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66th Interior Logging Association AGM and convention set to go in Kamloops

Learn about logging at show

The Interior Logging Association’s annual general meeting and convention will return to Kamloops this weekend, with all things related to forestry.

The 66th annual event, slated to run Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at the Powwow Grounds in Kamloops, will feature a free logging show open to the public.

The show will feature fun for the entire family, say organizers, with an expanded schedule of events this year. The show will include displays of heavy equipment the public would not normally have the opportunity to see, a logging industry helicopter, simulators to try, demonstrations, vendors, a chainsaw carving demonstration, a big truck show and shine and educational information. There will also be a log loader competition, where operators compete to stack logs three high to be the most accurate and fastest. To compete, people must be qualified operators.

There will also be food services available on site.

According to Megan Preston of the ILA, there will be a lot to see and do for the entire family, adding kids especially will love all the equipment that will be on display.

“We will have more vendors than last year,” she says, adding the annual gathering is not only a great place to network for those in, and associated with, the forest industry, but it is also a good place to learn.

The Interior Logging Association would love it if members of the public come check out the show to get to know those who work in the industry and what they are all about.

In fact, Todd Chamberlain, ILA general manager, says some of the biggest environmentalists he knows work in the logging industry.

"When people think of forestry and the industry, they think of sawmills and logging and that’s kind of it,” Chamberlain says. “One of the messages we continue to convey is forestry affects so many more businesses than people realize. From grocery stores to restaurants, real estate, fuel, clothing, supplies and services and so much more. If people are not working in forestry and gainfully employed, the repercussions of the trickle-down effect can be devastating to any town, small and large".

He described the upcoming ILA gathering as more of a celebration.

Long a staple the B.C.’s economy, the forest industry employs thousands across the province and in many smaller rural communities in B.C. it is the biggest employer. An estimated one out of every 30 businesses in the province are associated with the forest industry.

But even in larger communities, the industry has an impact as there are spinoffs that directly impact other related businesses too, says Preston.

The forestry industry injects $9 billion into the B.C. economy every year, she says.

With that kind of impact, Preston says the industry is very aware of its role and the importance of being good stewards of the land, forest habitats and ecosystems to ensure sustainable and responsible forest management and logging for years to come.

With the ongoing reduction in allowable cuts, the industry is committed to continuing to use as much fibre from every tree harvested as possible, from wood planks to pellets and even fuel for co-gen plants that produce clean energy. Whenever possible, no fibre goes unused.

As for the future of the industry, Chamberlain is passionate about the future of forestry.

“We’re not a sunset industry. This industry is strong,” he says. “There are good paying jobs there. People are proud of what they do, and we need more people to come into the industry. We need to encourage younger people to get into this industry and see what it’s all about. This is one of those ways to do it.”

Also taking place in Kamloops at the same time as the ILA event will be this year’s B.C. Forest Safety Council conference.

This year, the ILA will raise funds with a silent auction at its private business events for the Ty Pozzobon Foundation in memory of Ty Pozzobon who tragically took his own life in 2017 after several bull riding-related brain injuries.

Donations have been made by many businesses in the forestry industry to continue to support the foundation and Ty's parents, Leanne and Luke Pozzobon, who are long-time and well-respected members of the forestry industry.

After Ty's untimely passing, it was discovered he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the first diagnosed case in a competitive bull rider, and the foundation was created in his name to raise awareness for brain injury and mental health.

If you would like to learn more about the forest industry and attend a great family-friendly event, head down to the Kamloops Powwow Grounds at 100-345 Powwow Trail in Kamloops Friday, May 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

Find this week’s schedule of events here.

More information about the Interior Logging Association can be found on its website.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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