The Value of Association
It has been a distinct honor to be elected President of the Ontario Chapter. Many thanks to Peter Gallagher for his leadership of the chapter over the past three years and to the Board who under Peter’s leadership and Jeff Clermont before him has helped the Association turn the corner on many challenges that we were faced with coming out of the 2008 recession. Through all of their hard work we are stronger now than we have been in long time.
All of this has allowed me to begin to build on my goal to strengthen the Association through education and participation.
In June we launched the first event of a new and ongoing regional education seminar (Continuing Education Unit) program. This initiative is designed to bring members together to learn about key business topics while giving the opportunity to network and build relationships that we hope will help to facilitate future collaboration and networks, that will help to strengthen everyone’s individual business and the industry over all. We will continue to grow on the sold out success of the first event and move these regionally throughout the province to make participation as easy as possible for all members.
The first event was a half day Hardwood Plywood and Veneer workshop held at Columbia Forest Products’ Kitchener facility. Member companies from the GTA, KW, Hamilton and Windsor regions participated, learning about the manufacturing and grading process of one of our most frequently used and misunderstood inputs, hardwood plywood and veneer.
Thank you to all who participated! Look for details coming on a fall seminar in the GTA shortly.
We would be very happy to receive your input on future topics that would be of interest to you, please consider forwarding these to Laurie.
June also saw the Annual National AGM and Conference. This is always a fun and exciting event with plenty of time to network with manufacturers and associates from across Canada and from our partner association the Woodwork Institute in the United States. I would encourage all members to attend, the few days spent is refreshing and valuable.
At the Presidents Meeting it became very clear that the challenges that face our industry here in Ontario are the same across the Country. The main topic of discussion was the growing shortage of labour and we have agreed to work together on a National Strategy to help build labour pool.
Next year’s event will be the National Association’s 50th Anniversary hosted in Victoria BC. This would be an ideal opportunity to become involved leading up to the Ontario 2020 National AGM and Conference.
The value of this association lays not in the work it does for you, it is in the work we all do for it. Our members are selected based on their exceptional performance and are viewed by the industry as leaders. Member participation and collaboration and the constant practice of the values of AWMAC will continue to create a level of expectation that only our members can achieve. Creating value for what you do and moving your companies above the commoditized competitors into trusted partner status that helps to achieve great success.
Ian Christie, AWMAC Ontario Chapter President
AWMAC Ontario Chapter is a not-for-profit Association of manufacturers and associated companies that have been promoting architectural woodwork manufacturing since the 1956, when several leaders in the industry joined together and created the Architectural Millworkers of Ontario. In 1970 the woodworking association of BC invited the AMO to participate in a National meeting. At that meeting it was determined that a manual on proper fabrication and installation methods for architectural woodwork would be beneficial to all in the industry. From that time on, the AMO was an ardent supporter of the Quality Standards Manual and continued to participate in various capacities with the woodworking association called the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC). The Ontario Chapter joined AWMAC in 1999 and has continued to promote quality architectural woodwork fabrication and installation methods, together with our AWMAC Chapter partners across Canada.
AWMAC Ontario is primarily comprised of industry leading Manufacturer members that fabricate and install architectural woodwork such as Millwork, Stairwork and Rails, Wall and ceiling panels, Doors, Cabinets and Casework, Countertops and Historic Restoration Work, and Associate Members that support the Manufacturers by providing quality goods and services such as Lumber, Sheet Products, Hardware, Adhesives and Manufacturing Machinery.
In 1956 it was recorded that a group of woodworkers came together to form a Millwork Association. The original association in Ontario was named the Architectural Millworkers of Ontario (AMO) and was active as an association in the late fifties early sixties.
Member companies included Syd Thompson with Jones Wood, Welsh Custom Woodwork, Laidlaw Lumber, Rathburn Millwork and Ken Watson with Gardener of Galt.
On November 7th, 1966 the AMO have the first recorded Registration at the Ontario Registrar of the not for profit formed association of Millworkers – Woodworkers and related industries to be known as “ARCHITECTURAL MILLWORKERS OF ONTARIO”.
The British Columbia woodworkers association, Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC), invited various reps from across Canada to attend their meeting on September 25, 1970 in Vancouver, BC. The AMO was represented at that meeting by Doug Wignal of St. Catharines.
In 1972 the first AWMAC Quality Standards Manual was released. The Architectural Millworkers of Ontario worked in conjunction with the national AWMAC association but continued as an independent association. The AMO was an active participant and promoted the standards manual in Ontario.
The offices of the AMO were held at 223 Church Street in Toronto until 1989 when the Toronto Construction Association was contracted to provide administrative services.
In 1990 Werner O. Schmidt (Blier Construction) of Ontario, became the President of AWMAC and held that position until 1991.
In 1994 the Guaranteed Inspection Service Program (GIS) was designed as a tool to monitor architectural woodwork projects from shop drawings through to installation.
Under the leadership of Ken Jackson (Mirmil Products), AMO President in 1999, the Architectural Millworkers of Ontario changed their association name to the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada – Ontario Chapter.
Under the leadership of then National President Vince Parolin (Art Magic Carpentry) , the first national board meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia was held in 2002 with the Atlantic Chapter being established the following year.
In (2015), AWMAC Ontario Chapter President Peter Gallagher of Convoy Custom Interiors hired Laurie Suikki as Association Manager and the Chapter offices were moved to Convoy Custom Interior offices in Vaughan. Ontario.
The Ontario Chapter of AWMAC has continued to grow through the years. In 1999 when AWMAC Ontario was formed there were 48 Members at the time of this recording, there were over 140 Members.
Office: Address: 146 Adesso Drive, Suite #1, Vaughan, Ontario L4K 3C3
Phone; 844 ON AWMAC (844-662-9622)
Phone; 844 ON AWMAC (844-662-9622)