Vancouver is missing out ....

by Bill Moore....


....Do you know what’s wrong with our forest industry? It’s peopled by too many stick-in-the-muds. I’m not talking about the working ability of loggers or sawmillers and I’m not talking about the leadership of bosses - company or union. I state that we are peopled by too many individuals who lack enthusiasm for our industry and would throw cold water on any idea to put some excitement into our industry. So sue me!
....Here we are in B.C., representing half the economy of the province, and yet we have no holiday time such as a Calgary Stampede or an Edmonton Klondike Days. And what do both of those cities do to help in their celebrations? – I’m glad you asked. Why they import Loggers Sports shows from B.C. They say it attracts the crowds.
....Yes, we have loggers sports. Our big show is at the Pacific National Exhibition in late August each year. It is and has been a solid success since it was opened in 1966. But with very little help from the logging fraternity over the past five or six years. It seems the logging giants figure the P.N.E. show is too commercial - even though real loggers compete in it and it’s one of the few chances the public gets to see the skills of a logger.
....Others like myself become quite frustrated at our logging companies for allowing this great opportunity for real public relations to slip by and not be taken advantage of. I believe several beer companies are interested in spon-soring the show. I guess they can taste a winner. It is to the credit of many communities across B.C. and else-where that interested and vital people form organizations to sponsor Logging Shows. Squamish, Sooke and Prince George along with many other com-munities across the province put on some very fine Loggers Days each summer. They are great crowd pleasers and wonderful tourist attractions.
....But the good gentlemen in high places who control the budgets really believe that today’s loggers sports as


exemplified by the P.N.E. show is too commercial. For the life of me I can’t understand just what “too commercial” can mean. The fact that these shows are such crowd pleasers and that the loggers performing in them give professional performances and that hard won records are constantly broken by new young loggers can only mean the shows are not amateurish.
....The word “commercial” is the key to how we sell our finished forest products. These products better be sold in a commercial manner and have a commercial appeal or the customer don’t buy.

Stick - in
the - muds

....We have had tremendous support for the loggers sports programs from provincial and federal governments, from dealers to the logging trade, from the educators, from the press and from the public. In our earlier years of the Canadian Loggers Sports Federation we had support from nearly all the larger forest companies. But over the past five to six years that support has dwindled to near nothing.
....I don’t know of one forest company that has really taken up the banner of logging sports and used it for what it is truly worth. The best means at their disposal to show off the skills and talents of a logger. Millions of dollars are spent on advertising budgets for products of lumber, paper and plywoods. The natural tie-ins directly to the people involved in the manufacture of these products could only enhance the interest in the products.
....But – it’s too commercial! I guess they mean that loggers sports is so saleable that if used in an advertising manner the industry could not keep up with the products. As Durante would have said – “A Incredulous Situation.”

....No doubt Vancouver is a large sophisticated city and most of its citizens would not realize the great impact the forest resource has in its day-to-day living. Here in this seaport city are housed the head offices of all the large forest companies. The decisions emanating from these offices affect the lives of people all over western Canada, and in many other parts of the world.
....Vancouver houses the union head-quarters of the International Wood-workers of America and the two prominent pulp unions, all of whom play a vital role in forestry today. The manufacturers and dealers of logging, sawmill and pulp machinery are nearly all based in Vancouver, as are so many of the large department stores and wholesale houses that feed and clothe the people of the forest industry.
....Fine teaching centers for forestry education are centred in the lower mainland of B.C. in or near Van-couver. And of course a large number of pulp, sawmill and plywood mills are located very close to Vancouver.
....With all this concentration of Forest-oriented occupations and busi-nesses so vital to the life of Vancouver – why the shyness or avoidance of celebrating an industry that is truly a bread-and-butter industry to B.C.? – and its main city Vancouver.
....Back about ten years ago, I along with some others met with the then newly organized Vancouver Sea Festival group. We tried to find some common ground to get together on. Both concepts, the Sea Festival and the Forest Festival represent well the city of Vancouver. Both have managed to hang on in spite of drastically low budgets. I think they need each other.
....While the outlying areas of B.C. continue to support the Forest Festival idea with loggers sports and many contributing fun things, our largest real forest center – Vancouver – is a stick-in-the-mud.
....Why not forestry parades with logging companies competing for best float?

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British Columbia Lumberman, September, 1979

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Why not a real Woodchoppers’ Ball – or several of them throughout the city? Why not demonstrations of loggers sports throughout the city in shopping malls? Why not a tooting of our own horn to recognize our number one industry? Calgary and Edmonton like our industry enough to borrow our loggers to promote their oil and cattle industries! Now really!
....Come on you stick-in-the-muds – get the lead out and show the rest of Canada that we in B.C. can and do care for our number one industry and that we’re not shy about showing it off. Join forces with the Sea Festival people, get our act together and enjoy this forest around us and all it means to us. So, like I said – sue me!

Keep out of the bight,
Bill Moore

British Columbia Lumberman, September, 1979  
page 35