Vaagen family looking for opportunities in B.C.
March 15, 2023 By CFI Staff
The Vaagen family, owner of the recently shuttered Vaagen Fibre Canada in Midway, B.C., today wrote a letter to the local community saying they “continue looking for economic opportunities in this community and we will look forward to the time [when] we can share what those opportunities turn into.”
In a village of only 650 people, the closure of its biggest employer will have a huge impact not only in Midway, but also in the surrounding communities.
Here’s the family’s full statement:
When Duane, Emily, and Kurtis Vaagen, the family ownership team of Vaagen Fibre Canada (VFC), first shared the news on January 6, 2023, that their family sawmill which has been in operation in the community of Midway for over 10 years, was shutting down indefinitely, the outpouring of support was overwhelming.
“Hundreds of people – our employees and their families, our contractors and vendors, our suppliers, local community leaders, forestry associations, and others – reached out to express their disappointment and asked what they could do to help,” said Duane Vaagen, president and CEO of VFC.
Led by the community, hundreds of letters and messages via social media were sent, and numerous phone calls were made to decision-makers in Victoria. So where does this leave the company today?
“We ran our last log through the mill on February 23, 2023, and many of our dedicated employees must seek out new work opportunities,” noted Vaagen. “Their commitment and pride over the last several months, when they knew things were coming to an end, was beyond any of our expectations. We are so proud of our team and want to send out the most heartfelt ‘thank you’ for giving everything until the end.”
The Vaagen family are expressing their appreciation to their many partners for their years of relationship, including employees and contractors, local community members, the Osoyoos Indian Band, West Boundary Community Forest, Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association, local area Mayors, Councillors, and Regional District Directors, and local Ministry of Forest staff.
“For those of you who called your local MLA or wrote a letter, our collective voices were heard loud and clear, so thank you,” remarked Vaagen. “You have inspired our family to continue looking for economic opportunities in this community and we will look forward to the time [when] we can share what those opportunities turn into.”
With our deepest appreciation,
Duane Vaagen, president, Vaagen Fibre Canada
Emily Vaagen Baker, lean team leader, Vaagen Brothers Lumber
Kurtis Vaagen, vice-president, Vaagen Brother Lumber
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