Thanks to financial support from the 2015 FPInnovations’ Discovery Fund and the FPInnovations Indigenous Forestry Program, a team of researchers and innovation support specialists from FPInnovations developed and tested a specialized firewood product, therefore transforming a difficult to dispose logging residual wastes such as birch non-merchantable logs into a commercial product. To that end, a manufacturing process was designed and a prototype machine was built, tested, and improved.
Following the design of the machine, many prototype products were then built and tested. Price values and venues were determined through market research of similar products. Results were integrated into a roadmap document that provides guidelines on how a First Nations enterprise could develop a specialty firewood business.
On June 27, 2018, the prototype machine and products were demonstrated at the Toosey Old School near Williams Lake, BC, to an audience comprised mostly of Toosey First Nation who have been developing and selling innovative wood products. The prototype machine was donated to the Toosey First Nation to serve as a model for building new and improved machines. The Toosey First Nation is keen on testing the resulting specialty firewood products in local markets. So next time you are driving through Williams Lake, you hopefully will buy the Toosey Old School branded FireFaces at local gas stations and at the Williams Lake Stampede!