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Prince Albert, Saskatchewan invites the forest industry to see an area that is "more forest than wheat."

Copyright 1998. Contact publisher for permission to use.

The city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan has invited the forest industry to its doorstep, to "come see the part of Saskatchewan that is more forest than wheat."

That invitation comes from Perry Trusty of the Economic Development Branch of the City of Prince Albert. Trusty is enthusiastic about the upcoming inaugural Forestry Expo, slated for August 10, 11 and 12, and cites the city's exhibition grounds as "an exceptional venue for this type of show. Aside from the space for all of the indoor booths, there's a huge paved area for the outdoor displays."

Trusty estimates that more than 150 exhibitors will be demonstrating their products and equipment at this show, and he's confident that both exhibitors and attendees won't be disappointed with the results. On the first night, August 11 th, Prince Albert will also be hosting a Country North Show, featuring the province's best country and western artists. Then, on the ]2th, at the big banquet dinner, dance and auction, a rock and roll band will be providing the entertainment

The festivities complement three full days of networking for all sectors of the forest industry. "I think people will be surprised to see the scope of this show," says Trusty. They'll discover that investment in the forest industry is going on here. For example, we have two sawmills opening up in Northern Saskatchewan - Carrier Lumber, out of Prince George, and Wapawekka, a joint venture between Weyerhaeuser and a First Nations consortium. We haven't suffered the same downturns in the forest economies as some provinces have," points out Trusty. "This show will be an excellent opportunity for suppliers to meet new customers," he adds.

"Registration packages will be going out in mid-November, mostly to the four western provinces, inviting people from all over western Canada and the US," he explains, before citing an impressive list of statistics that showcase Prince Albert as an ideal forestry show venue. "The forest industry here employs approximately 6,000 direct and 7,600 indirect jobs, with wage earnings for direct jobs of $215 million. The total value of forest products shipped out is $700 million. In fact, forestry is Saskatchewan's second largest manufacturing industry, after potash, and Saskatchewan is the world's largest potash producer.

"One of Canada's 11 Model Forests is located near Prince Albert," adds Trusty. "The world's first waferboard plant is located at Hudson Bay, SK, and the world's first closed-loop liquid effluent-free hardwood pulp mill is at Meadow Lake, SK.

"At the turn of the century, the Big River sawmill was the largest in the British Commonwealth. And today, Saskatchewan has the first environmental impact statement on a 20-year forest management plan in Canada. We're also home to Canada's largest 100 per-cent aboriginal-owned forest resource company."

Add up all of these factors, and it's a logical conclusion that Prince Albert is "a good place to come and seek out new markets for your products."

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