Trade, innovation and global economy to highlight 2017 COFI Annual Convention, April 5-7, 2017.

Vancouver, BC —  Almost 600 industry and government leaders, expert speakers and attendees will gather in Vancouver for the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Annual Convention. Delegates will hear where the sector is headed in a future filled not only with challenges but also opportunities.

The size of this year’s event speaks to the importance of an industry that provides 1 in 16 jobs in British Columbia and is the economic driver in 140 communities throughout the province. This is the first time the Annual Convention has been held in Vancouver.

“We have brought together a diverse group of speakers, including the key players representing our interests at the international trade negotiating table, who will give us their unique perspectives on the obstacles we face and where we can succeed,” said Susan Yurkovich, COFI President and CEO. “We will also explore innovative ideas that will drive British Columbia’s forestry sector forward despite challenges that lie ahead.”

Highlights include:

  • Premier Christy Clark, Luncheon Keynote Speech. Premier Clark will provide the closing keynote address of the 2017 COFI Convention. This will be one of the last major presentations Premier Clark will make prior to the election, starting 5 days later, and her attendance demonstrates the importance of the forestry sector to the B.C. economy.
  • Canada’s Trade Negotiations Agenda: Challenges and Opportunities for the Forestry Industry
    Kirsten Hillman, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Trade Agreements and Negotiations Branch at Global Affairs Canada. She oversees all trade and investment negotiations for the Government of Canada and will play a leading role as Canada embarks on a new trade relationship with the United States. This discussion will be moderated by David Emerson, former federal Minister of International Trade and B.C.’s Trade Envoy to the U.S.
  • Increments of Change: From early tall wood buildings to a global movement. Keynote speech by innovative architect Michael Green. Passionate about how to tackle the challenge climate change in the built environment, his firm is a leader in designing buildings constructed with advanced wood products and technologies. He has co-authored a new book, Tall Wood Buildings, which includes case studies of multi-storey wooden structures around the world.
  • CEO Panel: Forest company CEOs will discuss how their companies are adapting, innovating and evolving to address challenges and opportunities for the sector. The discussion presents Nick Arkle – Gorman Group, Duncan Davies – Interfor, Don Kayne – Canfor, and Ted Seraphim – West Fraser.
  • Leading Edge: Innovating for the Future. What can the founders and leaders of hi-tech data, multi-platform reality and geospatial data companies show the forestry sector? Plenty. A panel moderated by Greg D’Avignon of the Business Council of BC.

Visit the convention website at for up-to-date program, speaker and registration information.


Backgrounder: COFI Convention Speakers

Media contact:

Greg Descantes

Mina Laudan

BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI)

TEL: 604-684-0211