire and explosion hazard control
• Safety management standards
• NFPA standards
• Explosion protection and prevention methods

Seminar information

There are 3 separate sessions. All sessions are from 8am to 5pm. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Date: May 22:
Location: Prince George Civic Centre (808 Canada Games Way, Prince George – Rooms 205 & 206)

Date: May 28:
Location: Best Western Kelowna Hotel (2402 Hwy 97 North, Kelowna – Okanagan/Nicola room)

Date: May 29:
Location: Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel (7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond – Cedarbridge room)

NFPA training is accredited through the International Association of Continuing Education & Training (IACET). Seminar participants will receive a certificate of attendance documenting the class title and the number of IACET Continuing Education Units earned for attending the class. Each student will also receive a copy of the 2012 edition of NFPA 664, a student workbook with diagrams and exercises, seminar bag, and a calculator.

To register, email your name, company name, phone number, and email address to Betty-Ann at . Each session is limited to just 25 participants, so register by no later than May 14 to reserve your spot.

COFI Convention

Convention 2014 Logo

Thanks for attending! PDF files for most conference presentations are available for viewing or download here.

Mark your calendar for April 8-10, COFI Convention 2015 in Prince George

COFI Board of Directors Announced

The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) announces a reconstituted Board of Directors consisting of 14 Chief Executive Officers representing forest companies operating in British Columbia’s interior. They are:
Ted Seraphim, West Fraser (Chair)
John Brink, Brink Forest Products
Alan Fitzpatrick, Nechako Lumber Co.
Dave Gandossi, Mercer International
Anne Giardini, Weyerhaeuser
Ron Gorman, Gorman Bros. Lumber
Don Kayne, Canfor
Bill Kordyban, Carrier Lumber
Martin Lorrion, Domtar
Rob Novak, Dunkley Lumber
Mac Palmiere, Louisiana Pacific Canada
Ken Shields, Conifex
Greg Stewart, Lakeland Mills
Steve Zika, Babine Forest Products

One of the CEO Board’s first actions was to establish a Management Committee consisting of senior operational staff from the industry.

“My colleagues and I believe that having a Board comprised of the forest industry’s CEOs demonstrates our dedication to COFI and its representation of our sector,” stated newly elected board Chair, Ted Seraphim, President and CEO of West Fraser. “Our board, and our recent appointment of President and CEO James Gorman, signals our renewed commitment to work together to advance interests that benefit our industry, our employees and the communities that depend on us,” Seraphim concluded.

The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is the voice of the BC interior forest industry. COFI members vary in size and produce lumber, pulp and paper, panels and engineered wood products at more than 60 facilities across the interior. All share a commitment to a future based on employee safety, sustainable forestry and manufacturing practices, and innovative product development.

Remembering Ron Neil

The COFI Board of Directors and staff were deeply saddened to learn of Ron Neil’s passing on November 16, 2013.  Ron served on COFI’s Board for many years with wisdom, kindness and enthusiasm.  His commitment to COFI and the forest industry was evident in all he did.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Victoria on January 4th.  For more information visit this page: Ronald (Ron) William Neil September 15, 1938 – November 16, 2013

Watch Wood Innovation at Work in Northern BC

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre is being built in Prince George and is expected to be among the tallest modern wood buildings in the world when it is completed next summer. Funded by the Government of BC, construction features an all-wood structure on top of a concrete foundation, utilizing glulam beams, cross-laminated timber panels, and other wood products. UNBC will occupy nearly half of the building, providing Engineering classrooms, offices, a lecture theatre and research/teaching lab.

Click here for information about UNBC Engineering programs, a link to the Government of BC’s website about the Wood Innovation and Design Centre, and links to the webcams that will allow anyone to view the construction progress at any time from two vantage points: The top of the Ramada Hotel (looking west) and the Twisted Cork Restaurant (looking northeast).

2013 BC Wood Design Conferences

2013 Theme: Taller, Faster, Better Performance: Breaking Barriers to Innovative Wood Structures

3 Dates and Locations in BC

KELOWNA – Tuesday, November 26
The Manteo Resort – *note new location*
3762 Lakeshore Rd

VICTORIA – Thursday, November 28
Delta Ocean Pointe
45 Songhees Road

NANAIMO – Friday, November 29
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
101 Gordon Street

Click here for more information and registration.

COFI Announces New President and CEO

Vancouver, BC (September 3, 2013) – The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of James Gorman as President and Chief Executive Officer effective September 23, 2013.

Gorman brings extensive public policy and senior management experience to his new role. He most recently served the Government of British Columbia as the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and prior to that as Deputy of Education (K-12) and the BC Public Service Agency.

His accomplishments include transforming the BC Public Service into a top employer; expanding the province’s K-12 education brand into international markets; and managing complex labor relations files on behalf of government.

“We are exceptionally pleased to have James joining us”, stated Nick Arkle, COFI Board Chair, “as his experience at the highest levels of the public service will be instrumental in helping us shape an exciting and productive future for our forest industry and the employees and communities that depend upon it.”

Gorman has a Masters Degree in Political Science from McGill University and a Bachelors Degree from the University of British Columbia.

The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is the voice of the BC interior forest industry. COFI members vary in size and produce lumber, pulp and paper, panels and engineered wood products at more than 60 facilities across the interior. All share a commitment to a future based on employee safety, sustainable forestry and manufacturing practices, and innovative product development.

For further information: Nick Arkle: 1-250-768-6214
Jess Ketchum: 1-604-922-5204

News release:
James Gorman Appointed COFI CEO

Save the Date: WSCA 2014 Annual Conference & Tradeshow

Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association 2014 Annual Conference & Tradeshow

Conference Dates:  Wed to Fri, January 29 to 31, 2014

Trade Show Date: Thurs, January 30, 2014

Course Dates (tentative): Mon to Wed, January 27 to 29, 2014

Location: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Centre, Kelowna, BC, Canada

Please visit for further information.