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British Columbia Wood Provides Backdrop for Community Theatre at TED2014 Conference

Unique Stage Designed by Vancouver Architect Michael Green

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/17/14 -- The community stage for the sold-out TED2014 conference in Vancouver highlights the finest BC wood from Interfor (TSX: IFP.A) mills, and the work of award-winning Vancouver architect Michael Green. The stage will be home to talks by more than 50 popular past TED speakers invited back to share updates on their work, as well as those given by this year's TED Fellows.

The backdrop for the community theatre is a five-metre (16-foot) high wall of 400 interlinking planter boxes made with BC Hem-Fir and Cedar lumber donated by Interfor from its mills in Castlegar and Maple Ridge. It was designed and built by 24 architectural students from the University of British Columbia, the BC Institute of Technology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

"An idea I certainly would like to spread is that wood is an amazing material full of unexplored potential," said Green, who gave a TED talk in 2013 entitled Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers. "Wood sequesters carbon, which means we can meet the challenge of building the new affordable homes needed by so much of the world's population while limiting our impact on the environment."

"This is a great opportunity to showcase the beauty of wood and our quality products to 1,300 of the world's leading thinkers and doers - and potentially reach millions more online," said Steven Hofer, Interfor Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "We're also introducing the next generation of architects to the potential of BC wood."

The community theatre features hundreds of blue spruce seedlings donated by PRT, Canada's leading forest seedling growers. After the conference ends, the seedlings will be planted, and the planters will go to Vancouver-area schools so students can grow their own gardens.

"It has been so much fun to work with other students to find creative ways to show off the terrific beauty and versatility of wood - and our work will be seen by a virtual global audience," said BCIT student James Munns.

"The use of planter boxes fits very well with the Board's desire to be the Greenest School District in North America," said Dr. Steve Cardwell, Vancouver School District's Superintendent of Schools. "We have been fortunate in BC to hear first-hand a number of top TED speakers and the spin-off TEDx events have similarly sparked discussion and dialogue for our leaders and learners in the public education system."

This year marks the first year that TED, the non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, will hold its annual conference in Vancouver. Held March 17 to 21, the 30th anniversary event will host speakers such as astronaut Chris Hadfield, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, and singer and activist Sting, who will deliver talks in 18 minutes or less.

Editors: photos are available at Photographers' names are provided for credit.


Interfor is a growth-oriented lumber company with operations in Canada and the United States. The Company has annual production capacity of 2.6 billion board feet and offers one of the most diverse lines of lumber products to customers around the world. For more information about Interfor, visit our website at


Michael Green Architecture is an award-winning Architecture + Interior Design firm in Vancouver. Michael Green is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and recognized leader in the architecture and design community in British Columbia. He is dedicated to bringing attention to overwhelming challenges in architecture today such as climate change and the worldwide demand for new affordable homes. For more information, visit

Karen Brandt
Director, Public Affairs & Corporate Communications
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