Recent History – 1999
September 28, 1999, By Daily News Staff
The name is chosen, the dates are set and a committee has started to plan for the Northern Wood Forum in Dawson Creek next September.
Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce manager Wayne Dahlen said the Dawson Creek version of the four-year-old job-creating show in the value-added wood industry will be lean but good and an eye-opener for the industry as well as for local residents.
“The Peace is not noted as a major value-added wood producing area,” said Dahlen, the chair of the Dawson Creek host committee that is to put on the forum on Sept. 14-16, 2000.
“This will allow people to find out how many value-added wood processors there are. I was amazed at the number of value-added wood processors there actually already are in the area.”
Because the name that has been used by the three previous northern wood forums, Touch Wood, will be used for the Vanderhoof forum in April, Dawson Creek was asked to come up with its own name. At a meeting last Thursday evening, local residents coined the name Peace Wood Works for the Dawson Creek forum.
The theme for the forum is “Out of the Woods – Into the Future.”
The reason that there are two northern wood forums in 2000 is because Vanderhoof had already started to organize the 2000 forum when it was announced that the original group that started the wood forum, the Central Interior Wood Processors Association, would back the Dawson Creek forum with approximately $150,000 in funding from such sources as Forest Renewal B.C., Human Resources Development Canada, the CIWPA itself, and others.
Dahlen said that’s the maximum amount of money that will have to pay for the Dawson Creek forum.
“Our objective is to put on this trade show and wood forum for less,” he said.
The Northern Wood Forum aims at highlighting the growing importance of the value-added sector in local and regional economies. As such, Dahlen stressed that although the forum will be held in Dawson Creek, it aims to focus on all value-added wood industries in the Peace, including Fort St. John, Chetwynd, Taylor and Tumbler Ridge.
The forum consists of a trade show of value-added wood businesses, a forum with speakers focusing on the production and marketing of value-added products, tours of existing value-added businesses and a schools competition to encourage students to think about a career in the value-added wood sector.
Organizing a wood forum is a lot of work, said Dawson Creek Councillor Bob Gibbs, who is the co-chair of the host committee and who, like Dahlen, also sits on the steering committee that has the overall responsibility for the wood forum.
Like after the first wood forum in Vanderhoof in 1996, Gibbs said, if done right, the wood forum could create immediate jobs in the value-added wood industry in Dawson Creek as well.
“We sure hope so — that’s the whole idea,” Gibbs said. “Vanderhoof created up to 40 jobs.”
At the Thursday meeting, sub-committees were struck and chairs named in areas such as souvenirs, facilities, security, catering, schools competition, exhibits, speakers and seniors’ activities.
Dahlen said there are still many more people needed for organizing the forum and anyone interested in helping can contact him at the chamber office at 782-4868, or call volunteer committee chair Mona Biggin at 782-5877, ext. 127.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of work, but it’s going to be a lot of fun too to put it together,” Dahlen said.