On the show floor, at 40 Under 40 Awards, and of course at Canada Night, the 2017 AWFS Fair was packed with news of Canada-based firms. Technology and supply introductions also provided a prelude to what will happen at the WMS 2017 show in Toronto in November. 

Andrew Hibbs, Wood Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, awarded by sponsor Stiles Machinery's Thomas Allott. 

On July 18, the day before the show opened, two of Canada's best and brightest young woodworkers took home the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Awards. Stiles Machinery, the U.S. sister company to Homag Canada, sponsored the program, and the awards were handed out at a gala Leadership Reception with 250 in attendance.

Marty Berman, owner of Kelowna, British Columbia-based Amber Millwork Ltd.; and Andrew Hibbs, president of Wood Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, came to the event to claim their hardwood plaques and join the Class of 2017.

Among the biggest news reports emanating from the AWFS Fair was the announcement on July 19, the morning the show opened, that Langley, B.C.-based Hardwoods Distribution's U.S. unit, Rugby, had acquired Downes & Reader, a Northeast U.S. lumber dealer. Its locations will operate as part of the Rugby brand; it was represented as Hardwoods Paxton Rugby at the show.

On the show floor, Burlington, Ontario-CNC manufacturer AXYZ International showed its sharp-looking Optimus CNC cabinet routing and material handling solution designed for cabinet makers and woodworkers. Just before the show AXYZ announced a benchmark: 6,000 CNCs produced in Burlington.  

Also right before the show, Laser Products announced the expansion of its sales force into Canada, in what it says is a direct response to the continuing growth of the countertop industry. Laser Products won a 2017 Visionary Award at  AWFS Fair for its innovative laser measurement system, which sizes up an entire room and captures those measurements precisely for countertops, cabinets and millwork projects. 
Canada Night at AWFS Fair 2017

That technology will be on display at the Wood Machinery & Supply Expo, running November 2-4 at the International Centre in Mississauga. Other Visionary winners already booked for WMS 2017 include:

  • SCM, which won for its Lean Robot Cell rapid case design, machining and assembly through robotic automation
  • Rev-A-Shelf, winning for its Tresco Snap Panel Lighting
Canadians also gathered at AWFS Fair to relax after the show opening day at Canada Night. Free to Canadians, the event was sponsored by Wood Industry magazine.