Sault Ste. Marie officials want their city recognized as the forestry capital of Northern Ontario once again.
John Febrarro, the city’s chief of industrial marketing, says the Sault held that distinction about a 15 years ago.
He hopes an upcoming Wood Trade Exhibition, billed as the largest the province has ever seen, will help that cause.
The trade show will take place at the John Rhodes Community Centre May 6 and 7.
In the past, the show took place in Timmins. Organizer Glen Dredhart saw the opportunity to make the event accessible to both vendors and participants from the U.S. and Canada by hosting the show in the Sault.
The event will mark the first time wood industry representatives from both sides of the border will take part in the same event.
The expected 10,000 attendees will be welcome guest for the city’s hospitality sector. The event will precipitate between 1,200 and 1,800 hotel room stays.
To date, there are 220 out of 250 booths inside the complex and about 70 outside the building. Over $40 million in heavy equipment will be on display. At least 10 different sawmills to present a variety of exhibits.
The show will provide opportunities for people to see newer technologies in the wood industry with respect to safety and environmental sustainability. It will offer an opportunity for businesses and participants to network their practices within the industry.
Exhibitors will showcase their wood products from cupboards, doors, flooring, carvings and crafts, to the sale of a variety of lumbers at wholesale
Seminars May 6 will focus on both personal and environmental safety. Another will focus on land logging. There, land owners will have a chance to speak with manufacturers and get an idea of the value of the wood on their property. The ways and means of extraction, such as mini-skidders and all-terrain vehicle accessories will be discussed for the do-it-yourselfer.
A First Nations Pavilion will be available, where ideas, knowledge and experiences in relation to the forest sector can be exchanged.