News Archives
November 2007

November 29, 2007
September shipments up
OTTAWA—September printing shipments rebounded after a more sluggish August performance compared to last year. But, year-to-date shipments have fallen behind last year again, after inching ahead in July. Note that these numbers are not seasonally adjusted.






$836.9 million

$791.3 million


Year to date

$7.14 billion

$7.38 billion


Bill C-14 gets second reading
OTTAWA—The second reading of Bill C-14, an amendment to the Canada Post Corporation Act, began in Ottawa last week. If passed, it would allow the industry to continue letting mailing houses and printers deliver items to those outside Canada to take advantage of better rates. “The introduction of this legislation has taken a huge weight off the entire industry’s shoulders,” said Evan Zelikovitz, a spokesman for the Canadian International Mail Association (CIMA) in a statement. Proposed by the minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, the bill was tabled in the House of Commons on Oct. 29, and will next be referred to the House of Commons Standing Committee of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

November 27, 2007
Vancouver print shop wins big at annual IAPHC awards in B.C.
VANCOUVER—Leader Direct cleaned up at the International Association of Printing House Craftsman (IAPHC) awards earlier this month, winning three gold medals, two silver and a bronze. The awards, which were held in Burnaby, B.C. on November 3, honour excellence in printing and featured more than 500 entries from 90 companies across B.C. Gold medal recipients go on to be entered in the IAPHC’s “Best of the Best” awards in January. One of the golds Leader Direct took home was for a multi-PMS coloured, pre-formed envelope produced on a HALM EM 4000 Envelope Jet Press. It also took top honours for its Achieva Financial multi-PMS colour envelope and for a pre-formed envelope promoting Chevron’s “Ribbon” logo. Leader Direct has been in business for 13 years, and specializes in direct mail. It currently employs 110 people.

New greener equipment for Thermo Trade & Litho
MISSISAUGA, ON. —Thermo Trade & Litho has added an AGFA :Acento, :ApogeeX 4.0 workflow and :Azura chem-free plating to its pressroom. The family-operated company has been open since 1987 and specializes in thermography for business cards, announcements and stationary.

Pictured from right are: Azim Chagani, managing partner, Thermo Trade & Litho; and Parker MacDonald, account manager, at Agfa.

November 22, 2007
ITC terminates coated paper investigation
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. International Free Trade Commission, (ITC) has ruled that coated free sheet paper imports (CFS) from China, Korea, and Indonesia, are not harmful or a threat to the domestic industry. The 5-1 vote by the ITC means that no anti-dumping or countervailing duties will be imposed on CFS from those countries and all deposits that have already been collected will be returned. The investigation was begun in 2006 when paper supplier NewPage petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to look into whether certain companies and countries were dumping subsidized CFS into the U.S. According to a NewPage official, the company is disappointed by the ITC’s decision and would review the report in detail before deciding its next move, which could be an appeal.

Fraser Papers announce price increases
TORONTO—In early December, the prices of several of Fraser Papers’ specialty packaging and printing grades will increase, the company announced this week. On average, prices will jump 6% and will affect thermal base papers, packaging products and pressure sensitive papers. It will take effect on December 9. Brian McAlary, vice-president of sales and marketing says the increase was necessary due to rising raw material and energy costs.

November 20, 2007
RB Trade closes
MISSISSAUGA, ON—RB Trade, one of the oldest trade printers in the Toronto area, has gone into receivership, PrintCAN has learned. The shop closed its doors on Friday, a receiver has been appointed, all 17 employees have been laid off, and equipment is in the process of being sold, said owner Michele Brown. Her first priority now, she says, is trying to place the staff in other positions. RB Trade was started in 1966 by Ray and Maureen Brown. At least part of the reason for the closure can be attributed to the intense competition, shrinking margins and declining volumes.

Trade Watch—Activity slows in September
OTTAWA—Industry Canada has released updated trade information for the print sector in September showing activity slowed down in both exports and imports. But the overall trend of rising imports and declining exports continues. Year-to-date trade balance figures show that our trade surplus with all countries dived to $49.50 million for the January to December period in 2007 from $192.78 million in the same period in 2006. That’s a 74.3% decline.






$115.39 million

$133.20 million


Year to date

$1.08 billion

$1.16 billion







$114.21 million

$130.02 million


Year to date

$1.03 billion

$ 967.03 million


November 15, 2007
Print market share losses can be reversed, says top designer
TORONTO—Print’s slipping market share as a percentage of overall advertising spending can be halted with better education and promotion of print’s real value, publishers and printers were told at a special breakfast presentation during Graphics Canada last week.“Print is still the cornerstone of integrated media and multi-channel marketing,” said Daniel Dejan, national print and creative specialist for Sappi Fine Paper, at the Digital Imaging Association’s breakfast held Nov. 9.To prove it, Dejan presented research uncovered by Sappi’s $9-million Life with Print campaign, along with subsequent studies. For example, catalogue businesses with printed catalogues have double the sales of non-print catalogue companies. Print also scores highest in trust and the ability for people to remember (and refer to) the messages they’ve received—such as ads promoting web sites. “Direct mail, print ads, postcards are great for driving people to web sites; electronic media doesn’t work as well,” he said. In fact, the correlation between print and the Internet is the single most important advantage in print’s favour, he suggested. Dejan’s career encompasses 30 years as an award-winning graphic designer, art director, creative director, print production manager and buyer. He is based in Chicago.

Speaker Daniel Dejan, DIA president Brad Wallans, and Sappi district sales manager Phil Lavell at the DIA Graphics Canada breakfast meeting.

CPIA elects Sean Murray chairman
OTTAWA—Sean Murray has been elected chairman of the board of the CPIA, the organization reported this week. Murray, who has been serving as chairman since the April resignation of Gary Evans, was elected at CPIA’s annual meeting on Sept. 19. He is also president and CEO of Advocate Printing and Publishing in Pictou, N.S. and chairman of ComBase, a large North American media study which measures media in more than 400 Canadian markets.

Rhino Print Solutions expands
RICHMOND, B.C.—Rhino Print Solutions has just completed a 15,000 sq. ft, expansion to its Richmond, B.C. plant, making it 40,000 sq. ft., the company reported today. It has also installed a new 12-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster at the plant and added a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster to its Calgary facility. Rhino is based in Vancouver and employs more than 50 people. It reported sales of $9.6 million in 2006.

November 13, 2007
VISA invites customers to design own gift cards
TORONTO—Starting Thursday, buyers of VISA gift cards will be able to design their own by visiting, the company announced last week. The printed, personalized cards cost $5.95 each and can be loaded with amounts ranging from $10 to $250.  Users will be able to upload photos, add personal messages to the gift cards and enter the recipient’s location or have it sent directly to them for holiday giving.

Data Group reports year-to-date losses
BRAMPTON, ON—The Data Group reported a slight profit in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, but is down more than $3 million for the year to date, the company announced last week. Revenues for the third quarter were $90.2 million, up from $67.8 million in the same period last year. Net income was $1.4 million, down considerably from the $15.2 million reported in the third quarter of 2006. The net loss for the year to date is $3.2 million, down from 2006, when net income reached $23.5 million.

Ontario’s Cober Printing go digital with HP Indigo
KITCHENER, ON—Cober Printing recently added an HP Indigo 5500 to its Kitchener, Ont. pressroom. Traditionally, a sheetfed commercial printer, Cober made the decision to go digital to meet the increasing demand from clients. The company was founded in 1916, and has a third generation of Cobers at the helm.

Standing with the Indigo 5500 from left to right are: Chris VanVliet, Todd Cober, Peter Cober, Martin Anderson, and Erwin Driever.

November 9, 2007
Printer of the Year and Young Printer awards given out in Toronto
TORONTO-Graphic Monthly Canada awarded Earle O’Born with the Printer of the Year trophy last night at a reception after the first day of Graphics Canada. O’Born is CEO of The Printing House (TPH) which has 72 networked locations across Canada and reported sales of $61 million in 2006. In other award news, Chad Friesen was the recipient of the first Young Printer Award at a CPIA reception Wednesday evening. Friesen is 32 and joined Friesens when he was just 19. He now holds three positions at the company including: Western Canadian sales manager for yearbooks, national sales manager for history books, and assistant general manager, Friesens Yearbooks.

CPISC release report on training and education in printing industry at Graphics Canada
TORONTO-Joined by MP Michael L. Wallace, the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC) released its Review of Education and Training Programs and Providers for the Printing and Graphic Communications Industry at Graphics Canada yesterday morning. According to the report, there is an urgent need for better training and skills development in the printing industry. It also addresses the lack of young people entering the sector, and the lack of training for press operators and finishing technicians. The CPISC says it will use the information gathered to look more closely at the industry’s training needs and work on implementing new options.

November 6, 2007
New president at B.C.’s Thunderbird Press

Kathy Forrest
RICHMOND, B.C.—Kathy Forrest has taken over as president of Thunderbird Press, a full service commercial printer based in B.C., the company announced last week. Effective immediately, former president David Forrest Sr. will take on the role of chairman of the board and will continue to assume a sales role in the company. Thunderbird Press has been in business for 40 years and employs 27 people.

CPIA supports proposed amendment to Canada Post Corporation Act
OTTAWA—The Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) has announced its support for an amendment to the Canada Post Corporation Act, which would allow the industry to continue letting printers and mailing houses deliver items to recipients outside Canada in order to take advantage of better rates. Proposed by Lawrence Cannon, the minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, the legislation was tabled in the House of Commons on Oct. 29. “There are literally hundreds of printers, small and large operating throughout the country that will be positively impacted if this amendment is passed,” said CPIA president Bob Elliott, in a statement. “It isn’t just about mailing letters internationally-this is about preparation of such letters including design and print manufacturing.”

November 1, 2007
Mill in Thunder Bay set to re-open
THUNDER BAY, Ont.—A company called Thunder Bay Fine Papers Inc. is set to close a deal to buy the former Cascades Fine Paper mill by mid-November, backed by privately raised funds and money from the Ontario government. If the deal closes as expected, the mill will begin producing freesheet coated paper, similar to that produced by Cascades, by February, when one of three existing paper-making machines will go into production, said Andre Nicol, chairman of Thunder Bay Fine Papers. Full capacity of 200,000 tonnes will be reached within seven to eight months, but Nicol says the mill will produce fewer products than before. More than 340 will be employed at the facility and the company is currently looking for staff. The deal to re-open the mill, shuttered by Cascades in early 2006, amounts to a $42.7 million investment with $1.5 million in grant money and $12.7 million in conditional loan guarantees coming from Ontario’s Forest Sector Prosperity Fund. Nicol took a lead in creating Thunder Bay Fine Papers, which is currently headed by a six-member board, some of whom will take management positions in the company.

Reader’s Digest Association partners with Williams Lea for direct-mail outsourcing
TORONTO—Global corporate information provider Williams Lea has entered into a multi-year partnership with The Reader’s Digest Association (RDA), which will see the company assume all RDA’s promotional direct-mail and printing operations. Williams Lea will outsource all printing related to RDA’s promotional operations in 19 countries, including Canada. It is estimated that the deal will save RDA about $130 million over the next three years and 100 RDA employees have already been transferred to Williams Lea. This implementation is already underway in six of the 19 countries, with full execution planned for March 2008.

Toronto’s TI Group invests in MAN Roland 900 XXL
TORONTO—Commercial printer TI Group is installing a new MAN Roland 900 XXL, the company announced today. The 73” large-format sheetfed press is expected to be operational by January. The TI Group was founded in 1984, employs more than 40 people and reported revenues of $13 million in 2006.

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