............THE FOREST








(MOORE IS chairman of the B.C. Forest Foundation and one of the B.C. Forest Centre’s strongest proponents.)

"We invite the Forest Industry
to proceed with their long anticipated Forestry Show-place – to demonstrate how individual daring, ingenuity, science and nature’s endowments have made this industry the backbone of our economy.” So said the Premier of British Columbia at an early morning press conference in Vancouver on January the 28th
....Mr. Bennett was making the announcement of the proposed British Columbia Place. The project would cover about 160 acres of prime water-front land in the heart of Vancouver and on it would be built the new, all-purpose 60,000-seat Stadium.
....The land is presently owned by the CPR through its land developers Marathon Realty. The B.C. govern-ment is arranging by trade or other means the taking over of what were the old train yards of the CPR.
....Mr. Bennett pointed out that the areas surrounding the stadium should be tree lined and grassed for walkers – and contain many types of buildings of various natures.
....Among the tenants of this very prime site will be the new Forest Centre – the project of the B.C. Forest Foundation for the past two-and-a-half years. I would like to tell you a bit about the project and of its hopes and aspi-rations.
....At the prompting of our present minister of forests, Tom Waterland, a committee was formed to question the

possibility of building a Forest Centre in the populated lower mainland of B.C.
....The Centre would not be a museum, but rather a place for learning about our forests and their relationship to our life in British Columbia.
....People have, down through the ages, searched for knowledge through art, archaeology, astronomy, history, and all forms of man’s progress. We have built wonderful galleries and museums where these forms can be centred and presented to the public for their edification. But now the sciences are becoming so complex and what before seemed simple – like the growth of a tree – is no longer simple.
....Man has challenged the great forested lands as he has challenged the seas and the ores of the earth and the layers of the heavens. In doing so he has opened a Pandora’s box of side issues and problems and questions that do not fit into the glass cases of museums and galleries. What man now thirsts for is knowledge of the future.
....How will the tree affect the salmon stream of the future, and how can man best tend and harvest his forests in the midst of pollution, and fire and pests? Can the forests be for everyone, not just the logger and not just the environ-mentalist?
....It is the trust of the group directing the building of the Forest Centre to place before the public the full story of tomorrow’s forests. And that group is made up of people from many walks of British Columbian life: from our

“The Forest
Centre Project”


management and labor peoples, from our government agencies, from our teaching professions, from the business world of finance and law. To these interested people will be added ex-pertise in the sciences, showmanship, and communication.
....Our model – if a comparison can be drawn – will be the Ontario Science Centre, one of North America’s finest showplaces of science in modern day living. The aim of the Forest Centre is to create an interest about trees in the public’s mind that has never been created before. To spearhead this aim, Dr. Peter Anderson, recently director of the Ontario Science Centre, has joined our staff and will head up a very imaginative and skilled group of people, as director of the Forest Centre.
....With the announcement of B.C. Place by Mr. Bennett, one of the great, and probably the most critical problems of the foundation has been solved. That problem was finding a high profile, central area to put the Forest Centre on. Over 60 spots were investigated by a site selection com-mittee. Areas in Burnaby, Surrey, North and West Vancouver, Delta, Richmond and of course Vancouver itself were diligently looked at, but all found wanting. With the go-ahead on the False Creek area of downtown Vancouver, we of the foundation know that no better site could be obtained.
....Just what the building will look like is as yet to be determined. It will be of wood, of course, and it will blend with the décor of B.C. Place. But really, as important as the architecture may be, what will make the Forest Centre a success will be its contents and their

B.C. PLACE, proposed home of new stadium and Forest Centre.
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British Columbia Lumberman, March, 1980

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value to a public concerned about our Forest.
....We see the center as a building of about 60,000 square feet, more or less. The woods used will be of all B.C. Variety, and the designs will depict for interested visitors all the things that can be done with these woods.
....Even now at the foundation’s headquarters on Granville Island, design models are being put together that will someday sit in our Centre. As is done at the Ontario Science Centre, where the visitors can feel, and touch, and often work or use the model, so will our Forest Centre follow this pattern. Stationary objects behind glass cases, with a long printed description, will definitely not be the mode of learning at the Forest Centre.
....One of the prime events at the center may well be the use of the I-MAX system of theatrical film as is used at Ontario Place in Toronto. This is a specially filmed presentation that envelopes the audience – as no other film can do. To be able to present a forest, and its life and events, on such a system is a terrific challenge.
....Such theatres are in use in North America in some cities, depicting other themes appropriate to the area. We would therefore be able to exchange film with other centers and thus share costs. A decision will be made this year on this wonderful system of theatre.
....Naturally the center will be a priority stop where our school children may probably learn of the forests of this province. It is our intention to show off the life of people engaged in all phases of the forest industry of B.C. It is time our forestry cities and municipalities were shown their impor-tance to the multitude of children in the heavily populated lower mainland.
....If we are to have a competitive and vital industry in this province, we will need vital people to run its future. By interesting young people in their forested province – in all lines of endeavor – we feel we do a service to the future of this province.
....And the fields do not just include logging or milling, but also forest service or wildlife service for the government, or industry, or environ-mental work, or forest research, or furniture making or a multitude of professions from the base – wood.
....Over the next few months, now that the foundation knows its site for the Forest Centre, the entire make-up of

design and costs will have to be decided on by the foundation’s directors. One point they bear well in mind, and that is the fact that the Forest Centre must be able to generate enough money through its exhibits and by-products to sustain itself in operating costs. Too many institutions have failed to realize this point and as a result came upon hard times.
....There will be much to say about this exciting project as the year unfolds and from time to time I shall endeavor to keep you up to date.
....At the moment there are a few voices of pessimism concerning the reality of the entire project – B.C. Place. If ever there was a project kicked around like a football, it is the stadium project.

....However, it seems our premier is not afraid to step into the future and lead the way in doing something. To all the pessimists who say it’s too “Iffy” a project – remember that history is full of events and projects that were carried to their fulfillment when somebody said: “Let’s do it.”
....So – let’s do it – and the Forest Centre slogan concerning B.C. Place is: “We’ll Be Number One,” the first project built and working in Vancouver’s realistic B.C. Place The people of the forest around us will be the beneficiaries. •

.........................Keep out of the bight,
..........................................Bill Moore


British Columbia Lumberman, February, 1980  
page 39