Alberta forestry show to include construction sector
The Northern Alberta Forestry Show is working to add value by including the construction sector in the show which, reflecting conditions in the forest industry, has now been scaled back to one day--May 8--in Grande Prairie.
By Tony Kryzanowski
In a proactive move to add extra value to the Northern Alberta Forestry Show for its exhibitors--and to attract a whole new group of exhibitors and attendees--organizers are now including the construction sector in the show.
Reflecting the current conditions in the forest industry, however, the show is being scaled back to being a one day event for this year. It will be held on Friday May 8, with inside displays only beginning that afternoon at Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie,
followed by a Dine and Dance that night. There will be no outdoor displays at this year's event. There will be a live and silent auction the night of the event sponsored by a number of local businesses.
Reflecting its broader reach, the show is now known as the Northern Alberta Forestry and Construction Show (NAFCS). The decision to include the construction sector makes a lot of sense considering that many forestry contractors also build and maintain roads. Many Alberta forestry contractors also do work for the oilpatch, where there is considerable road building and pad construction, in addition to log salvage.
"A lot of our exhibitors thought it was a good tie-in," says NAFCS President Rob Clayton of Brandt Tractor. "Many of the forestry-type exhibitors are also in the construction end of the business."
The move to include construction is also a reflection of the current state of the forest industry.
"It's no surprise that the forest industry is not in good shape," says Clayton. "We've had to change what we are doing to accommodate some of the exhibitors and really bring more to the show, considering that the forest industry alone probably isn't enough to sustain the show any more. That may change in future years, but right now, the forest industry is down enough that I think there needs to be a bit more to the show."
Grande Prairie and area is still a major hub of forest industry activity in Canada, with a variety of products manufactured, including lumber, pulp, oriented strand board, as well as logging equipment attachments and portable sawmills.
The forest industry continues to play a major role in the NAFCS, even though the number of days for the show has been reduced from three to one. Local companies will once again band together to organize and offer the Walk in the Woods program for local school children during the same week as the show, to introduce students to the forest management activities of forestry companies. Many of these students have parents working at local mills.
The silent and live auction as well as the Dine and Dance on the evening of Friday May 8 will be held at the Tec Centre at Evergreen Park.
Clayton says exhibitors will notice that the Tec Centre facility is now complete, and offers an outstanding venue for hosting this type of event.
With the drop in demand for lumber in the United States, efforts to develop a larger market in China for Canadian lumber have been ramped up, and a B.C. First Nations band recently set up a representative office in China to tap into this potentially huge market.
Third generation logger
Martin Marsolais and Sons Ltd has a long history of being open to change on the logging equipment side, and it's a tradition that the company continues to this day, with the third generation of the Marsolais clan now out in the woods.
Biomass generating big time energy
With the start-up of a new $84
million biomass power plant at the AbitibiBowater pulp and paper mill in Fort Frances, Ontario, forest slash that had been previously burned in the bush is now being ground up by local contractors and transported to the power plant.
Pinnacle of success
In the face of an industry downturn,
Pinnacle Pellet Inc. is charting its own path, with a very successful business strategy that includes a new $20 million wood pellet plant in B.C.
Engineered wood expansion
Louisiana-Pacific is positioned well for the future with the start-up of its new $140 million Laminated Strand Lumber operation.
The Last Word
Jim Stirling notes that as if the forest industry doesn't have enough concerns, a familiar problem--the lack of progress in negotiations with First Nations groups--is seething just below the surface, threatening to explode.