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B.C. investing $2.14 million to put wood first

For Immediate Release
2014MIT0044-000793
June 10, 2014

Ministry of International Trade and Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism
Forestry Innovation Investment

RICHMOND – The B.C. government is investing $2.14 million to advance the use of wood in British Columbia with a focus on expanding the use of wood in non-residential construction, strengthening manufacturing capabilities, and positioning B.C. as a global leader in wood design technologies.

Funding is being provided to industry trade associations and research institutions with proven records in wood products marketing, training, wood products development and research. The funds are being distributed through the Wood First program, an initiative to grow the culture of wood throughout B.C. and to develop world-leading technologies and building systems that can be used to promote B.C. wood sales both at home and in foreign markets.

The Wood First program is delivered by Forestry Innovation Investment, the Province’s market-development agency for wood products. The funding announcement was made today by Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat at Viceroy Homes in Richmond, a leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of custom wood buildings.

Since Wood First was introduced by the Province five years ago, the use of wood in building construction has grown rapidly, particularly in the multi-storey residential market and in institutional and recreational buildings. New approaches to building with wood have been developed, such as the iconic wood roof of the Richmond Olympic Oval, and there is the potential to use wood in much, much taller structures than we do today.

B.C. is playing a leading role in these developments and the Wood Innovation Design Centre, now under construction in Prince George, will be one of the tallest contemporary wood buildings in North America when completed later this year.

Wood First is widely supported in B.C. Nine out of 10 British Columbians say wood-product manufacturing is important to the provincial economy and job growth. Throughout the province, more than 50 local governments have developed their own pro-wood policies and British Columbia was the first province to allow six-storey wood frame residential buildings. More than 153 mid-rise wood frame building projects have now been completed, or are under development, across the province.

The forestry sector employs almost 60,000 British Columbians and generates an annual manufacturing output of over $12 billion. More than 40% of regional economies across the province are dependent on forestry.

Wood First is part of the BC Jobs Plan, government’s strategy for spurring economic activity and job creation throughout the province. See the attached Backgrounder for the list of organizations receiving funding in 2014-15 under the Wood First program.

Quotes:

Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat –

“Wood First is making B.C. a global leader in wood building products, design and construction. This helps increase exports to important markets like China and Japan, particularly for higher valued wood products, and expands opportunities for leading design and engineering services from British Columbia.”

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –

“Wood First directly supports job creation in the forest sector by developing new approaches to building with wood and then promoting these uses to builders, architects and engineers. This helps bring in new business to sawmills and value-added companies across the province.”

“Wood First has been remarkably successful, with 53 communities across B.C. supporting Wood First, including Prince George, where the new Wood Innovation Design Centre will be the tallest contemporary wood building in North America.”

Quick Facts:

B.C. is a world leader in softwood lumber production and exports, with 80 per cent of industry output sold outside the province.

More than 40% of B.C.’s regional economies are dependent on forestry.

In 2013, B.C. exported $5.3 billion in softwood lumber products.

Learn More:

www.BritishColumbia.ca connects B.C. companies and communities with international opportunities and promotes our competitive advantages to investors and decision makers around the globe.

Find out more about Forestry Innovation Investment at: www.bcfii.ca/

For more on the Wood First program, see Wood First – Highlighting 5 years of Progress 2009 – 2014:www.woodfirstbc.ca

A backgrounder follows.
Media Contact:
Ministry of International Trade and Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism
778 977-0298

 

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