Early Years

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 de facto Canadian chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), sent representatives to AWI’s National Conventions.  During the early 1960's this group, in turn, was succeeded by 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 Manufacturers 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.   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 Architectural Woodwork.  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.

History of the Guarantee and Inspection Service

After the introduction and implementation of the AWMAC Quality Standards manual, the architectural woodwork industry identified a need for a tool to monitor projects and assure that the woodwork supplied and/or installed would be in accordance with the Quality Standards.

AWMAC’s Guarantee and Inspection Service (GIS) was initiated in British Columbia in 1990.  After four years of promotion and fine-tuning, the GIS was adopted as a national program in 1994.  The AWMAC GIS program, through its manufacturer members in good standing, offers a two year AWMAC Certificate of Guarantee on projects that have the recommended GIS wording specified in tender documents.