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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Canada: SOFA to host outdoor living conference

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 > 09:45:31

(Home Goods Online)

The International Centre will host what its organisers hope will be its first annual Outdoor Living Conference here early next month.

Owned and operated by Bleu Venue Events, a company based in Thornbury, Ontario specialising in hosting charity house tours, the conference is a two-day, trade-only event for interior designers, interior decorators and similar professionals with an interest in the growing residential outdoor living market in Canada.

The event will be held by the International Centre's SOFA (Source of Furniture + Accessories) annex on February 3 and 4 and, according to the organisers, will provide innovative and future-trending product knowledge from a range of different domestic and international vendors as well as insights into outdoor kitchens, outdoor furniture, fabrics, lighting, landscaping trends and related topics.

"Homeowners today are treating their outdoor space as an extension of their home and see it as an investment in their property," Deborah Lalande, president of Bleu Venue Events and owner of the Outdoor Living Conference, said in a statement. "In many cases, they are opting to renovate their existing homes and live there longer versus spending these same dollars on selling and moving costs. Regardless of the circumstances, we know there is tremendous opportunity in outdoor design."

According to Lalande, the Canadian home and garden market is expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 4.9% between 2014 and 2019, driving it value to an estimated $8.73 billion during that time. She also noted a recent report in the Vancouver Sun which noted 85% of millennials rate outdoor rooms as "very important" compared to 83% of genXers and 74% of baby boomers.

"The conference will allow design professionals to better understand and to respond to growing interest in the Canadian outdoor living market by consumers," she added.

The keynote speaker will be Paul Lafrance, a designer and builder of custom decks who has been featured on a number of programs on HGTV Canada.

Other speakers include interior and upholstery furniture designer Jane Lockhart and landscaper Haig Seferian.|

The cost to register is $199 and includes lunch on both days.

For more information about the event, its web site can be found at outdoorlivingconference.com.

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