Lumber grading champs rise to the top

Lavington, Prince George workers top 50th annual BC Lumber Grading Championship

Several lumber workers have proven they are a cut above.

The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is pleased to announce the winners of the 50th Annual BC Lumber Grading Championship held in Kelowna May 26.

The only competition of its kind in the world, top lumber graders from around the province gather to demonstrate their skills in their craft. To compete, graders identify the species of the wood, assess roughly 70 different characteristics and assign one of 21 grades to the piece of lumber. They also complete a three hour written exam which tests their knowledge of lumber grading.

This year’s winners include:

Brian Marsh of Bid Group, Prince George, who scored the highest practical mark in the entire event and won the Champion of Champions Division, the toughest competition which is open only to past winners.

The First Year Division, which is made up of lumber graders attending for their very first time, was won by Jason Nie of Canfor – Polar Division, with Michelle Johnson of Weyerhaeuser – Drayton Valley in second place.

The category of BC’s Top Lumber Grader ended up with a tie awarded to Naresh Parmar of Canfor – PG Sawmill and Kamaldip Sandhu of Tolko Industries – Soda Creek Division Williams Lake. In second place was Steven Brown of Tolko – Lavington Division and Julia Scott of Lakeland Mills, Prince George was third. Julia now holds the position of the highest scoring female contestant in the Grading Championship history.

See related: Tolko playhouses brighten North Okanagan summer

The 2018 Corporate Team Winners were the Canfor — PG Runners from PG Sawmill Division – Prince George. Team members Naresh Parmar, Sajjan Minhas and Jason Nie earned the top combined score.

“This annual lumber grading competition is an opportunity for lumber graders to showcase their skills and the quality of their work,” said Gary Desrosier, Quality Control Manager for COFI.

“In the 50 years since the first championship, the forest industry has been adapting and evolving. This year we were very pleased to have the highest scoring female contestant in the Grading Championship history. We look forward to continuing to increase diversity in the Championship and industry going forward.”

Next year’s competition will once again be held by COFI in Kelowna.

COFI is accredited by the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board (CLSAB) and the American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) among other organizations, to provide lumber inspection, certification and grade marking.

The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is the voice of the B.C. forest industry. COFI members produce lumber, pulp and paper, panels and engineered wood products at facilities across the province. All share a commitment to a future based on sustainable forestry and manufacturing practices, innovative product development and employee safety.


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