Canadian Biomass Magazine

Virtual Event
WPAC Conference & AGM 2021 – Day 1
September 20, 2021 at 11:00am ET

Making a Difference Globally and at Home

While we hoped that this year we could all get together in person, it will be another virtual, online conference and AGM due to Covid-19. However, that hasn’t stopped us from putting together an impressive series of topics and guest speakers this year.

Together with our media partner, Canadian Biomass Magazine, we have put together a condensed program to take place in short bursts over three days from September 20 to 22, 2021. The live conference will take place over three hours on September 20; the AGM – open to all WPAC members – will be on September 21 for one and a half hours; and there will be a board meeting for one and a half hours on September 22. In addition, we have loads of pre-recorded presentations available for conference registrants.

Although our live conference program is only three hours – including a break at the halfway point – we will still able to pack in a lot of information. The theme this year is Making a Difference Globally and at Home which reflects the opportunities ahead for our sector as well as the key trends and potential headwinds. Key speakers are being confirmed and topics include:

  • Global Market Perspectives
  • Trends in Responsible Sourcing
  • Innovating our way to a safer, better product
  • Getting to Net Zero in Canada with Pellets
  • The Power of Pellets in the Emerging Bioeconomy

This year we are not charging a fee to participate. We only ask that participants register to access our amazing content. Although costs are lower than normal, we will still incur expenses, so we are most grateful for our sponsors who are making this event possible.

I invite you all to join us and I look forward to an excellent event!

All the best,

Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada



11:00 am - 11:15 am ET (8:00 am - 8:15 am PT)
Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Gordon Murray, Executive Director, WPAC
  • Vaughan Bassett, Pinnacle Renewable Energy; Part of Drax Group, and WPAC Chair
  • Honourable Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Government of British Columbia

11:15 am - 11:45 am ET (8:15 am - 8:45 am PT)
Global and Domestic Market Review

Speaker: Dr. William Strauss, FutureMetrics

Join Bill Strauss as he examines the importance of the industrial pellet sector in supporting the transition to low carbon generation. We will examine how policy frameworks in different nations will drive increased demand for sustainable biomass – FutureMetric’s analysis suggests that under these evolving policy regimes, the Industrial pellet sector is forecast to reach about ​ 43 million metric tonnes per year in 2027 – more than double 2019 demand​.

11:45 am - 12:15 pm ET (8:45 am - 9:15 am PT)
The Case for Pellets: Communications & Policy Trends

  • Giulia Cancian, Bioenergy Europe
  • Karen Brandt, Brandt Strategy Inc.
Around the world, the increased demand for wood pellets is also driving expectations how they are sourced. In this session, two policy and communications experts who follow these trends, will examine how ESG and policies around the world are placing higher demands on the sustainability credentials of pellets, and how the sector is responding.

12:15 pm - 1:00 pm ET (9:15 am - 10:00 am PT)
Panel: Innovating Our Way to a Safer, Better Future

Moderator: Cherie Whelan, BC Forest Safety Council
  • Kayleigh Rayner Brown, MASc, P.Eng. - Research Associate, Dalhousie University / Director, Obex Risk Ltd.
  • Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah, WPAC
  • Dr. Shahab Sokhansanj, Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group, University of British Columbia
  • Grace Cox, Safety Manager, Wood Products Canada, Canfor
The Wood Pellet Association of Canada and its members continuously strive to find better processes and make safer plants. Join industry leading safety experts as we discuss the latest achievements and safety initiatives and the work ahead. Topics include:
  • Fibre Pile Management;
  • Safety Foundations Webinar Series;
  • A new one-stop Safety Compendium;
  • Critical Control Management and Bow Tie Analysis workshops; and
  • Approval of the New ISO 20024 standard for Canada for safe handling and storage of solid biofuels.

1:00 pm - 1:15 pm ET (10:00 am - 10:15 am PT)

1:15 pm - 1:20 pm ET (10:15 am - 10:20 am PT)
Prize Draw: Cutest Pet Ever Contest

Submit your favourite photo of your pet to enter the draw for a chance to win a Danson’s Barbeque. Join us to see your and others winged/furry/four-legged/gilled friends!

1:20 pm - 1:45 pm ET (10:20 am - 10:45 am PT)
Getting to Net Zero in Canada with Pellets

Speaker: Dr. Jamie Stephen, TorchLight Bioresources Inc.

Canada has joined over 120 countries in committing to be net-zero emissions by 2050. A number of provinces and cities have already made similar commitments, and most recently the Province of Ontario put forward a draft Forest Biomass Action Plan to support economic development by enhancing the use of under-utilized forest resources including mill by-products and under-utilized forest biofibre. Despite these progressive initiatives, there remain challenges and opportunities for biomass in Canada. Join leading Canadian experts to hear how pellets can and should have an important role in the transition to Net Zero in Canada.

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm ET (10:45 am - 11:30 am PT)
The Power of Pellets in the Emerging Bioeconomy

Moderator: Diane Nicholls, Chief Forester of BC
  • Dr. Jack Saddler, University of British Columbia
  • Steve Drayton, Director of Innovation Projects, Drax
  • Jonathan Levesque, Biomass Solutions Biomasse
This moderated panel will bring together thought leaders who see a strong future for wood pellets in the emerging bioeconomy. Join us to hear their vision and current research and development to support wood pellets in global efforts against climate change and position pellets as the gateway to innovation in bioenergy, providing a critical starting point for biorefining and the production of second generation liquid biofuels and advanced renewable bio-materials.

1:30 pm - 2:40 pm ET (11:30 am - 11:40 am PT)
Final Thoughts

Speaker: Vaughan Bassett, Pinnacle Renewable Energy; part of Drax Group.


Expert Analysis of Global markets

Speakers: Dr. William Strauss, FutureMetrics & Annette Bossler, FutureMetrics

Responsible, Renewable and Sustainable: The Canadian Wood Pellet Advantage

Speaker: Gordon Murray, Wood Pellet Association of Canada

Verifying the Pellet Carbon Story: Presenting Results of a Canada-Japan GHG study

Speaker: Joseph Aquino, MBA, RPF, Pinnacle Renewable Energy

Diane Nicholls: Pellets a good news story for BC’s forests

Speaker: Diane Nicholls, British Columbia’s Chief Forester.

Gordon Murray: Pellets: Gateway to Innovation for BC’s bioenergy sector

Contributor: Gordon Murray, Executive Director, WPAC

On the path to fit for 55

Contributor: Gordon Murray, Executive Director, WPAC

New video highlighting the power of pellets: from the forests to the market

Contributor: WPAC Members in Canada’s Maritime Region

How to cut Maritime GHG Emissions by 30% by 2030 Using Bioheat

Speaker: Dr. Jamie Stephen, TorchLight Bioresources Inc.

Innovating our way to a safer, better product

Additional Resources

Podcast: Exploring the benefits and potential of wood pellets

Frequently Asked Questions About WPAC Conference & AGM 2021 – Day 1

When & Where?

WPAC Conference & AGM 2021 – Day 1 will take place virtually via Zoom Webinar on September 20, 2021 at 11:00am ET.

There will be a 15 minute break between live sessions.

Why Virtual?

The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and community is our number one priority. By making this event an online experience, it eliminates the need for attendees and sponsors to travel in-person, while enabling them to still benefit from the event content.

What’s Included?

Your registration provides you with access to watch the virtual keynote, all live sessions, and on-demand recorded content and product demonstrations.

How do I access?

We will email you an access link to the virtual event the morning of September 20, 2021.

If you don’t see an access link in your email inbox, please check your junk folder. If you are still unable to locate the email, contact Tara Jacobs.