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Original News Release




April 11, 2008

Office of the Premier

University of British Columbia





Irving K. Barber, 85, is widely recognized as one of B.C.’s most prominent entrepreneurs. Over six decades, Dr. Barber has worked hard to ensure that B.C.’s forests benefit British Columbians and that B.C.’s forest industry stays competitive in the global marketplace.


Born in Edmonton, Dr. Barber first came to the University of British Columbia in September 1945. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in forestry in 1950. In 1952, he qualified as a professional registered forester, and he has been involved ever since in the B.C. forest industry, working with people at all levels and throughout the province.


In 1978, at the age of 55, he founded Slocan Forest Products Ltd., which he built into one of the leading lumber producers in North America. Dr. Barber retired as chairman in February 2002.


In 1996, he was awarded the Forest Excellence Award in Communications for his involvement in the publication of The Working Forest of British Columbia. In 1997, he was given the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Pacific Region. The Registered Professional Foresters Association named Barber the Distinguished Forester of the Year in 1999. In May 2002, the University of Northern British Columbia awarded him an honorary doctorate of law degree. He has been appointed to the Order of Canada and to the Order of British Columbia.


Dr. Barber’s generosity has been instrumental in helping to establish programs to promote research with the creation of the I.K. Barber Enhanced Forestry Laboratory at UNBC, the Irving K. Barber Chair in Diabetes Research at UBC, and the Ike Barber Human Islet Transplant Laboratory at Vancouver Hospital in partnership with UBC.


Dr. Barber and his wife Jean have three children, nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.





Bridgitte Anderson

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 307-7177


Lorraine Chan

UBC Public Affairs

604 822-3213

604 828-3867 (cell)




Glenn Drexhage

Communications Officer

UBC Library/Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

604 827-3434



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