BC Community Forest Association Is Opening New Doors And New Markets For Community Forests Across The Region

British Columbia Community Forest Association

2012- The Opening of New Doors: Branding BC's Community Forests project is focused on establishing a brand identity and supporting marketing communications material for British Columbia's community forests. The brand and marketing material will be available to all rural and First Nation community forests in the province, including sixteen community forests located within the region. The project included McBride Community Forest, Cheslatta First Nation Community Forest, Burns Lake Community Forest and the Xatśūll-Likely Community Forest as a strong representatives of leadership for this sector in the province.

Northern Development's financial contribution enabled the development of a province-wide community forest marketing campaign, including an educational video, promotional materials, and a unified marketing brand.

"The project leveraged an opportunity to showcase community forestry to the world and to demonstrate our ability to provide high quality wood for high value projects. We are the farmers market of the forest industry."

Robin Hood, Likely-Xatsull Community Forest

"In these difficult times, community forests are staying nimble and thinking out of the box. We may be small, but our entrepreneurial spirit and forestry are world class. The project helps us get the message out."

Marc von der Gonna, Manager, McBride Community Forest

"I just watched the community forest video and wanted to congradulate you on it. It's excellent! Forthright but heart warming and easy to understand without losing all the forestry tech stuff. I'm impressed!"

Brenda Martin, Communications Coordinator and Editor, Association of BC Forest Professionals

Positive Economic Impacts in Central and Northern BC

The BC Community Forest Association proposed this project as a means of connecting the province's many community forests under a consolidated communications and marketing plan. This would enable small-scale and rural community forest enterprises to collectively improve access to high-value specialty markets and to diversify sales and distribution networks.

A most unexpected event came as a direct result of the enhanced profile of community forest wood through Opening New Doors' DVD and brochure distribution. On September 2, the British Columbia Community Forest Association was contacted by the Ministry of Forests liaison with the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee. The committee was looking for a source of 'culturally significant wood' representative of the various regions and wood species of the province, to build podiums for the athlete medal ceremonies. Communities forests embraced the opportunity and responded immediately. As a result, fourteen of the twenty-three Olympic podiums were built from wood donated by community forests. A spin off of the donations was the development of a one page promotional profile of each of the Community Forests that proudly donated wood for the podiums.

The key goal of the Opening New Doors project - to raise awareness of Community Forest economic potential - was illuminated by community forest involvement in the Podium Project. The Podium Project was an opportunity to showcase community forestry to the world, and demonstrate BC's leadership in community based forest management. This is an amazing legacy of our initial marketing efforts.

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