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(Vancouver, B.C.) – The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of COFI’s Forestry Scholarships during the celebration of National Forest Week, September 22 to 28, 2019.

“We’re proud to support the education of these talented students from around the province as they embark on their future careers in the B.C. forest sector,” said Susan Yurkovich, President & CEO of COFI. “Despite our current challenges, we continue to see a bright future for this important industry – a future where British Columbia can be a model for the world in product innovation, technological advances, and environmental care, supporting skilled jobs in communities throughout B.C.”

The forest industry has been a cornerstone of the B.C. economy for more than 100 years, generating about 140,000 jobs in our province, including one in four jobs in the manufacturing sector. COFI established its forestry scholarship in 2007 with the goal of encouraging young people to choose professional, technical, or trades careers in the forest sector.

“British Columbia’s forestry sector is changing and I’m certain each of these students will be a big part of shaping what will be a bright future of forestry in B.C.,” said Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson. “On behalf of all British Columbians I want to congratulate this year’s COFI Scholarship recipients and wish you much success in your future.”

These scholarships will support 13 students in their studies at 6 post-secondary learning institutions across British Columbia. The 2019 scholarship winners are:

  • Cameron Bellamy, Port Moody, studying forest operations at the University of British Columbia
  • Kyasha Guretski Robinson, Vancouver, studying forest and natural areas management at the BC Institute of Technology
  • Mason Kenzle, Houston, studying commerce at the University of Northern British Columbia
  • Grady Kragt, Hixon, studying natural resources and forest technology at the College of New Caledonia
  • Keana Lefebvre, Quesnel, studying natural resources and forest technology at the College of New Caledonia
  • Marie-Ève Lavoie, Prince George, studying natural resources and forest technology at the College of New Caledonia
  • Jayan Nickolet, Mackenzie, studying power engineering at the College of New Caledonia
  • Cameron Nikkel, South Hazelton, studying to become a heavy-duty mechanic at Thompson Rivers University
  • Ian Penninga, Smithers, studying wood products processing at the University of British Columbia
  • Robin Ripley, Victoria, studying forest and natural areas management at the BC Institute of Technology
  • Andrew Takacs, New Westminster, studying forest and natural areas management at the BC Institute of Technology
  • Mark Tallman, North Vancouver, studying forest technology at Selkirk College
  • Zachary Whitecotton, Vanderhoof, studying natural resources and forest technology at the College of New Caledonia

High-resolution images of scholarship winners are available upon request. Please contact Diamond Isinger at isinger@cofi.org.

From left to right: Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary; Susan Yurkovich, President & CEO; Cameron Nikkel, South Hazelton; Mason Kenzle, Houston; Jayan Nickolet, Mackenzie; Marie-Ève Lavoie, Prince George; Grady Kragt, Hixon; Zachary Whitecotton, Vanderhoof; Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development; Jim Costley, Forest Education Manager

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

About COFI’s Forest Education Program
COFI’s Forest Education Program is an award-winning program for students from Grades 5-12 in the northern interior of British Columbia. The goal of the program is to provide current information for educators and students about BC’s rich, world-class forest resources and the educational and career opportunities that are possible in our province’s forests and manufacturing facilities.

Media contacts:
Mina Laudan
laudan@cofi.org
778.990.0701

Diamond Isinger
isinger@cofi.org
778.888.9514

BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI)

1220 - 595 Howe St.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada  V6C 2T5

TEL: 604-684-0211
EMAIL: info@cofi.org