top of page


A unique gathering of diverse expertise on the future of forests in Canada
and the role of design, climate science and cultural leadership in supporting them

Join us in Calgary as Thriving Forests continues at the 2023 RAIC Conference on May 5, 2023!
For more information and to register please visit the event website.

Meet the Conversation Leaders

Justina Ray

President, WCS Canada

Carol Phillips

Partner, Moriyama & Teshima Architects

Francois Dufresne

Director, FSC Canada

Peter Moonen

Canadian Wood Council

Richard Kroeker

Dalhousie University

Patrick Stewart

Principal, Patrick R. Stewart Architect

Chris T Cornelius


Mohammad Mohammad

Senior Research Advisor, NRCan

Janette Bulkan

Associate Professor, University of British Colombia

Gabrielle Kissinger

Principal, Lexeme Consulting

Christine Leduc

Woodlands Operations Supervisor, Interfor Corporation

Danny Robertson

North Pacific Timber

Kathy Abusow

President & CEO, SFI

Kelly Alvarez Doran

MASS Design Group

Roy Brooke

Director, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative

Lennard Joe

CEO, BC First Nations Forestry Council

Phil Northcott

CEO, C-Change Labs.

Bruno Gagnon

Circular Bioeconomy, Canadian Forest Service

Joseph Fobister

Grassy Narrows First Nation's Lead Lands Negotiator

Rob Keen

CEO, Forests Ontario

Ian Boyle

Principal, Fast + Epp

Gregory Paradis

Assistant Professor, University of British Colombia

Louis-Philippe Poirier

Director of Operations, Nordic Structures

Patrick Enright

Senior Green Building Engineer, City of Vancouver

A thriving forest exhibits a trajectory of regeneration more than of degradation, and capacity to withstand catastrophic events, like fire. In time, a diverse, thriving ecosystem structure will rebound, and perhaps resemble what once existed there before.
Gabrielle Kissinger, Lexeme Consulting
Quote symbol png.png
Quote symbol png_edited.png
Informative Videos

Informative Videos

Watch Now

Contact Information

To reach us with any questions regarding the event, please send your email to

wood at work logo.png

About the event

How will we ensure the long-term ecological and cultural vitality of forests while realizing their critical role in providing materials for next-generation built environments? 

One of society’s great challenges of the next three decades will be to balance the need for low-carbon urban construction with the need to conserve and restore thriving forests. Canada will find itself in the centre of this global crucible, called upon to provide “wood to the world” so that expanding cities avoid the worst climate impacts of building with concrete and steel. This event invites all who are invested in the future of forests and the built environment to anticipate, discuss, and find ways to resolve this quandary.

2022 Thriving Forests Symposium


The event will take place over two half days, September 14–15, 2022 at 9:00-13:00 PST (12:00-16:00 EST). 


The event is designed to foster deep engagement and learning among leaders with different expertise and perspectives. All panelists and moderators are encouraged to attend the entire event in order to support the continuity of the conversation and ensure that ideas from the first day carry over to the second day. 



The conversation will be rooted in a growing web of understanding that thriving forests are vital to the climate, biosphere, and ethnosphere. We depend on forests for physical, ecological, and socio-cultural necessities. At the same time, demand for timber is increasing as new technologies make it possible to replace high carbon-emitting materials, like steel and concrete, with wood structures in dense urban settings. Whether these concurrent demands compete or complement each other will depend on our approach. The effort to depart from fossil fuel-based and exploitative systems must be mirrored by efforts to arrive at equitable, regenerative, and thriving systems. Moving forward with humility and respect for the complex web of interrelationships depends on creating shared understandings based on broad data and experiences. By listening to and learning from many perspectives, including the voices and experiences of Indigenous peoples and communities, we can co-create new shared pathways together. 


These gatherings aim to engage and serve the architectural community, allied professionals, and managers and stewards of forests across Canada and beyond — all who have a role to play in bringing forth a future of thriving forests and sustainable building materials. Through co-creation, we can contribute to a balanced path forward and bring greater insight to the work of shaping places, buildings, and landscapes.



The dialogue will be built around a series of six themed panel forums — three on each of the two half days. During each panel, four leaders will reflect on the theme through the lens of their own work. A moderated panel discussion will follow these short presentations, which will in turn be followed by a broader facilitated conversation amongst the entire gathering. In addition, there will be ideation breakouts and networking time.


These events is being developed in partnership between the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and Pilot Projects Design Collective (Wood at Work).

Video Resources

Screen Shot 2022-10-05 at 5.08.39 PM.png
Vincent Martinez

President and COO, Architecture 2030

Scott Francisco

Co-Founder and Director, Pilot Projects

bottom of page