Forestry & Value-Added Wood in Kamloops:
An Industry Snapshot
British Columbia is the largest producer of forest products in Canada, with Kamloops contributing significantly to production. As a provincially recognized forest centre, Kamloops and the Central Interior of B.C. account for the second highest concentration of value-added plants in the province.
The number of value-added wood products manufactured in Kamloops continues to grow and ranges from plywood, veneer products and finger jointed lamina to prefabricated housing units and custom kitchen cabinets. Many companies, agencies, and services related to the forest industry are headquartered in Kamloops including Domtar, Tolko Industries, FORREX and Compwood Products.
One of Kamloops’ advantages is its geographic location in the province of British Columbia. As a transportation hub with trucking, rail and air cargo access, the ability to move products from Kamloops to other locations in a cost-efficient method is ideal.
Kamloops has over 2,200 acres of affordable land zoned for industrial use, much of which is vacant. There are eight industrial parks; some with both rail and highway access and the city enjoys a reliable supply of affordable power and telecommunications.
Local Resources and Support
There are more than 125 fabrication and manufacturing companies operating in the city and businesses enjoy extensive research and development support by the Interior Science and Innovation Council, FORREX, Nexterra and Thompson Rivers University. In terms of raw materials, wood species, lumber grades, fibre supply and wood waste are available at competitive prices.
Experienced Industry Professionals
The value-added wood industry in the Kamloops Forest District has a number of strengths, which positions it well to compete in the North American home building market. This includes knowledgeable and experienced professionals who know the inner workings of the industry, have export market experience, and have strong interests in developing partnerships.
Skilled & Educated Labour Force
The city enjoys a diverse pool of trades, forestry specialists, contract loggers, truckers and silviculture workers. Additionally, Kamloops is home to Thompson Rivers University (TRU). With over 1,200 graduates annually from a wide variety of diploma, undergraduate and graduate programs, TRU works closely with community and industry organizations, and all levels of government. Since 1996, TRU faculty and students have worked with over 200 manufacturing and technology businesses to develop and implement commercial applications of new and existing technologies and innovations. Projects including consulting for wood products and other manufacturing companies, equipment automation projects for industry, technology commercialization, business start-up and marketing advice, and applied research and development to regional and provincial businesses and industries. More Information
Kamloops has a vast landscape with plenty of room in which to play and engage in an array of recreational opportunities, all while enjoying over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually. Housing is affordable and the cost of doing business is competitive, plus the area boasts exceptional schooling options and healthcare services. Employee retention is high in Kamloops with employees citing an affordable, quality of life in the region as a major plus.
Incentives for the Forestry & Value-Added Wood Industry
The Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC): The coalition was established in 2006 to address the growing Mountain Pine Beetle problem in the forests of British Columbia. SIBAC receives funding from the Government of British Columbia to develop potential solutions to deal with the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation and funding is available for projects that fit the criteria. More Information
Forestry & Value-Added Wood Resources
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations | Southern Interior Forest Region (SIFR)
The Southern Interior Forest Region is comprised of what was the Cariboo, Kamloops and Nelson Forest Regions prior to 2003. Resources pertaining to timber tenure, stewardship, forest sciences can be accessed through the Ministry. More Information
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations | Kamloops District
A resource for the Kamloops TSA Mountain Pine Beetle Strategy, Wildfire Management and other resources. More Information
Province of B.C.’s Value Added Plan
In the Province of B.C.’s vision, by 2020, British Columbia’s environmentally sustainable forest sector generates more economic value per hectare of forest-land than any other jurisdiction on Earth. More Information
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Research
Thompson Rivers University is developing a vibrant and collaborative research and innovation culture, with a focus on curiosity-driven research, community-based research, applied research, technology transfer, and knowledge translation. The research excellence is supported through a commitment to research infrastructure, research facilities, internal research funding, research chairs, knowledge mobilization resources, and student research. More Information
Forestry & Value-Added Wood Organizations
The Nicola Thompson Fraser (NTF) Sustainable Forest Management Plan
The Nicola Thompson Fraser (NTF) Sustainable Forest Management Plan fosters forest management practices based on science, professional experience and local public and First Nations input that contribute to the long-term health and productivity of forest ecosystems, a strong economy and thriving communities throughout the Plan area. More Information
Council of Forest Industries (COFI)
COFI works with governments, communities, organizations and individuals to ensure that forest policies in B.C. support the forest sector and, as a result, those who are dependent on the sector for business income or family supporting jobs. They work within the national and international Canada Wood partnership to improve market access at home and overseas and to increase demand for members’ products. More Information
BC Wood is a not-for-profit trade association that supports B.C. businesses that manufacture wood products. They are a voice for the industry, bringing innovative ideas to the table and insight into how they can strengthen B.C.’s wood culture. They are leading the industry by creating a culture where wood is the first choice for all types of construction and design products. More Information
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
A member-driven organization advancing the interests of Canadian wood pellet producers. Their goal is to help members grow through promoting the role of wood pellets in the Canadian and global markets, supporting market and technical research, and encouraging fair and open energy trade. More Information
“If you have ever dreamed of living and working out of a small resort, consider moving to Kamloops. The amenities here are fantastic, and the relaxed lifestyle is reflected in the cooperative, good natured way that we do business.”
- Chris Ortner, Cirque Resource Associates Ltd.