May 2023 Edition
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The Wood Innovation Group

Welcome to our monthly newsletter of wood innovation and events happening in BC. We have just migrated over to a new e-mail newsletter platform and are going to be exploring the format to use and would love your feedback.

We are always open to supporting and posting content from our community, so if you have anything to share then send it our way to

Upcoming Events


June 7th, 6:00 - 8:30
BREWHALL - 97 E 2nd Ave, Vancouver

Jumping between the breweries around Main Street and East Van, we meet on the first Wednesday of each month for a mid-week social and networking event. Meet others who work across the various wood-related industries in BC, and connect with friends and colleagues after work. More Info+

Vancouver Island Wood Network

June 7th, 6:00 - 8:30
Phillips Brewing, 2010 Government Street, Victoria

After a couple tours of local shops between Victoria and Cobble Hill, the group gets back to an informal and mid-week hangout at a local brewery.

Seed Night @ Tantalus Design

May 31, 6:00 - 8:00
2-123 Charles Street, North Vancouver

Tour Tantalus Design where brothers Shawn and James Kay have developed customized machinery to manufacture meticulous products like their Serratus Pepper grinder.


Shape Presentations

June 17th, 11:00 - 1:00
575 McLean Dr, Vancouver

Join us at Rangate where we host the participants of the Shape program who are mid-way through the process in developing products for presentation at IDS Vancouver.


Seed Night @ Parker Street

June 22, 6:00 - 8:00
101 - 1000 Parker Street, Vancouver

Parker Street Studios has hosted hundreds of artists and woodworkers over the years and is the epicentre of the East Side Culture Crawl. We will be visiting Van Air Design and Whim Woodworks who work in a shared woodshop run by Peter Borkowicz. **More details TBA in the next newsletter

Seed Night @ Tantalus Design

Seed Night 08

For the next edition of Seed Night, we head for a tour to North Vancouver to visit the shop Tantalus Design founded in 2012 by brothers Shawn and James Kay. Their company has gained notoriety by creating their Serratus pepper mill, a wood-based pepper grinder that meticulously hides the mechanisms and structure within. They have developed a customized shop with modified machinery to manufacture this product specifically, as well they produce a line of solid wood door pulls and hardware. These guys have an obsession with wood, and their products are made from a range of species both local and imported and some you can't find at your standard lumber store. They collect and stock their own material for their products and at times are buying entire logs in order to get the material they need, and the excess they sell to customers seeking out wood for projects.

"Our process is driven by experimentation, meticulous attention to detail, and a love of the materials we work with."

Shawn Kay is an industrial designer with more than a decade of experience building custom homes. Shawn holds a degree in Environmental Design from the UBC School of Architecture.

James Kay’s background is in materials science and industrial fabrication. He has a BASc in Integrated Engineering and a PhD in Materials Engineering from the University of British Columbia. James also teaches engineering design at Capilano University.

Shape Program

Shape Midway Presentations

June 17th, 11:00-1:00 @ Rangate 575 McLean Dr, Vancouver
For our first pilot year running the Shape Program, we have a group of 9 individuals who are working to develop wood products for a showcase at IDS Vancouver in September. They are halfway through their journey and this event is created as a checkpoint for them to present their work and get feedback and input from attendees.

Shape is a new program established by TWIG in partnership with BC Wood and CAWP to spark developments in the value-added wood products space, taking people from concept to product launch. This program is building on a history of programs from BC Wood and CAWP’s technical expertise and industry support. Participants over the last 3 months have been working through the stages of product development and will be presenting their design concepts at the June 17th in person event.

The structure of this program is created around a cohort model, where the group moves through the process and experience the stages of product development and learning together. Alongside the expertise provided through the program, the knowledge that different individuals bring can influence the success and outcomes of all participants.

The event will feature pitches from all of the participants and a presentation created in partnership with the hosts Rangate that will provide information relation to design for manufacturing. There will be coffee and lunch provided, so please register so we can get a sense of numbers.
If you want to stick around for the afternoon, Union Wood Co. is hosting the Super Block Party, which includes the folks at Rangate and Space. You can visit other companies and individuals on the block to see what they are up to! You can find more details about the event here.
Shape Participants

Martin Bohdal - Whim Woodworks
Jeramie & Aaron Ellingsen - Ellingsen Woods
Lenny Rubenovitch - Rubenovitch Furnishings & Co.
David Ullock
Matt Hanns Schroeter
Jake Humphrey - Pacifica Woodwork
Roberto Venado - Talento Design
Anna Kasko - Kasko Frameworks
Patrick Wilkie

Wood Processing for Design Workshops

As part of the Shape program, we have developed a series of online workshops with CAWP that focus on important fundamentals of wood processing for design. These workshops tie together processes that transform raw material into a finished good. Not all of us have experience working in the shop and are familiar with all the tools, but the work we do requires somebody down the line to do this work. Having an understanding of these workflows helps with the design process and management of projects to optimize work, save on costs and increase quality. These workshops are valuable for people with a range of expertise who want to re-up their skills, or are new to working in on wood-based projects.

Workshops are $30 to register and are being recorded, so you can watch them at a later date if you can't make it.

June 9 - 4:00-5:30
Workshop #2 - CNC Machining
Utilizing CNC cutting as a tool in design, production, jig making and prototyping to use this technology to your advantage. This workshop explores the various uses and applications for CNC cutting, the different machine types, tooling and software. CNC is amazing technology, but it's not going to solve problems for you or make your life easier unless you understand how it can be incorporated into your workflow. Today this technology is used on mass, with many shops being outfitted with machines for their application, from cabinets and custom woodwork to mass timber and timber framing.
July 21 - 4:00-5:30
Workshop #3 - Wood finishing
Understanding the types and applications of wood finishes and the process workflow that leads you to the best results. This workshop focuses on the final stages of the process, which deal with wood finishing and the various coatings, treatments and products that can be applied to wood. Finishes are applied for reasons such as aesthetics, durability, and functional purposes and so the preparation of your wood to receive a finish is extremely important. Making good choices in your finishing process can add years of life to your wood project or can be a distinguishing feature that has your product stand out in the marketplace.

Vancouver Island Wood Network

The 3rd edition of the growing Vancouver Island Wood Network to a journey up to Cobble Hill, where the group toured Creative Woodcraft and see some of the new upgrades in action, which include an automated sanding robot. The crew from UBC CAWP joined the tour and visited a handful of other shops on the Island during their tour as part of their industry outreach work.

Next Event

June 7th, 6:00-8:30 @ Phillips Brewing - 2010 Government Street, Victoria

The next event on the island will return to the more informal fashion of Wood-First-Wednesday, where the group picks a brewery or establishment in their community to meet up. These style events are a great way to meet others working in your city and expand your network of potential collaborators and contractors. It's also a place for people new to the city to get connected, find jobs and seek out projects that might need their expertise. The goal of the VIWN is to create a more connected network by having these regular occurring events. There is a lot of incredible talent and capacity on Vancouver Island and we hope to see this network grow and expand to support the future of value-added wood innovation in BC.

Are you a company or an individual on the island and want to get looped into events and participate in growing TWIG on Vancouver Island? Join the WhatsApp group and introduce yourself

Job Postings

Project Coordinator, Prefab Mass Timber

Simon Fraser University’s Renewable Cities works with policymakers and practitioners to accelerate the transition to renewable, resilient and restorative cities through engagement, research, capacity building and policy innovation.

The Project Coordinator, Prefab Mass Timber will fill a crucial role supporting the delivery of our mass timber mid-rise local solutions engagement project. This initiative focuses on solving policy and regulatory challenges to the delivery of prefab and mass timber buildings, with a focus on engagement and development of sample Development Permit Area design guidelines for municipalities. The role will coordinate development and delivery of the prefab mass timber initiative by managing project deliverables and engaging with stakeholders.

Application deadline: Sunday, May 28, 2023

Detailed job description + application instructions:

TWIG Futures

We have the goal of transforming TWIG into an independent non-profit organization so we can continue to expand and support people and communities across BC. In our current structure, we are supported by the Centre For Advanced Wood processing and the Wood First Program from Forestry Innovation Investment. This move to an independent organization would allow us to pursue and invest in new activities based on the gaps and needs we have observed within our industry. With this work we are seeking out people with skills and experience that would enable us to develop a strong organization. We are looking for people with experience on boards, governance, accounting, legal and leadership to contribute to our existing team who organizes TWIG on a monthly basis.

With the formation of this organization we can expand our impact as an essential organization that can be a contributor in developing the value-added wood industry in BC. This work takes place not only in the current industry, but in the future of the industry that starts with the emerging generations who are in school and studying at post-secondary. With our establishment as a non-profit, we would be the only organization dedicated entirely to innovation, and working on behalf of many organizations and companies across BC. Our focus on innovation at TWIG differs from the R+D practices that have been driving innovation, and looks more at enhancing the conditions to allow innovation to flourish. When people are connected and aware of one another they can access the skills in resources needed to push new ideas forward. The vision of TWIG is to create a province wide network and we need your support to do this.

If this is you and your are passionate about our mission we would love to hear from you. Please reach out and get in touch at

Got an idea?

Do you have a concept, product, or prototype that you want to realize? TWIG can work with you to make this happen with financial support through The Wood First Program. Carried out through the Center for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) and its team of technical staff, we are able to provide an array of support on various wood-based projects. We already have some projects underway from this past year that will be ready to present in 2022.
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