It all began in 1979, before the tiny town of Canmore became the global mountain culture destination the world knows today. Ernst and Sandra Salzgeber purchased a house they could fix up, with the idea of converting the 600 square-foot garage into a small shop. Soon, the family’s experience, attention to detail and love for finely crafted, long-lasting woodwork were on display for all to see.
Today we occupy almost 13,000 feet of space in Canmore’s Elk Run Industrial Park. Our family and team of quality employees still embody the same dedication to timeless craftsmanship as they did in 1979. Canmore Woodcrafters takes genuine pleasure in bringing the beauty of wood to life in a way that results in practical pieces for businesses, homeowners and lovers of fine furniture. Our timeless pieces are built to last, worthy of passing from one generation to the next.
Inspectors Choice Award 2006
Product Design & Quality Award 2012
Product Design & Quality Award 2016
Product Design & Quality Award 2019
Lingum Vitae – Best Corporate Team 2016
Quality craftmanship has helped us earn a 40-year-old reputation as one of the best. But that’s just a single part of the customized service that Canmore Woodcrafters promises.
Customers can count on defect-free products and clear communication about design, quality and scheduling. Strong relationships are important to us, and you can always be comfortable knowing your expectations are clearly understood.
The customer wanted to have a really beautiful sink in this bathroom. With the limited entry door swing in this space a classic radius vanity would have impeded the door, so the vanity turned into a half oval. Each door is a quarter oval made with solid cherry rails and stiles, and burl Madrone panels. This is the kind of challenge we live for.
The customer for this project went to the veneer mill and hand picked the burl logs for this kitchen. Two types of veneer were used, burl Redwood and book-matched Burl Madrone. On this wall the door styles and rails are burl Redwood veneered on Solid Redwood, and are seamlessly integrated into the Redwood paneling. The pantry pullout is integrated into the wall panel as well and when closed looks like a decorative branch with a little bird. Did someone say “custom?”
In this kitchen the customer wanted solid maple dovetailed drawers to hold cooking glassware. The catch, the drawers needed glass sides, Why not? So we created a skookum looking pullout drawer to accommodate this request, and the customer was elated. Bonus: To date no glass has broken. 😊
This may look like a regular full curved door – but these doors are unique as they have two curves, one on the top that you see, and one across the face of the door. This way the door fits the radius of the wall seamlessly. The entire door is made of solid Cherry, and was crafted before we had a CNC in the shop. A mountain of jigs were made and used to create these exquisite doors and jambs, that will last many lifetimes. This is a great example of our old-world craftsmanship.
When the opportunity comes around to reuse local material with a story behind it, we are always keen. This table is made from Douglas Fir timber being salvaged from dams in the local area – dams that were built by Calgary power before 1940. Today these timbers are still being used to regulate water flow. While they are usually used as firewood after their service, we took the opportunity to make a beautiful Harvest table that has undeniable character. Put into service in 1980 these timbers will last for generations to come as one-of-a-kind furniture in some lucky person’s home.
Other than being a beautiful three-inch thick solid Walnut entry door with side lights, the real gem of this package is the custom stain glass that was made for the customer. Each bird represents one of their children. The stain glass was then put inside a triple pane sealed glass unit to achieve energy efficiency. The entry door is also equipped with an insulated panel and a double seal for the cold Rockies climate. The closet doors to the right were made to match the custom Douglas Fir and stain of the beams in the entrance and have perfectly placed decorative Walnut squares in the panels, so there is a link to the entry door package.
The customer wanted to challenge us with this kitchen as they are originally from England, and we love a challenge! They wanted to go for a traditional faceframe kitchen with a polyurethane color lacquered finish. The really neat thing is the beading detail located on the faceframe, that is beautifully mitered at every inside corner joint and really adds a unique detail to the kitchen. They were delighted!
These three-inch thick double entry doors required custom cutters to create the required profiles within these doors. These double doors are also equipped with an insulated panel and double seals, and a single seal down the center. The really unique thing about these doors is that they’re made of reclaimed Redwood from wine casks sourced from the Napa Valley in California, and stained to this beautiful brown tone. In this house the entire wine cellar was also made from the reclaimed Redwood. How’s that for a talking point!
The island was built eight years prior to the back wall, and we meticulously ensured that the new part of the kitchen matched the aged island color perfectly. The island is all “push to open” including the two full radiused doors. Another neat feature is that on each build – regardless whether the interior is melamine or veneer – every sink cabinet is made of plywood to ensure a long lifespan, even if there is a leak!
Once a year, we comb through every corner of our shop, cleaning and preparing for another year of high productivity. The result is a large collection of unused wood pieces, prefect for a new generation of up-and-coming woodworkers to learn their trade. These pieces are donated to Canmore Collegiate High School and used in student projects.
Canmore Collegiate High School celebrates outstanding student achievement with an annual awards night. For the Outstanding Achievement in CTS Woodworking award, Canmore Woodcrafters donates a wooden hand plane made in Germany. It’s a high-quality tool built to last most of a woodworker’s career and is accompanied by an engraved plaque honouring the top student’s success. The cabinetmaking trade continually needs new high-school graduates to join it. We proudly encourage students to pursue our trade by acknowledging their achievements through this award.
Visit us, take a look around, and you’ll see that sustainability is always top-of-mind. We recycle 96 percent of our shop waste and, in winter months, 99 percent of all wood waste is used to heat the company’s facilities. Whether it’s making products from reclaimed wood or meticulously considering what materials we’ll use in our processes, we continually seek new ways to reduce our environmental footprint.
Every day, Canmore Woodcrafters’ number one goal is to make the very best products available anywhere. We do that by surrounding ourselves with an amazing team; people who “set the bar” and embody standards we all aspire to live up to.
We strive to be the kind of workplace that attracts good people, who display a positive attitude and treat people right. People who take their health and the health of our planet seriously. We believe in leading by example—but we learn just as much by living up to the ideals of the quality people we work with.
The Canmore Woodcrafters team is committed to going the extra mile for our customers. The pursuit of excellence is key. The best products come from long-term thinking, never making assumptions about a customer’s needs, and a genuine desire to understand and meet expectations from the very beginning.
The ability to be responsive and adaptive is crucial to Canmore Woodcrafters’ success. We take pride in finding solutions to the problems our customers are trying to solve. We capitalize on our team’s diverse skill sets, and take a calculated yet flexible approach to projects. We demonstrate that same flexibility in the scheduling of that work, listening closely to our customers as we do so.
Living and working in a community where the beauty of nature is visible everywhere, we are inspired to preserve it. This goes beyond our daily practices of recycling everything possible. We create quality products worthy of being heirlooms, products that only need to be built once and won’t need to be disposed of; something all too common in today’s world.
"El Jefe" (the boss) He grew up in the business, and has worked within it starting at a young age, and returned full time in 2005. He has worked in most aspects of the shop, starting as an apprentice, gaining his Red Seal Cabinetmaking certificate, and working up through the business to where he is today. Outside of work Brian spends all his extra time with his family, skiing, ski touring, biking, and camping.
The founder. Ernst founded Canmore Woodcrafters with his wife Sandra in 1979, and passed the business on to Brian in 2015. Originally from Switzerland he immigrated to Canada in the early 70’s and worked as a mountain guide until he started Canmore Woodcrafters. In his retirement he enjoys travelling, trekking in Nepal, charity work, all types of skiing and hiking.
Shandon joined us in 2019. He has been a Millwork Estimator for over 20 years. He strives on providing our clients with exceptional service at all times. Shandon holds a Professional Gold Seal Certificate in Estimating with a background as a Journeyman Cabinet Maker. Outside of work, you will find him outdoors with his family. His passions include hiking, running, mountain biking and camping.
Jou joined us in the beginning of 2020 as the Finance and Admin Manager. She has over 10 years of experience in accounting and administration. She also has a post graduation certificate in Strategic Relationship Marketing. When Jou is not at work, you can find her spending time with her two young kids outdoors. She also likes hiking, disc golfing and snowboarding.
Jack is an Architectural Technologist with 9 years of construction detailing and 25 years of project management experience. Dirt roads, trout streams and alpine lakes are the best locations to find Jack on his off days.
Born and raised in the Italian Alps, Mirko studied to become an accountant and eventually moved to Canada in 2013. He joined us in 2017 as a Cabinetmaker Apprentice and obtained his Red Seal in 2021 with outstanding marks. Mirko is an avid fisherman. He enjoys spending time up the mountains rock climbing, touring and camping. Woodworking for him is both a job and a passion.
Justin has been with the company over 15 years. He started as an apprentice in 1998 and completed in 2002. He then left to Switzerland but returned to CWC in 2010 and stayed since. He is now our Shop Foreman. Justin oversees the team and coordinates all production activities including job scheduling, monitoring inventory levels and maintaining an effective workplace safety program. He and his families like to travel, camp, bike and ski.
Rudi has been with us over 10 years as a Journeyman Cabinetmaker and brings a wealth of experience to the table. Rudi started his woodworking career in 1985 in Germany after receiving his Cabinetmaking Diploma. In 2010 Rudi and his wife became permanent residents in Canada and settled in the Bow Valley. Since then he enjoys working for Canmore Woodcrafters and takes advantage of the abundance of activities this country and especially the Bow Valley has to offer. He likes to hike, bike and paddle in the summer and XC ski and snowboard in the winter.
Martin joined us in 2018 as a Cabinetmaker. He has finished his cabinet education in Czech Republic and had worked more than 8 years at the biggest piano company in Europe building new pianos and last couple years at the company restoring historical pianos. Outside of work, Martin loves Thai boxing and spends his time hiking, mountain biking and snowboarding in the beautiful Rockies.
Serhii joined us in 2017 as a Cabinetmaker. He has extensive knowledge with CNC machining and ornate high end woodwork. He brings years of experience and knowledge to our team. Serhii enjoys spending time with his family, and getting out doors, biking and walking in his free time.
Harry comes from Switzerland, and has successfully completed his cabinetmaker apprenticeship. He was self employed in his own business for 16 years doing woodworking install and finishing. He has also lived and worked in Luxembourg and Germany gaining more industry exposure. Now in Canada, Harry looks forward to expanding his knowledge and applying his depth of experience at CWC. In his spare time Harry loves traveling by bike, camping, hiking and cooking.
Josef joined us in 2021 as a Cabinetmaker. He used to work in a family business renovating old pianos in Czech Republic.
His habits including power lifting, hiking, cooking, cycling and reading.
James is our first year Cabinetmaker Apprentice. He is a fourth generation Banffite. He graduated High School in June 2019. James played rugby throughout high school and wished to continue in the men’s league. He loves photography and never misses a chance to shoot in one of the most picturesque places. James enjoys hiking, biking, camping, canoeing.
Lucas joined us in 2019 through the high school and RAPP program. He has received the CTS30 woodworking award.He started his cabinetmaking apprenticeship in Sept 2020. When not in high school he likes to alpine ski, ski tour, and white water kayak.
Founded by Canmore Woodcrafters’ Brian Salzgeber, Fohn Openings specializes in importing energy-efficient, European-style windows and doors that bring another level of quality to homes and businesses.
Fernie Woodcrafters was established in 2020 as a subsidiary of Canmore Woodcrafters. Owner Brian Salzgeber now resides in Fernie BC, and looks forward to sharing the companies quality craftsmanship and experience throughout the Elk Valley.