News Article from Woodstock Sentinel-Review

by: Heather Rivers

The beloved show devoted to all things wood is being taken over by owners of the Hamilton Wood Show


As the Woodstock Woodworking Show, formerly Woodstock Wood Show, reaches a milestone, its new owners say it has undergone an extensive renovation, restoration and refinishing.

Originally owned by Joe Daniel, the show, which turns 30 this year, was once considered one of the best and brightest wood shows in all of North America and drew crowds of 20,000 or more.

“It was magical,” said Gina Downes, who, with her husband, has taken over management of the show. “It was the largest in North America.”

In recent years the show attempted to regain its former glory after being taken over by the Woodstock Agricultural Society.

This year Gina and John Downes, who run the successful Hamilton Wood Show and Hamilton Kids-Fest, explain they plan to make a few changes to the show that runs October 2 to 4 to ensure its success.

“We’re running seminars continuously with 35 to 40 free seminars,” John said. “What we’re doing is trying to go back to its heyday with free seminars and continuously learning. We’re bringing back what worked.”

They will also be two paid hands-on woodworking workshops presented by Ken Mercer, a professor and co-ordinator in the cabinet-making program at Mohawk College, focused on teaching woodworkers to build and finish their own cabinets.

Also, there are still seats available for Rob Cosman, aka Canada’s hand tool coach, who will also be putting on two paid seminars.

Gina Downes promises much more for visitors to see and do than previous years, including a couple of companies who will travel from India to take part.

“There’s definitely a lot more tools and tool companies than last year and they are bringing in more reps and dealers,” she said. “A lot of companies are coming out simply because they did so well at the Hamilton show.”

Also debuting this year is the Ontario Woodcarving Championships, a provincial championship designed to attract the best carvers in the province.

“This is province-wide with 150 categories featuring world-class carvers and the judging is done by world-class carvers,” John said. “We’re hoping for around 200 entrants.”

Read from Woodstock Sentinel-Review website.