BC Wood celebrated our 20th Annual Global Buyers Mission held September 7th to 9th, 2023 and welcomed almost 700 delegates from all over the world to Whistler, BC Canada this year. Given the economic challenges faced by many international markets, we were extremely pleased with the efforts made by those buyers and suppliers that supported and participated in the 2023 Global Buyers Mission.
Many thanks must also go to our government funding Partners, who without their continued support, we would not be able to deliver this world class event: Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. (FII), and Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Our main Corporate Sponsors this year included The San Group Ltd., the Waldun Group, Daizen, Glandell Enterprises, Silva Panel, Acera Insurance, Live Edge Design and Kuehne + Nagel.
CEO Brian Hawrysh and our new Board Chairman John Gillis from Centurion Lumber welcomed our Opening Ceremony special guest speaker, the Honourable Premier Eby. This is the first time the Premier of BC has officially opened a GBM and his comments were well received.
This year, we registered international buyers from as far away as Austria, China, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Pakistan, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Again, many thanks must go to the Federal Trade Commissioner Service and BC’s Trade & Investment Representatives from international markets that greatly assisted with the buyer recruiting again this year. With their continued dedication, there were many first-time Buyers to the GBM, opening opportunities for Canadian manufacturers to develop new business.
We continued to host North American architects, designers, contractors, developers, engineers and specifiers this year, to participate in our popular accredited WoodTALKS™ program, held in conjunction with the GBM. This included two site tours, successful lunch and learn and sip n’ learn presentations by renowned architects and industry members, as well as a series of Demonstration Workshops on the tradeshow stage Friday. These activities were very well received by both the architect community and participating exhibitors. This year, BC Wood’s WoodTALKS at the GBM also featured a Mass & Heavy Timber Symposium with keynote speaker Michael Green, which was officially opened Saturday morning by BC’s Minister of State for Trade, the Honorable Jagrup Brar.
Canadian products on display from across the country included timber frame structures, engineered wood products, treated lumber, reclaimed wood, cabinetry, building products and systems, Western Red Cedar products, and a variety of other value-added wood building products.
BC Wood also organized Extended Mission programs for incoming international delegates that included site visits and factory tours in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island. Besides helping buyers immediately source high quality, innovative, and competitively priced wood products, the tours helped build future business relationships by familiarizing potential customers with Western Canada’s wood species. We thank the many local companies that made the effort to open their mills and plants for these informative and productive tours.
Held annually at the Whistler Conference Centre, the GBM continues to be Canada’s largest event dedicated to promoting value-added wood producers.