Tracing the history of this association takes us back to the 1920's when millwork operators in the Vancouver area were trying to create a better climate for the industry. From these efforts the Mainland Millwork Association became The Architectural Woodwork Association in the 1950's. The Architectural Woodwork Association, the defacto Canadian chapter of the AWI, sent representatives to AWI National Conventions. During the early 1960's this group, in turn, was succeeded byt the Millwork Manufacturers Association, and operated within the province of British Columbia, Canada.
In the late 1960's, Gary Nikolai of Vancouver, British Columbia, traveled across Canada promoting a national woodworkers association called the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturer's Association of Canada, in short AWMAC.
The first meeting of this new association was called to order at 2:15 PM on September 25, 1970 at the Bayshore Inn in Vancouver BC. In attendance were: Gary Nikolai (BC), Sim Antuma (Alberta), Gus Frenzel (Saskatchewan), Bob Newman (Manitoba), Doug Wignal (Ontario), Ben Farquhar (Nova Scotia). During this meeting Gary Nikolai was elected as President and W.C. (Bill) Ellison was appointed as Secretary/Treasurer.
The AWMAC Constitution and By-laws were sealed and recorded by the office of the Minister of Industry Science and Technology on January 28, 1994. The AWMAC membership is comprised of local chapter contractors, associate and life members plus honorary national members. The local chapter elects one representative to be an AWMAC Director. The directors in turn elect the AWMAC officers.
The Millwork Contractors Association of BC Manual was revised and adopted as the AWMAC Quality Standards for the Architectural Woodwork Manual. The first Manuals were distributed in the spring of 1972. The AWMAC Quality Standards for Architectural Woodwork has become the authoritative guide used as the national standards for designing, detailing and specifying architectural woodwork across Canada. Revised editions were published in 1978, 1984, 1991 and 1998.
The AWMAC Guarantee and Inspection Service (GIS) Program was intitiated by AWMAC-BC in 1990. After four years of promotion and fine-tuning, the GIS Program was adopted as a national program during the 1994 General Meeting in Calgary. The GIS Program is a tool designed to monitor projects specifying the AWMAC standard.