New Years Greetings to everyone!

2017 was a very productive year in the evolution of the Bluewater Wood Alliance! As the only managed industry-lead cluster in North America for the wood manufacturing industry, we continue to draw attention from manufacturing companies, and also from other regions and governments that want to learn about what makes the BWA “tick”! Our regular events and projects draw industry and supply chain to the table. Governments want to collaborate with clusters for program and project delivery.

To summarize, here are a few 2017 highlights:

– 4 plant tour focus group events
– 4 quarterly networking events
–3 Finishing Training events in collaboration with Conestoga College

Export Projects:
– High Point Market, High Point, NC.
– IMM Cologne, Germany
– Global Buyers Mission, Whistler, BC
– Applications to NRCan for 3 export market studies and IMM Cologne, 2019

6 Speaking events BWA invited to speak on clustering:
– Economic Development Council of Ontario Conference, Toronto
– Forestry and Energy Expo, Thunder Bay
– International Economic Development Council Conference,
EDC, Little Rock, AR U.S.A.
– Forestry Expo, Renfrew, ON
– International Economic Development Council Conference, Toronto, ON
– Industry Mixer, Grey County, ON

Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster Development:
– BWA key stakeholder on board of Directors

Other industry events for BWA cluster outreach included the WMS show, Toronto, and and the Richelieau trends event. I am sure I may have forgotten some things.

Growing membership across all southwestern Ontario, and a present need to hire a program manager, point to 2018 as a big year for the BWA and its members!

We look forward to working with you to help move the wood product manufacturing industry forward in Ontario!

Mike Baker
Executive Director