Nearly 200 people turned out to witness the official re-opening of the Midway mill and to meet the new operators from Vaagen Bros. Lumber Inc. Officials from local and provincial government as well as a long list of dignitaries were present to lend their support for the venture.
Midway Mayor Randy Kappes acted as master of ceremonies for the opening welcoming local residents, and called on guests to speak including: the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource operations Steve Thomson, MLA John Slater, Gord DeRosa from the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT), the Osoyoos Indian Band (part of the Okanagan Nation), Stephen Hill, federal Conservative candidate, and operators Dwayne and Russ Vaagen. Also present were Regional Director Bill Baird, Greenwood City Council Mayor Colleen Lang and Councillors, as well as Teresa Rezansoff, chair of School District 51.
Thomson congratulated the community on their accomplishment and announced that the approval of their community forest was nearly ready.
Partnerships have been key to the way the Boundary Sawmill project came together. From identifying wood sources, to involving First Nations and last minute loan approvals from SIDIT, Slater noted that this indeed may have been the main reason for the success so far.
With over $2 million already raised under the Boundary Sawmills Inc. venture capital program, Hill was please to announce the opportunity to raise up to another $5 million.
Kappes presented the Vaagens with a bottle of champagne that they shared with the dais instead of breaking on a machine. Dwayne Vaagen asked for patience from the community as they develop their new operation.
The opening was held last Saturday, Apr. 9 and a community celebration took place at the Midway Community Centre after the official ceremonies were done.
Watch the video to hear what everyone had to say!