PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE This eighth annual edition of Abbotsford in Action 2017 focuses on the manufacturing sector, which is a fast-growing giant that employs thousands of people and produces goods used by people around the world. Despite being one of Abbotsfordâ€™s key economic drivers, the diversity of this sector often leaves it overlooked. Thankfully, Abbotsford isnâ€™t dependent on a single sector or company and sees one in nine workers in the area directly employed in manufacturing. Our reputation for hard-working people and a growing list of amenities continues to attract new manufacturers to Abbotsford.
Z2 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z3
Planning for success A message from the mayor Abbotsford City Council is completing its third year of working towards the community vision set out in the Strategic Plan: Abbotsford is the Hub of the Fraser Valley. We know that reaching this vision will only be HENRY BRAUN achieved by continuing to work in close collaboration with our local businesses, organizations and residents. This 2017 edition of Abbotsford in Action showcases the growth of local business and manufacturing in our community, highlighting Abbotsfordâ€™s burgeoning vibrant economy. As a city, Abbotsford has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Since our early years, â€œmade in Abbotsfordâ€? has been stamped on a diverse array of products, including timber processed at Mill Lake and bricks from the Clayburn Brick Plant, as well as a host of agricultural products. Today this tradition continues, with local Abbotsford products reaching markets throughout North America and across the globe. Specifically, our community is experiencing growth in a variety of niche industries â€“ from specialized wood and architectural products, to innovative greenhouse technologies, to recycled rubber products andÂ specialized brewing equipment. This growth is fueled by our affordable land, an entrepreneurial and highly skilled
labour force, the emergence of innovative and technology-driven business practices, connections to diverse transportation networks and ready access to markets. Plus, Abbotsford is simply an excellent place to live, work, play and learn. As you may know, the City adopted a new Official Community Plan last year. As the next step in planning for the future of our community, we are now in the middle of updating all of our communityâ€™s Master Plans, a project we are calling Plan200K. The Master Plans will help to further shape how our community will develop as we grow to a population of 200,000. Â These plans will intersect with your everyday life as we are planning for everything from parks and recreation programs, commercial areas and industrial land, to drinking water, affordable housing, sewer pipes, public art, and walking and cycling routes.
Read about Commercial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Residential. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Industrial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Airport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
As with the development of the Official Community Plan, your participation in updating these Master Plans is critical. By visiting the Plan 200K page on our City website (abbotsford.ca/plan200k), you can sign up online to receive updates on the work that is taking place, learn about upcoming events and input processes, and participate in feedback opportunities. I hope you will join us as we continue to build the thriving, dynamic and beautiful Hub of the Fraser Valley: Abbotsford.
Manufacturing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 UFV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Economic development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
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Z4 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Consistent future needs By 2025, the city centre will need nearly 50,000 square feet more of commercial areas. The historic downtown, meanwhile, will see consistent demand for restaurant and entertainment space. The rest of the commercial sector will start to also require room in about a decade.
Sevenoaks Shopping Centre changed hands in 2017 in what was likely the largest real estate transaction in Abbotsford’s history.
JOHN MORROW/ABBOTSFORD NEWS
Significant change in store for city’s commercial core Construction boom Abbotsford is on pace for one of its busiest years on record, with the city approaching $400 million worth of building permits issued in 2017. Downtown has seen the construction of the Flatiron Building, a 12,000-square-foot commercial building at the intersection of Montrose Avenue and South Fraser Way.
Goal is to promote areas easily navigated without cars Abbotsford has for years been the Fraser Valley’s shopping hub. But what the city’s commercial core looks like is set for a significant change. A range of factors – including, but not limited to, the Official Community Plan (OCP) adopted by council last year – are combining to shift the focus and future of Abbotsford’s business centres. As Highstreet Shopping Centre and the new McCallum Junction complex continue to grow after recent construction, the city’s shopping hubs in the historic downtown and South Fraser Way are also set for change and development.
Because of the activity that’s gone on in Abbotsford in the last three years, we’re seeing that a lot of commercial buildings that were vacant are being rented.” Henry Braun
The city’s new Official Community Plan aims to concentrate commercial development in Abbotsford’s established shopping area, and to complement that growth by allowing for residential building and more density. The goal is to promote commercial areas that can be easily navigated without cars, and which draw shoppers to spend both money and time in more pedestrian-friendly areas. The centrepiece of that is the newly designated City Centre along South Fraser Way. The OCP envisions the road turning into an “urban boulevard,” with the sprawling parking lots replaced by cafés and shops that encourage people to shop, eat, play and wander. The plan is to break up large blocks and encourage mixed-use buildings, with commercial spaces on the ground floor and residential units above. Smaller versions of that concept are also
envisioned in three designated urban centres – in the historic downtown, along Sumas Way north of Highway 1, and in the new UDistrict surrounding the University of the Fraser Valley. “We are a big city and we need to start acting like a big city and looking like a big city in terms of providing public spaces that are appealing so that people want to be there and linger,” Mayor Henry Braun says. He predicts the city’s older commercial areas will see increasing redevelopment and building of mixed-use sites. The city has already seen some commercial development oriented towards the new principles espoused in the OCP. The Mark, a pair of new three-storey commercial buildings along South Fraser Way, has parking underground and tucked off-street in accordance with the OCP’s policies. At the intersection of King and McCallum roads, a six-storey building will house apartments on its upper five storeys and nearly 10,000 square feet of commercial space on its ground floor. And downtown has seen the construction of the Flatiron Building, a 12,000-squarefoot commercial building at the intersection of Montrose Avenue and South Fraser Way.
But those areas look set for even larger projects in the years to come. The $214 million sale of Sevenoaks Shopping Centre earlier in 2017 looks set to pave the way for substantial changes to that community commercial fixture. The new owner says he plans to not only continue operating the mall, which hosts more than 100 stores, food shops and services, but improve the facility and retain the large space recently vacated by Sears. On other portions of the property, the new owner would like to build mixeduse residential buildings. The property and changes to it will also be key in fulfilling the city’s desire to better link Abbotsford’s commercial centre with Mill Lake Park. The city is also close to completing the neighbourhood plan for the UDistrict, in the area surrounding the University of the Fraser Valley. That plan will eventually set out how the neighbourhood develops, and will likely promote the construction of mixed-use buildings with commercial spaces on the ground floor.
Continued on Z6
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Developers noticing city’s historic downtown From Z4 Recently, the city gave the go-ahead to a three-building apartment project, which will have commercial shops on the ground floor. The city’s historic downtown has thrived in recent years, and developers seem to have taken notice. A new building proposed for Montrose Avenue would have significant commercial aspects on the ground floor and four storeys of apartments above. Notably, the building would include live/work spaces along its Pauline Street frontage. The occupants of those units would be able to both live in the spaces and operate businesses with commercial streetfront presence. Meanwhile, to the north of the already-pedestrian-friendly historic downtown, the large site of the former Clayburn Brick Plant recently sold, and the city is anticipating a proposal soon that will dramatically increase the number of people within walking distance of the neighbourhood’s diverse array of retail, professional and retail businesses and jobs. Elsewhere, the 600,000-square-foot Highstreet project continues to thrive, anchored by tenants including Walmart, London Drugs, Marshalls and Cineplex.
Abbotsford’s Official Community Plan envisions a denser commercial core with more mixed-use and multi-family buildings. tors have grown considerably in recent years, Braun says.
And construction continues on the McCallum Junction shopping centre anchored by outdoors outfitter Cabela’s 70,000-squarefoot store. That regional store is now being joined by other retail outlets.
“Because of the activity that’s gone on in Abbotsford in the last three years, we’re seeing that a lot of commercial buildings that were vacant are being rented.”
Abbotsford’s commercial and retail sec-
Studies for the city suggest developers are
now likely to be looking to the future, rather than the present, when building commercial. The city centre and the historic downtown both have limited demand for commercial space through to 2020, the studies suggest. But with more people coming to Abbotsford, more people will need places to shop. By 2025,
JOHN MORROW/ABBOTSFORD NEWS
the city centre will need nearly 50,000 square feet more of commercial areas. The historic downtown, meanwhile, will see consistent demand for restaurant and entertainment space. The rest of the commercial sector will start to also require room in about a decade, the study says.
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Construction ramps up Construction across Abbotsford has dramatically ramped up across all sectors. By September of 2017, a total 1,674 housing units were being built in Abbotsford. That’s a 70 per cent jump over September 2016.
The city envisions three-quarters of growth occurring within Abbotsford’s urban development boundary.
JOHN MORROW/ ABBOTSFORD NEWS
Focus on growing within existing neighbourhoods Multi-family and rental-apartment sectors skyrocketing Increasing property values, a new city plan, and significant local and regional demand for housing are having a dramatic impact on where and how Abbotsford residents live. Change, of course, isn’t new to Abbotsford, which has seen near-continuous growth over the last decade. But while there was a point at which most of that development took place on the fringes of the city, as its footprint expanded outwards, now the focus is on growing within existing neighbourhoods. The city’s new Official Community Plan, which was adopted last year, attempts to lay out how Abbotsford will eventually grow into a city of 200,000 people – from its current population of around 140,000. The OCP aims to have three-quarters of those new residents living in existing, more-dense neighbourhoods. That will be accomplished by building more townhouse complexes and apartment buildings, and by encouraging densification in single-family neighbourhoods through in-fill subdivision projects whereby the number of lots in a certain area are increased. As it happens, those goals have come into place at a time when the price of land has skyrocketed. Those price pressures have increased the appeal of relatively more-affordable townhouse and apartment units for residents, which in turn has made multi-family projects more appealing for developers. Even before the housing market took off, Abbotsford was already seeing developers looking to build denser projects.
Those include the Mahogany at Mill Lake 26-storey $80 million highrise, construction on which began last year and continues, with the Central Park Village mixed-use development off of Gladwin Road, the Mill District apartments and townhouses on Ware Street, and La Galleria on Trethewey Street. Those major projects are all underway, with the first phase of La Galleria already complete. When complete, the 272-unit Mahogany tower will be the tallest structure in the city. Across Abb o t s f o r d , home-building is at levels rarely seen before. “We have never been as busy as a city as we are right now,” Mayor Henry Braun says. Apartment buildings are going up in several other places around the city. By the end of the third quarter, the city has 1,266 apartment units considered “instream,” meaning applications have been submitted to the city. That’s more than double the number at the same time last year, and 45 per cent higher than in the third quarter of 2015. Construction has also dramatically ramped up across all sectors. By September of 2017, a total 1,674 housing units were being built in Abbotsford. That’s a 70 per cent jump over September 2016.
And most of that increase is seen in the multi-family and rental-apartment sectors. More than 1,000 of the units were apartment and townhouse strata buildings, more than double the number last year. Meanwhile, 214 purpose-built rental units were actively being built. That figure is important because Abbotsford has one of the tightest rental markets in Canada. The Abbotsf o r d - M i s s i o n ’s rental vacancy rate was just 0.5 per cent in last year’s rental housing report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. That had the city tied with Victoria for the lowest among major Canadian cities. Developers, though, seem to be taking note, and council has approved multiple applications to build rental apartment buildings in 2017. Among them are a three-building complex near the University of the Fraser Valley and a six-storey building on Eleanor Avenue, off of Marshall Road. And some even bigger projects are also likely to come before council in the next year or two. Earlier this year, Sevenoaks Shopping Centre was sold for $214 million. The new owner has said that he plans to keep the mall as is, but will also look to build
Continued on Z10
Rental vacancy rate low The Abbotsford-Mission rental vacancy rate was just 0.5 per cent in last year’s rental housing report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. That had the city tied with Victoria for the lowest among major Canadian cities.
We have never been as busy a city as we are right now.” Mayor Henry Braun
Z10 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Adoption of OCP has had desired effect From Z9 residential housing units on a portion of the property. And in August, the former site of the Clayburn Brick Plant sold for $16 million. The site, which is located immediately to the north of Abbotsford’s historic downtown, could see between 500 and 600 new residential units proposed, according to Mark Neill, the city’s director of development and planning. Neill says that since the OCP has been adopted, it’s having the desired effect on where growth is occurring. “We’re seeing a lot of redevelopment within existing neighbourhoods while we’re still seeing some new growth in areas such as Auguston,” he said. Developers are also starting to offer a larger diversity in the types of units being included in their buildings, Neill says. “I think developers are starting to recognize that multi-family buildings and apartments are going to have to cater towards families and not simply for single individuals,” he says. That means more three-bedroom units in a sector that has previously been dominated by one- and two-bedroom apartments. Not all the action is on the multi-family side of the ledger, though. Single-family homes are still being built in Abbotsford, both in developing neighbourhoods on Sumas Mountain, and in the city core.
Construction cranes have gone up across the city as Abbotsford has seen a spike in the amount of apartment units being built. “The infill is creating smaller compact lots in existing neighbourhoods,” Neill said. “We’re seeing a lot more of those two- and three-lot subdivisions.” The number of single-family homes under construction was up 18 per cent from the previous year, and 207 homes had already been built by September. That’s down from 2016, but still just slightly less than the number of strata apartment units completed.
Another 676 houses are in-stream – dramatically higher than in previous years. Much of the development is driven by house prices in the Lower Mainland. While home values have increased dramatically in Abbotsford over the last two years, they remain well below prices to the city’s west. And the new OCP also promotes the subdivision of single lots and allows for the creation of suites and coach houses in many areas. That,
Braun says, is aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing types. Following the OCP, the city is now moving on to neighbourhood plans for different areas around the city. First up are the UDistrict, Historic Downtown, City Centre and McKee Peak. The last of those will help shape how new developments take place on Sumas Mountain, where as many as 15,000 people may live over the coming decades.
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Most ever approved City planners expect to have approved the construction of more than 530,000 square feet of industrial floor space by the end of 2017. That may be the most the city has ever seen approved for development in a single year.
Siding manufacturer Mayne Coatings intends to build a massive 350,000-sq.-ft. plant on Clearbrook Road.
JOHN MORROW/ ABBOTSFORD NEWS
Finding room for industry biggest challenge for city Our heavyweights are world leaders but fly under the radar Transportation hub Abbotsford’s access to Highway 1 and major rail lines, along with its proximity to the United States and Metro Vancovuer, have helped it become a regional hub for transportation, logistics and warehousing companies.
What we have seen over the last three or four years is a substantive increase in development activity. Since 2014, we have e xc e e d e d the 10-year average year after year.” Mark Neill
Abbotsford’s diverse and growing economy continued to hum in 2017, with established major businesses showing growth and new players setting up shop in the city. The challenge, increasingly, is finding room and employees for industries and businesses eyeing the city for growth. A range of factors have converged to spur industrial growth in Abbotsford in recent years. As land prices have risen in Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs, more and more companies have looked east to create a base for their business or expand. They’re being drawn not only by the proximity to the Vancouver market but by Abbotsford’s own unique assets, including an international airport, proximity to the U.S. border and location on rail and highway major transportation networks. The University of the Fraser Valley and Abbotsford International Airport have further bolstered the region’s case. The aerospace, manufacturing, warehousing, transportation and food processing sectors now each employ thousands of workers in businesses large and small. The airport features some of the city’s largest employers. More than 350 people work at Cascade Aerospace’s YXX aircraft maintenance facility, which is one of two Lockheed-Martin-authorized C-130 Heavy Maintenance Centres in the World. Other major companies include Marshall Aerospace, which bought a large building in 2014 to become the company’s head office, Chinook Helicopters, which offers flight training, and Conair Group, which builds and operates aircraft used to fight forestfires.
Multiple Conair planes were involved in fighting 2017’s devastating wildfires in the B.C. interior. The region is a transportation hub, with companies like Valley Carriers, Vedder Transport, Tri-Link Systems and many others employing dozens of employees locally. Abbotsford’s status as the province’s agriculture capital has long given it an edge in that sector. Major companies like Ritchie Smith Feeds and Saputo operating major plants in Abbotsford and dozens of other operations employ hundreds and help serve the area’s farms. Finally, the m a nu f a c t u r i n g sector continues to grow dramatically and boasts two of the largest industrial developments of 2017. In November, StructureCraft officially opened a new 50,000-square-foot facility on Foy Street that will employ around 100 people and manufacture value-added timber products for the building sector. Meanwhile in 2017, the city approved Mayne Coatings’ plan to build two buildings, including a 350,000-square-foot plant at a new facility on Clearbrook Road. The company manufactures aluminum siding products for commercial and residential buildings. Many of Abbotsford’s industrial heavy-
weights produce goods for foreign customers – often businesses. That, sometimes, means their success escape the notice of Abbotsford residents. “These are world leaders,” Mayor Henry Braun says. “They ship stuff all around the world. But most of the stuff in Abbotsford … flies under the radar.” But Braun says the fact that more and more companies are moving to Abbotsford underscores the appeal of the region as a growing industrial hub. City planners expect to have approved the construction of more than 530,000 square feet of industrial floor space by the end of 2017. That may be the most the city has ever seen approved for development in a single year. And the it comes after years of above-average growth, Mark Neill, the city’s director of building development says. “What we have seen over the last three or four years is a substantive increase in development activity,” Neill says. “Since 2014, we have exceeded the 10-year average year after year.” Most of that new space is for light manufacturing or warehousing and logistics, with the bulk located in industrial lands surrounding the airport.
Continued on Z13
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z13
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Above-average growth From Z12 The demand is such that most of the prime properties removed from the Agricultual Land Reserve for industrial growth a little more than a decade ago have now been built upon. Finding enough land for industries that want to move here is becoming more and more of a challenge, the city says. To address that, the city has asked for the exclusion of around 500 acres of farmland from the Agricultural Land Reserve. The land is in two blocks, one to the north of Abbotsford International Airport, the other on the city’s border with the Township of Langley, just north of Highway 1. The goal, the city has said, is to provide enough room to attract new businesses in
order to provide jobs as Abbotsford continues to grow into a city of 200,000 people.
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Z14 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
YXX continues to attract new airlines More passengers than ever passed through Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) in 2017. General manager Parm Sidhu called it “another great year, another banner year” for the regional hub. By year’s end, he predicted approximately 650,000 people would come and go from the airport, a significant jump from 2016’s 530,000, which itself was a record. The secret to the airport’s success is being able to attract new airlines and passengers with low costs in a rapidly growing region, Sidhu said. “We want to give residents an option,” he said. “We believe we’ve empowered the airlines to offer service out of here and the airlines are hopefully giving people more competitive airline tickets and more destinations as our end goal.” WestJet has been flying to and from YXX for 20 years and continues to grow its service, with daily flights to Calgary and Edmonton, with connections throughout its network from there.
It’s been a busy year for Abbotsford International Airport manager Parm Sidhu. Hamilton, Winnipeg and Edmonton; Canada Jetlines announced this year they would begin flying out of YXX in summer 2018 and Swoop, a WestJet subsidiary, has said it is likely to include Abbotsford in its flight network when it launches next year.
Local company Island Express Air has also continued to be a strong partner, Sidhu said, flying to Vancouver Island.
“Our platform is very competitive and we hope they call Abbotsford home,” Sidhu said.
But the big story this year has been the airport’s ability to attract ultra-low-cost carriers. Flair Airlines now sells cheap seats to
With all these new players and planes at YXX, more space is needed. Sidhu said the $5 million to $6 million project will add
JOHN MORROW/ ABBOTSFORD NEWS
14,000 square feet to the terminal and double its seating capacity, while adding two new gates. The airport is also set to break ground this December on 20,000 square feet of new hangar space, with another 60,000 to follow in 2018. In addition to its role as air travel hub, YXX also hosts the annual Abbotsford International Airshow each August, which now partners with the Aerospace, Defense and
Security Expo. The two pair-up for what Sidhu describes as one of North America’s marquee air show weeks. The airport is also home to several major employers, such as Cascade Conair (aircraft maintenance), Chinook Helicopters (helicopter pilot training), Conair (forest firefighting aircraft), Alpine Aerotech (helicopter maintenance), WestView Aviation (aircraft storage).
District Career Programs Di
GRAD WITH A PLAN
• • • •
Why enrol in a District Career Program while still in High School?
- John Sanei
early admission to post secondary studies one year of tuition free university credit participate in supervised work experience in related career area earn dual credits — courses are reported to both the ministry of education and to the post secondary partner gain marketable job skills and secure real employment upon completion
What District Career Programs are available?
Trades Programs: Automotive Service Technician (UFV), Carpenter - Green Building (Abby Sr.), Dairy Production Tech (UBC), Electrical (UFV), Hair Stylist (Abby Sr.), Heavy Equipment Operator (Yale), Horticulture (Kwantlen), NEW Refrigeration Mechanic/HVAC (JARTS), Pro Cook (UFV), Welding (UFV)
Technology Programs: Applied Business Technology (UFV), Architectural Drafting (UFV) University Transition: Health & Human Services (UFV), Aviation Ground School (Coastal Pacific), NEW Community Support Worker (UFV)
› When to apply? •
Currently accepting grade 10 and 11 applications for the 2018 / 2019 school year
Students and parents are encouraged to find out more about these unique and rewarding programs!
Need more information? Visit careers.abbyschools.ca or call the District Career Programs Office at 604-504-4618 ext 1802
Canadian Home Builders’ Association
“BE THE ARCHITECT OF YOUR FUTURE.”
any student registered in the Abbotsford School District who meets the entrance requirements students can stay registered in their home high schools and still participate in a District Career Program
Who Can Enrol in a District Career Program?
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z15
TODAY’S CHILDREN COULD BE FUTURE EINSTEIN’S!! The Future of Jobs Report (2016) looks at the skills and workforce strategy for preparing the workforce for the 4th Industrial Revolution (including Robotics, Artiﬁcial intelligence, Bio-technology):
Our children need what skills for their future jobs? In 2020 1. Complex Problem Solving 2. Critical Thinking 3. Creativity 4. People Management 5. Coordinating with Others 6. Emotional Intelligence 7. Judgment and Decision Making king 8. Service Orientation 9. Negotiation 10. Cognitive Flexibility
Creativity Emotional Intelligence Cognitive Flexibility
In 2015 1. Complex Problem Solving 2. Coordinating with others 3. People Management 4. Critical Thinking 5. Negotiation 6. Quality Control 7. Service Orientation king 8. Judgment and Decision Making 9. Active Listening 10. Creativity
HOW ARE THESE SKILLS FOSTERED?
RESPONSIVE AND SAFE RELATIONSHIPS
PLAY-BASED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Builds resilience, providing the buffer of protection from developmental disruptions, creating the foundation for sound mental health and stress coping abilities throughout life (Harvard University, 2017)
Play is the most natural way for children to learn and practice new skills, including cooperation, self-conﬁdence, curiosity, imagination, collaboration, and develop language, thinking and emotional skills.
Severe stress has a profound impact on child development. Today’s children and families have stressors which include poverty, community violence, mental illness and parental absence.
RESEARCHED OUTCOMES WHEN INVESTING IN CHILDREN?
Investing in today’s children, creates a better tomorrow for our community! Our community is home to 36,018 children under the age of 19 (13.5%) 17,338 children under 10 years (12.6% of population) 16.8% of children under 6 years of age live in low income households
Abbotsford Early Years Centre 33355 Bevan Ave., Abbotsford BC V2S 0E7 778-880-8554 • www.abbyearlyyears.com
Z16 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Compassionate care provided for all ages Campus of Care brings together three health-care partners One of the nation’s most innovative health projects brings together three dynamic health-care partners on one site.
families. It is named for David Holmberg Jr., who passed away in March 2011 at the age of 48.
The Dave Lede Campus of Care – named for the project’s biggest donor – is located on Marshall Road adjacent to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
Holmberg House has 10 resident suites, and the building also accommodates grief support groups, volunteer training, education seminars, and one-on-one support. For more information, visit abbotsfordhospice.org.
It includes Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, the Abbotsford Hospice Society’s Holmberg House, and Matthew’s House, a respite home for kids with complex healthcare needs.
Matthew’s House, a program of Communitas Supportive Care Society, opened in November 2013. The 4,000-sq.ft. state-ofthe-art residence provides a home away from home for up to five kids at a time who have complex physical needs.
The City of Abbotsford contributed the land, and all three facilities conducted extensive fundraising campaigns for capital and operating costs.
Medical necessities such as overhead tracking systems for transferring and full wheelchair accessibility are complemented by a multi-sensory playroom and an outdoor playground. Overnight guest suites allow family members to remain close while taking a step back to rest.
Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, which also has a location in Vancouver, completed construction in December 2013 and began offering community-centred services in spring 2014. The 20,000-sq.ft. $13-million facility, when fully implemented, will include nine beds for children under the age of 19 who have life-threatening illnesses, as well as five family suites. The facility provides specialized pediatric palliative care and support for families, backed by a diverse group of health-care professionals, support staff and volunteers.
Matthew’s House in Abbotsford is among the three facilities making up the Campus of Care. An individual program is designed for each child to best meet the needs of the family. Services include 24/7 doctor and nursing support; end-of-life care; pain and symptom management; respite care; school, music and play therapy; counselling services; and more. For information, visit
Unlike the plumbers I know, electricians rarely get emergency calls. Our equivalent of a flood in the basement is a fire in the attic . . . and you don’t call us for that. You call 911. So you’re probably not reading this because you’ve got an electrical emergency. Instead, you have an electrical problem like one of these... 3. “I have a breaker that doesn’t stay reset.”
1.“My good friend (or husband) tried to do it.”
My apologies to the guys reading this, but it’s true. A big part of our business is finishing up the electrical projects you start... from outlets to ceiling fans. And that’s okay, although it would be easier and probably cheaper if you’d call us first. We have the tools, experience and know-how to do the job right, start to finish. Call us for proven professional electrical expertise. 2. “I need a ceiling fan or chandelier installed.”
4. “I’ve got an ugly internet or cable TV wiring stapled to my baseboards.”
Let us do the job right. Snaking wire through walls is an art, a science, a skill... and our specialty. It’s also something few electricians, cable companies or internet providers like to do. But you’re in luck when you call us. We’re World Champions at snaking wire without knocking holes in your walls. 5. “Smells like something’s burning.”
We install lighting fixtures, fans, outlets, dimmers and more. Our work is guaranteed to meet city codes, and we use only copper wiring (no aluminum). Want to know why we use only copper wiring? Call us.
If your breaker keeps tripping, you don’t have the equivalent of a flooded basement, yet. But, you do have a potentially dangerous problem involving the electrical circuits in your home. Don’t ignore it. Call us!
Overheated appliances and electrical circuits are a problem you don’t want to ignore. A call to us now could save you a call to 911 later. 6. “We’ve got a ‘mystery switch’.”
We love getting this call. If you’ve got a switch that you’ve never been able to link to an outlet or circuit, call us to solve the mystery.
The home is funded completely through the generous support of individuals and community.
canuckplace.org. The Abbotsford Hospice Society (AHS) opened the 30,000-sq.-ft. Holmberg House in 2016, providing a home-like facility that offers programs and services to people 19 years and older who are dying, and to their
Matthew’s House is named in memory of Matthew Froese, who had severe disabilities and died in August 2010 at the age of nine. For more information, visit mattshouse.ca.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z17
<< Diverse. Dynamic. Connected. >> WITH A BOOMING ECONOMY, A YOUNG AND DIVERSE POPULATION, AND AN ABUNDANCE OF BUSINESS RESOURCES, ABBOTSFORD IS A CITY OF OPPORTUNITY.
Z18 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Abbotsford: A Place of Opportunity From creating ground-breaking tools for businesses, collecting the latest data on what Abbotsford businesses need to succeed, and to planning for an Abbotsford where businesses and residents can thrive, the City of Abbotsford is designing opportunities for investing in the city. Here's a snapshot of our current work to build a vibrant economy in Abbotsford.
GIS Website Relaunch
3rd Annual Abby Business Walks
City of Abbotsford Economic Development (CAED) was the ﬁrst in Canada to launch a GIS (Geographic Information System) microsite, and has recently updated the site to include more cutting-edge tools to help businesses obtain key information, so they can open or expand in Abbotsford.
For the third year in a row, the Abby Business Walks program allowed the City to gather vital information from the business community to identify the types of support services needed for business growth. This information is a high level ‘temperature test’ for businesses in Abbotsford and its purpose is to connect support agencies to business, share key challenges and opportunities with local decision makers, and identify the businesses requiring more comprehensive follow up from CAED’s Business Retention and Expansion Program.
The new features that have been added include: • A Data Resource Portal, with a wide array of data tools • Community Profile Infographics, which include illustrations of key data, sharable to social media • Statistical Data, including demographic, labour force and consumer spending information for our community • Business Data, including the ability to explore industry clusters, ﬁnd major employers, and information on competitors or customers • Compare Communities, a tool to compare data on Abbotsford with cities across Canada • Smart Mapping, featuring demographic variables and GIS data related to growing or expanding business in Abbotsford • Sites & Buildings, searchable MLS listings for all available industrial and commercial sites and buildings in Abbotsford • A Mobile friendly environment for use on smart devices The GIS Microsite can be viewed at abbotsfordsitefinder.ca.
of Abbotsford Businesses indicated ‘Steady’ or ’Increasing’ business growth
of businesses seek support with Hiring/HR and are challenged with ﬁnding skilled workers
MESSAGE FROM MAYOR HENRY BRAUN "Abbotsford’s growing manufacturing sector is both diverse and s, innovative, with companies that are trail blazers in their fields, from product development to manufacturing technology. Not only do they provide specialized products and services across North America and the globe, they are growing our local economy, hiring skilled workers and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in our city. A strong cluster of businesses in this sector gives our businesses a competitive edge and builds Abbotsford as the Hub of the Fraser Valley."
HUB OF THE FRASER VALLEY
of businesses rate ‘Location’ as #1 reason for doing business in Abbotsford
OVER 70 BUSINESSES have been identiﬁed for follow up support
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z19
Be a Part of the Story Business Planning Guideline
Fraser Valley Mega Job Fair 2018
As an outcome from last year’s Abby Business Walks event, the business community expressed a desire for more information on business planning resources. As a result, CAED put together a step by step Business Planning toolkit to help encourage growth and business development. This free business plan template helps our local entrepreneurs deﬁne their purpose and strengthen their marketing and operating plans. A translated j version in Punjabi will also be available.
CAED has collaborated with Abbotsford Works to organize a mega job fair and business exposition for Spring 2018. This event is targeted to job seekers and employers from all sectors across the Lower Mainland. As a growing number of local businesses express the need for support in hiring, this initiative is intended to put Abbotsford on the map for job seekers across all sectors. More information will be available in early 2018.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
COMMUNITY OMMUNIT SPECIAL EVENTS
In 2017, Abbotsford had 41 film productions and 110 ﬁlm days with approximately
160 outdoor events supported by City staff over 303 days with an estimated economic impact of
invested in our community.
Taste of Abbotsford Week The City organized the second annual Taste of Abbotsford Week, which took place from May 28 to June 3, with the purpose of supporting growth in the agricultural sector, showcasing production in our community, and promoting local businesses. The week-long event also featured a community chef’s competition, which involved four of Abbotsford’s restaurant chefs and an all-star panel of expert judges, including restaurateur, author and tv personality Chef Vikram Vij. Chef Nick Vacchiano of Lepp Farm Market and Sous Chef Amisa Joy took home the title of “Taste of Abby Top Chef 2017."
DID YOU KNOW?... CAED won a 2017 Economic Developers Association of Canada Marketing Award for “AG Tech Video - Promotionall Video" and a 2017 UBCM Community Excellence Award honourable mention in Leadership hip and Innovation for the "Think Local, Think Abby," Taste of Abbotsford Week.
Translation Initiative for International Markets CAED has undertaken the initiative of translating key documents into Punjabi and Chinese to attract investment from international markets, and they are now available on the CAED website. The CAED Marketing ToolKit business plan is also currently being translated into these languages and will become available online by the end of 2017. In addition, the CAED team initiated an outreach campaign to key Canadian associations, Federal Trade Commissioners and Provincial representatives in crucial markets to push out the translated materials for their use.
Why is manufacturing so vital to our economy? Manufacturing is a signiﬁcant part of the economy in British Columbia, making the largest economic footprint among all sectors with the contribution of 400,000 jobs and 12,000 ﬁrms. Of these manufacturers, 77% are small and medium sized enterprises, businesses that are also at the heart of Abbotsford's economic success.
work in manufacturing in Abbotsford
REPRESENTING 6.18% of the total working population.
is one of the four key sectors in Abbotsford, along with Aviation and Aerospace, Film, Television & Events, and Agriculture.
In BC, manufacturing g represents
$8.6 BILLION N IN WAGES
at levels 15% higher er age than the overall average es wage for all industries.
Z20 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Plan200k: A Vision for How Abbotsford will Grow In 2016 Council adopted ‘Abbotsforward,’ the Ofﬁcial Community Plan that brought together wide-reaching community engagement with thousands of residents alongside sound ﬁnancial analysis to map out Abbotsford as the Hub of the Fraser Valley. Creating the Hub of the Fraser Valley
Plan200k in Action
Abbotsforward focused on 7 big ideas, addressing everything from creating a vibrant city centre, establishing distinct neighbourhoods, making walking, cycling & transit delightful, and designing places for people. Today the City of Abbotsford is planning for a population of 200,000 residents — an increase of approximately 60,000 new people. Consequently ‘Plan for 200K’ was created. It is a broad-based initiative to turn the progressive ideas from the Ofﬁcial Community Plan into reality.
The Ofﬁcial Community Plan is coming to life in the form of 18 major projects, plans and studies out of almost every department at the City of Abbotsford. Plan for 200K is about transforming our City by collaboratively building the Hub of the Fraser Valley in partnership with First Nations, other levels of government, businesses, and citizens. 200,000 residents within the City of Abbotsford will require the building of new infrastructure, providing additional amenities, and developing new strategies to improve residents' lives. It’s a rare opportunity to watch such transformational change take place in a City. Abbotsford is building the future and invites you to be a part of it.
Visit abbotsford.ca/ plan200k to help shape the future of Abbotsford.
PLAN 200K SURVEYS: NOVEMBER 20 – DECEMBER 22
TAKE OUR SURVEYS, AND HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE OF ABBOTSFORD!
QUALITY OF LIFE
WIN a $500 Visa Gift Card! Be entered to win 1 of 2 $500 Visa Gift Cards with each survey you complete! Complete all 3 surveys before Dec. 22, and triple your chances of winning!
We want to hear from you!
abbotsford.ca/plan200ksurvey @City_Abbotsford @AbbotsfordEcDev
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z21
Abbotsford Hospital meeting our needs ARH builds community resources A growing, vibrant community requires robust community health-care services and a state-of-the-art health care facility to meet the needs of its residents. Fraser Health, through the Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) and Cancer Centre and Abbotsford community health services, serves 150,000 Abbotsford residents and 330,000 people from surrounding communities. Abbotsford residents are generally healthy people. In a survey conducted by Fraser Health, almost half of local citizens surveyed view their general health as excellent or very good and more than 60 per cent feel their mental health is good or very good. However, when these healthy people get sick, Fraser Health wants to ensure that the hospital and beds within it are available to them. People want to remain at home in their
communities surrounded by their friends and family as long as possible. That’s why Fraser Health is investing and building better community health resources, including home health, residential care, mental health and substance use services. By building community health resources, Fraser Health can help support seniors to stay active and healthy in the community. In Abbotsford, Fraser Health is partnering with family doctors and community organizations to provide care to patients through a team-based approach. What this means is that a team made up of nurses, therapists, a social worker, a pharmacist, a dementia clinician and others share the care for a senior and work together so that the senior doesn’t need to access different health workers who may
Continued on Z23
We and support support We help help people who are dying and individuals and and families familes who individuals who are are grieving grieving the the loss loss of of a loved one. Holmberg House, Abbotsford’s first adult hospice residence for people 19 years and older is open and welcoming. We offer palliative care to help you heal and strengthen as you face a terminal illness or the death of a loved one. We also provide complimentary grief therapies (one-to-one or in groups) for adults, teens, and children who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
For Donor Opportunities please call 604-852-2456 32780 Marshall Road, Abbotsford, BC V2S 1J7 email@example.com www.AbbotsfordHospice.org
GIVE THE GIFT
Your Y our gift to Matthew’s House helps families they fam milies get the quality care th h ey need! Find Find out out more moree a nd give give at: t and
Z22 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
WE SELL AND INSTALL TIRES EVERY DAY AND HAVE ACCESS TO ALL MAJOR BRANDS. You can rely on our nine branded service dealerships (over 85 service bays) to get you safely on the road!
Donâ€™t forget, we also are your best source for maintaining & analyzing the performance and drivability for your peace of mind and safety. Our Factory Trained Technicians are in communication first-hand with manufacturers and have the availability of OEM parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer) which protects your investment!
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Up-to-date equipment combined with the experience you rely on, are all right here.
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Recruitment crucial From Z21 not be connected to each other. Fraser Health also has a rapid response service for frail seniors in Abbotsford. This team of nurses provides support to seniors who have care needs that require a sameday response and cannot get in to see their family physician. These are often seniors who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart failure, which often lead them to having multiple hospital visits a year. Fraser Health is seeing tremendous results with this service, as 90 per cent of seniors who receive a visit from one of these nurses avoid an emergency department visit. While providing better community-based health care can help avoid a trip to the emergency department, Abbotsford is growing and patient volumes are increasing and, therefore, the hospital must also grow. That’s why Fraser Health is expanding the emergency department, a $15 million project that will add a dedicated area for mental health and substance use care as well as improve patient flow and care. This will improve space for trauma and cardiac care, enhance the functionality of the registration and triage area, build dedicated stretcher bays for patients, and create a nursing station to manage ambulance offloads. The hospital replaced the 55-year-old MSA
Hospital in 2008 and became the first integrated hospital and cancer centre in Canada. In 2018, the hospital will celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z23
EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE. YESTERDAY, TODAY & TOMORROW
At approximately 660,000 square feet with 300 beds, ARH includes critical care, cardiac care and general surgery. It also provides moms and babies with specialized obstetrics, a special care nursery area and pediatric services. Other hospital services include general medicine, nuclear medicine, renal dialysis and MRI services. The hospital provides regional psychiatry in- and out-patient care and other specialized services.
Ross & Jake Siemens
Expanding space also means increasing the number of staff and physicians who work there. Since December 2008, the nursing staff at the hospital has increased by 26.5 per cent from 830 to 1,050. Most recently, additional hospital physicians have joined the team to provide general medical care for patients in hospital who do not have a family physician to provide care while they are in hospital.
• Free customer delivery and pick up
& Family Owned 54 9 1 Operated since
Fraser Health continues to recruit nurses, doctors and support staff to assist patients and their families. In fact, Fraser Health is the biggest employer in the community. In Abbotsford alone, Fraser Health employs more than 2,800 people, and more than half of those people call Abbotsford home.
• Full service gas pumps 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday (fuel supplied by United Petroleum) • 5 automotive service bays • Oil Changes • Full maintenance program • Provincial Inspection Facility • Brake Service • Tune-ups • The latest technology in diagnostic equipment • Air conditioning service and repair • Vehicle washing and detailing
HOURS: 8AM – 6PM
33839 Essendene Ave. Historic Downtown Abbotsford
604-853-2352 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Z24 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Where the jobs are One in nine workers in the Abbotsford-Mission area – around 11,000 people in total – are directly employed in the manufacturing sector, according to the Conference Board of Canada.
The city worked with StructureCraft for a number of years before bringing them to town.
JOHN MORROW/ABBOTSFORD NEWS
Manufacturing sector a massive economic driver Abbotsford’s manufacturing sector is a fast-growing giant, employing thousands of people and producing goods used by people around the world.
Aerospace dominates The aerospace industry has long been the largest and most-prominent manufacturing sector in the central Fraser Valley and that continues, with Cascade Aerospace the largest single employer and hundreds more people employed in businesses at Abbotsford International Airport.
The quality of the people they’re hiring is uppermost in people’s minds. We have a great reputation for hard-working people.”
From high-tech tools to value-added housing and wood supplies to agricultural innovations, Abbotsford businesses make and distribute a wide range of goods demanded by consumers and businesses. It’s also one of the region’s most robust sectors, having seen five years of what the Conference Board of Canada has called “remarkable growth.”
and the world. The region boasts several greenhouse manufacturers, along with other niche builders of supplies and equipment for farmers. Abbotsford’s manufacturing depth goes far beyond any sector, though. While Henry Ford popularized assembly lines and mega-plants, Abbotsford businesspeople have found success in smaller operations and niche manufacturing. The city boasts many metal and steel fabricators, machinists, wood workers and furniture builders.
force, and its ideal location has protected it. “We don’t have humungous industries,” Braun says. “If you are relying on one or two industries. It’s great when they’re there, but if they ever leave, it decimates your economy.” Braun says the strength of the city’s workforce has been key to the sector’s continued growth. “The future is in knowledge-based industry; It isn’t steel mills,” he says. “The quality of the people they’re hiring is uppermost in people’s minds. We have a great reputation for hard-working people.”
But despite being one of Abbotsford’s key economic drivers, the impact and scale of the manufacturing industry can get overlooked. That’s largely due to the diversity of the sector.
Other companies have found their spot catering to customers in competitive, but highly-specific product classes.
“On the technology front, Canada and the U.S. and some other countries are on the forefront and we need to stay on the forefront and that starts in the education system.”
Unlike some struggling cities and regions, Abbotsford’s manufacturing industry isn’t dependent on a single sector or company.
From fire engines to pneumatic wrenches, local manufacturers have turned specialized knowledge into business success.
Abbotsford’s location and growing list of amenities have also helped attract new manufacturers to the area.
The aerospace industry has long been the largest and most-prominent manufacturing sector in the central Fraser Valley and that continues, with Cascade Aerospace the largest single employer and hundreds more people employed in businesses at Abbotsford International Airport.
So while the public may not hear much about many of the city’s manufacturers, together they are a formidable economic engine.
In addition to being its own manufacturing hub, Braun said Abbotsford International Airport is a key draw for those considering setting up shop in the area and who do business with clients around the world.
But the region are also boasts its share of manufacturers across a range of other product classes. Those include – but are hardly limited to – construction materials and agriculture supplies.
Henry Braun From siding to doors to windows to flooring, many local businesses make products destined for use in the North American construction and home-building industry. And Abbotsford doesn’t just grow much of British Columbia’s food; it also makes products to help farmers here and across Canada
One in nine workers in the Abbotsford-Mission area – around 11,000 people in total – are directly employed in the manufacturing sector, according to the Conference Board of Canada. That’s a number that has grown significantly over the past five years, with a “robust” annual growth rate of five per cent since 2012. Those numbers are expected to slow a bit, but only to what the Conference Board says is a “more sustainable” level of between two and 2.5 per cent annually. While areas of southwest Ontario and the eastern United States have been grappling with decades of sustained manufacturing decline, Mayor Henry Braun says Abbotsford’s industrial diversity, the strength of its work-
“They can fly into the airport and they’re at their business in 10 minutes,” he says. And when it comes to recruiting workers, or bringing employees to a new town, Abbotsford’s university, hospital and location near Vancouver are all assets. “People when they move here, they want to know are there parks and recreation facilities, [they ask’ ‘What can our employees do here?,’ they want to know if there’s a university,” Braun says. “We have a first class hospital and cancer centre. These are all positive attributes that employers, when they’re looking from far away, want to make sure of.”
Manufacturing foundations often made at UFV
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Z25
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Prepares students in variety of disciplines As the manufacturing industry continues to be a huge economic driver around Abbotsford, much of the heavy lifting is handled by University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) alumni. A wide selection of training is available through UFV’s Trades and Technology Centre (TTC) based on the Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park, and through UFV’s Continuing Education centred on the Clearbrook campus, near Clearbrook Library. As manufacturing careers dovetail with the work of certified tradespeople, UFV graduates from different disciplines often find themselves working for the same company, or at least on the same job site. Of particular value to the manufacturing industry are traditional skills such as welding
and fabrication. There are endless projects using metals as a main construction component. The ability to design and build are critical not only to the manufacturing process, but also to the tools and equipment used in the manufacturing lines. Cranes and moving equipment, work stations and tools are all pieces that require the metal skills that can be learned in UFV’s 34-week welding program. This program provides the welding processes for a variety of materials and the assembly skills in the fabrication component. Welding simulators are used to enhance and develop the handsteady skills necessary for good craftsmanship. Current manufacturing methods are requiring
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Trades training also appeals to a variety of personalities. For example, Faculty of Applied and Technical Studies associate dean Rolf Arnold points to the Aircraft Structures Technician program, situated near the Abbotsford International Airport.
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As manufacturing moves more and more into automated systems and current technologies, knowledge and skills around using tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters are needed, and training is available at UFV’s TTC.
“One of the things that intrigues me is the number of skills they gain here,” Arnold said during a recent open house at UFV’s Aerospace Centre, which houses the program, along with Paul Brodie’s bike-building classes.
“It’s no more challenging than any other trade, but the big advantage is most everything is done indoors. It’s a nice, clean, warm option compared to other trades,” Arnold said.
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The primary components in this program are centered around working with metal, particularly aluminum. Most airplanes still use sheet aluminum and rivets for their construction.
The students also learn to use full woodworking shop equipment, and there is a substantial component working with composite materials. While this program is approved by Transport Canada and is designed to repair aircraft, the skills have provided students with countless jobs that are not aircraft-related. Following the program’s completion, students work in their field for 25 months before writing a Canadian Aviation Regulations exam. If successful, they’ll finally and officially be Maintenance Engineers S-class (structure). If you’re meticulous and like doing things right, this program will really interest you,” said head instructor Wally Gallinger. “You have to be precise; the industry often appeals to perfectionists with a keen attention to detail.” Others might be more interested in the Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing program. The 34-week program boasts new equipment that includes a pro-quality paint booth and English wheel (for creating compound curves). There is also a powder-coating system and a paint spray simulator that provides excellent learning and practice opportunities. Other trades and technology programs at UFV include: agriculture and horticulture, carpentry, culinary arts, electrician, plumbing and piping and more.
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Scarcity of industrial land a problem City pins hopes on proposal currently before Agriculture Land Commission The strong growth of Abbotsford’s manufacturing industry comes as the region’s supply of land available for new and growing businesses has been fast diminishing. In recent years, Abbotsford has seen businesses move east from Metro Vancouver in search of land to build on. Yet all that growth has quickly depleted the region’s own supply of industrial land, a report from earlier this year suggests. To fix that problem, the city has landed on a solution, but it’s not without controversy. The issue As part of its recently adopted Official Community Plan, the City of Abbotsford commissioned a study looking into whether there was enough local industrial land to provide jobs for a city of 200,000. The answer was a firm no, with consultants for the city finding that Abbotsford had only between eight and 14 years of remaining supply of developable industrial land. Also worrying was the finding that much of the remaining land had significant barriers to development, including small sizes and limited access or exposure. Much of the available land was excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) about a decade ago Finding land for larger, regional industries is more difficult, the study found. And the city already doesn’t have the land
capacity to satisfy all the demand for big sites close to major transportation corridors, it says. “There’s been a lot of industrial land, especially in Vancouver, that used to be industrial and has been rezoned to residential and mixed-use,” Mayor Henry Braun says. “There’s a scarcity of industrial land. That ripple effect is coming further out and further out and we’re at the leading edge of that now.” The solution The City of Abbotsford, though, believes it has found the answer to the lack of industrial land. This summer, council voted to apply to exclude around 500 acres of land in two blocks from the ALR. One of the blocks is located to the north of Abbotsford International Airport and south of lands previously excluded from the ALR. The other block is located on Abbotsford’s border with the Township of Langley, just north of Highway 1 and immediately adjacent to the Gloucester Estates industrial park. The city says the exclusion of the lands will provide room for years of industrial growth and provide jobs for Abbotsford’s growing population over the coming decades. “There are employers who want to come here, but we don’t have the land to accom-
modate them,” Braun says. “The demand is there right now. We have lost a number of businesses already.”
dependent body that will have the final say over how much, if any, of the land eyed by the city can be excluded from the ALR land. For the city’s plan to gain approval, it must convince the ALC that its proposal won’t hurt agriculture in the city, and that it will sufficiently protect the environment.
The opposition At a public hearing this summer, many residents spoke against the plan, saying the city shouldn’t be allowing farmland to be converted for non-agricultural purposes.
Since the mid2000s, the city has required developers contribute $20,000 for each acre of former ALR land they seek to rezone.
Residents of Bradner worried about traffic and the development’s effects on their area of town, while others said the city should take a firm stance on the protection of farmland in the ALR. Only one councillor, Patricia Ross, voted against the proposal, saying she wasn’t convinced that industrial land is, actually, needed to provide jobs over the coming two decades The big decision The proposal has now been submitted to the Agricultural Land Commission, the in-
If the city’s application isn’t approved, and Abbotsford essentially runs out of industrial land, Braun says that will have consequences for where and how people work in the city. “The densification on the residential side will continue because people want to live here,” he says. “This is a desirable place to live. But what’s going to happen is they’ll have to get in their cars and go down the freeway.”
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Whole lot of milk In 2015, 103 producers in Abbotsford shipped around 22 per cent of all the milk produced in B.C. The census of agriculture counted 35,562 cows in 2016, up from 28,694 in 2011.
Agriculture is the largest private sector industry in Abbotsford.
JOHN MORROW/ABBOTSFORD NEWS
From small-scale to large, our farm roots run deep Sector provides an economic buffer during tough times Abbotsford may be urbanizing quickly, but the “city in the country” claim to be the B.C.’s agriculture capital remains undiminished and, in many ways, stronger than ever. Farming has always been a key part of the Fraser Valley economy, with the region producing the majority of B.C.’s dairy products, berries, vegetables, poultry, eggs, pork, mushrooms, flowers and nursery products. At the centre of much of that output is Abbotsford, which boasts some of the best soil in all of Canada. Farming in Abbotsford ranges from small operations to large-scale intensive crop and livestock facilities. The city is the largest municipality, by size, in British Columbia, and three-quarters of that land base is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, where non-farm uses are largely prohibited. The 2011 Census of Agriculture pegged annual gross farm receipts at $640 million for Abbotsford. This year, new census figures showed that the agriculture sector had increased substantially. In just five years, farm gate receipts rose 33 per cent to $853 million.
industry in the city, directly and indirectly employing an estimated 20 per cent of Abbotsford’s workers. The city is also a hub for food processors and other businesses that support agriculture producers. In fact, farms from other communities supply about 40 per cent of the work for local agri-businesses. And because people always need to eat, the sector has provided an economic buffer for the city in lean times. “To get through the humps and valleys, agriculture has been a significant part of our economy, and will continue to be so,” Mayor Henry Braun says. “When there’s a downturn in the economy…Abbotsford has not been as negatively affected as some others have and I see that for the foreseeable future.”
A total of 103 farms boasted more than $2 million in receipts, up from 63 five years earlier.
More than half of all farmland in Abbotsford is used to support livestock, either through pasture use or to grow crops destined to feed poultry, dairy or other animals.
And while agriculture is an age-old occupation dating back millennia, Abbotsford farmers are increasingly using technology to boost production.
Abbotsford supplies more than one-third of all British Columbia’s chickens, and more than half of all B.C.-grown eggs eaten in the province.
Agriculture is the largest private-sector
The 2016 census of agriculture counted
nearly 10 million hens and chickens on 349 farms. As of the previous year, a total of 129 producers turned out 34 per cent of all B.C.’s broilers for chicken meat, 66 egg producers moved 55 per cent of the provincial total, and 23 turkey growers brought half of all B.C. birds to market. Abbotsford also boasts multiple processing plants for poultry products, along with support services such as hauling and cleaning. The city is home to a range of organizations that support growers and it is estimated that the poultry business makes up more than 40 per cent of the total agricultural job market. Dairy The dairy industry is also a key economic generator in Abbotsford’s agricultural production, with the city accounting for more than one-fifth of the province’s milk production. In 2015, 103 producers in Abbotsford shipped around 22 per cent of all the milk produced in B.C. The census of agriculture counted 35,562 cows in 2016, up from 28,694 in 2011.
Farm receipts growing The 2011 Census of Agriculture pegged gross annual gross farm receipts at $640 million for Abbotsford. This year, new census figures showed that the agriculture sector had increased substantially. In just five years, farm gate receipts rose 33 per cent to $853 million.
“A dairy farm that had 50, maybe 100, cows was considered huge when I was a kid. We have some dairy farms in the valley now that have 2,000 cows.” Henry Braun
Continued on Z30
Z30 Wednesday, November 29, 2017
1966 - 2017
Farm sizes growing From Z29 The size of farms is also growing. “A dairy farm that had 50, maybe 100, cows was considered huge when I was a kid,” Braun says. “We have some dairy farms in the valley now that have 2,000 cows.”
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More than 200 acres were devoted to cranberry production.
They are part of a strong Fraser Valley milk business. The province as a whole has about 70,000 cows that produce almost 700 million litres of milk, and the Fraser Valley produces approximately three-quarters of that.
Matsqui Prairie is the focus of most blueberry growing in Abbotsford, while the hillier areas to the south and east of Abbotsford International Airport saw most raspberry production. Other fruits grown in Abbotsford include grapes, which are used in local wine production, and kiwi fruit.
The industry also supports a range of support services. Dairy production dominates in the southern portion of Sumas Prairie and in parts of Matsqui Prairie. The city also boasts more than 100 beef operations, most located in the Mount Lehman area. Berries Berry-growing accounts for the bulk of the non-livestock agriculture in Abbotsford, with around 28 per cent of all the city’s farmland devoted to the succulent crops.
Between 2004 and 2012, berry, vine and vegetable production increased by more than 30 per cent. Most of that growth has been seen in blueberries, thanks to advances in crop production systems and high demand from outside of Canada. That is expected to continue, as the federal government signed a deal in 2015 to allow blueberries to be exported to China.
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According to a recent land-use inventory, Abbotsford had 1,282 berry farms. They devoted a total of 7,193 acres to blueberry production and 2,851 acres to raspberry production.
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Greenhouses booming From Z30 On the grow Abbotsford’s relatively mild climate has given farmers an opportunity to grow a rich variety of crops, while growers continue to use new technology to increase their production. There are significant quantities of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and sweet corn. Heppell’s Potato Corp. plants 650 acres of potatoes on Sumas Prairie. Almost half of the province’s mushroom crop is grown in Abbotsford, with 106,000 square metres in production here.
Between 2004 and 2012, the land occupied by greenhouses in Abbotsford nearly doubled. Several local companies have been experimenting and/or using vertical farming technology in greenhouses. That technology allows for greenhouse crops to be grown on multiple levels. In greenhouses and on traditional farms, production will continue to rise, Braun says. “They’re getting much more production out of the same square footage. They have to because farmland has increased.”
But farmers are also always on the lookout for other crops that may thrive in the area. Recent years have seen producers successfully move beyond the local staples and succeed with kiwi and rice plantations, while the hop industry – once a staple of the region – has been reborn. There has also been a recent boom in the greenhouse industry, producing cucumbers and peppers. Greenhouses contain about 700,000 square metres of growing space in Abbotsford, which represents about 13 per cent of B.C.’s greenhouses.
Few crops in Abbotsford share the eye-catching beauty of its famous daffodils. The Bradner area has a rich heritage in the bulb-growing industry. Abbotsford’s daffodils alone are estimated at being worth $3.5 million per year, and the total bulb industry a blooming $6.5 million. And agri-tourism continues to grow, with a growing number of farms offering visitors a closer look at farm life. A newcomer to the scene has been the Abbotsford Tulip Festival, which has drawn thousands of visitors to its North Parallel Road fields the past two springs.
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An inside look at manufacturing Manufacturing has the biggest economic footprint of any industry in the province, and that footprint continues to extend to Abbotsford.
and large-scale manufacturing companies. Dynamic Windows and Doors, Phantom Screens and HUB Fire Engines are three of the more established local groups.
According to the Conference Board of Canada’s most recent report, the manufacturing industry in the Abbotsford-Mission region has averaged growth of 6.2 per cent over the past five years. Last year alone saw the local industry expand by nine per cent, which was the largest gain in the region since 2000.
More recently, Abbotsford has managed to bring StructureCraft and Mayne Coatings to the local market. Dupley said the two stories behind attracting the important companies are as different as the products they manufacture “We worked with StructureCraft for a number of years and it all began when their president Gerry Epp called a number of municipalities looking for a new home,” she said. “He had been wanting to get out of his previous location because it wasn’t that accessible to the highway and was very specific about what he wanted.”
For Wendy Dupley of the City of Abbotsford’s economic development (CAED) department, niche manufacturing has been a key sector that she and her team have focused on building. “It’s one of our priority sectors,” she said, noting that agriculture, aerospace and film are the others. “We’ve identified manufacturing as one of the sectors that makes the most sense to grow and develop economically in Abbotsford for now and into the future.” Dupley said there are challenges and benefits for companies to base their operations in Abbotsford. “The reason why we refer to our industry out here as niche manufacturing is that it can be really hard for any company in Canada to be globally competitive in the mass manufacturing arena,” she said. “Most of the mass manufacturing goes to countries where operating costs are significantly less. It can be hard to compete in B.C., especially
Dupley said it took about a year and a half, but they worked with Epp and found a new home for the company, which opened its doors recently.
HUB Fire Engines has been building some of the best custom fire apparatus in Canada since 1959. JOHN MORROW/ABBOTSFORD NEWS
with the price of land being so high, so most of the successful companies out here are niche sectors.” She said Abbotsford offers a number of advantages for companies. “Abbotsford is a prime location because
we sit on the U.S. border and are also in the gateway to Asia here in Western Canada,” she said. “They also get access to the provinces further east of us and the entire Lower Mainland.”
“It’s about getting to understand what the company is looking for and helping make their vision a reality,” she said. “It’s a significant investment on the company’s behalf to move and a certain amount of risk. Attracting manufacturing companies is the same real criteria as attracting other major companies. It’s really about location, affordability and availability of labour – it all has to make sense of them and us.”
And don’t confuse “niche” with “small.” Abbotsford boasts a number of medium-
Continued on Z33
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Looking for long-term term and becomes a positive member of the community.
From Z32 Mayne Coatings came to Abbotsford after a number of years in Langley and, unlike StructureCraft, the turnaround was a lot faster. “They’re building a 300,000-square-foot facility on Clearbook and they basically outgrew what they had in Langley,” Dupley said.
“We always look for a business to come here for the long term and be a sustainable part of the community,” she said. “Often in the U.S., incentives are given to companies and they move for the incentives and, when those expire, they move somewhere else, which isn’t good for the community.” She said CAED is constantly in dialogue with manufacturing companies of all shapes and sizes.
“It was a timing thing and it all came together fast because that Clearbrook piece of land was probably the last big piece of ready-to-go land in the community. (There) weren’t many pieces of land in the community that could have housed that size of facility. It’s been vacant since it came out of the ALR, I think, and at the time Mayne Coatings made an offer, we had two other companies looking at that land. The industrial land supply in the Lower Mainland is so tight, so pieces like that have a high demand.”
“New inquiries are ongoing and it feeds into a pipeline and we always keep in touch,” she said. “There are so many different companies, we have a very diverse manufacturing sector here in Abbotsford – probably one of the most diverse in Canada.”
In addition to the capital, jobs and opportunities that manufacturing companies can bring, Dupley said she and her team want to make sure the company stays long
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Dupley said she’s positive about the future of the sector in Abbotsford, noting how many successful companies are based in the community. She hinted at several new and exciting companies that could be arriving in the coming years, including potentially an electric car manufacturing company.
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A vibrant and diversified arts community Venues across city provide music, art, theatre and so much more With Abbotsford’s high-calibre music and art venues, the long list of local, national and international talents that have performed in the city just keeps getting longer.
Arts Centre and the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, which have showcased community theatre and concerts for years. Fraser Valley Stage, a non-profit theatre group with a membership of more than 60 performers, has been presenting musical theatre for almost four decades.
As the Abbotsford Centre continues to grow its reputation as a first-class facility, more big-name acts are adding this city to their concert tour schedule.
Another local theatrical group, Gallery 7 Theatre, has spent more than 25 years presenting thought-provoking plays and workshops.
A decade ago, the idea that Abbotsford could host country stars like Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood or rock legends KISS and ZZ Top seemed next to impossible. But now the facility located on King Road has hosted those stars and more. Capable of seating up to 8,500 for concerts, top show business names can be attracted.
The Valley Concert Society brings classical music to life with a series of shows at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, a site that also hosts the Fraser Valley Symphony performances.
Since opening in 2009, the venue has hosted acts such as Tragically Hip, Maroon 5, Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson and Billy Talent, as well as family-oriented shows such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Sesame Street Live, Cirque du Soleil, and Blue Man Group.
For those looking for outdoor performances in the summer, the Fraser Valley Concert Series – presented by the Abbotsford Arts Council and Envision Financial – presents a variety of musical acts at Mill Lake Park. The series moves to local coffee shops in the fall.
The Kariton Art Gallery is among the venues where visual art exhibits can be viewed throughout the year.
While the performing arts have a top-notch local facility, Abbotsford also has an artistic gem in the community.
community exhibition spaces, art collection storage, and museum artifact collection storage. It houses a permanent exhibit, called Voices of the Valley, and is capable of hosting world-class travelling exhibits.
The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford opened its doors in the fall of 2008. Located on Veterans Way, The Reach is a 20,000-sq. ft. building containing an exhibition hall, archives, two multi-purpose studios, two
Another important cultural organization is the MSA Museum Society, which helps to preserve Abbotsford’s fascinating heritage. Based in the historic Trethewey House at Mill Lake Park, the museum’s archives include
local history documents and an extensive reference library. The museum offers a wide array of programs and educational presentations, both on site and in the classroom. For years, the Kariton Art Gallery has displayed the region’s many talented artists. The Ware Street gallery is operated by the Abbotsford Arts Council. Other local venues include the Abbotsford
Jam in Jubilee is another popular outdoor concert series, running in August at Jubilee Park. Violinist Calvin Dyck’s popular Songs Strings and Steps concert series combines music and the visual arts, and the Valley Festival Singers present concerts in the fall, at Christmas and in the spring.
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