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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Jou joined us this year 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 and is currently working towards her CPA. 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.
Axel joined us in the spring of 2017. As the head of our engineering department Axel is responsible for the construction details of your projects. He transfers your ideas into detailed shop drawings and creates the programs for our state of the art CNC router. Axel is a certified cabinet maker and holds a German engineering degree in Woodworking Technology. Outside of work Axel enjoys working out at the gym, riding his custom motorcycles, hiking the Canmore mountains and snowboarding at Lake Louise.
Justin has been with the company over 14 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.
Gustavo joined us in 2017 as Finish Room Foreman. He has a degree in Chemistry and has been working in wood finishing research and development for 30 years. He is thankful as he was able to travel extensively and gain a lot of experience in all aspects of finishing. Gustavo was born in Colombia. He enjoys hiking and experiencing new things in the mountains.
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.
Brad join us at the end of 2019 as a Cabinetmaker. Brad was born and raised in Calgary, where he began woodshop as early as grade 7. Brad started his professional career in the cabinetry and custom millwork industry in September 2005. He is currently in the process of challenging his journeyman ticket. In his free time you will find him on the mountain bike trails, climbing, snowboarding, barbecuing, and enjoying some R&R. Brad’s motto is “work hard, play harder, chill hardest”.
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. He is in his 3rd year of the apprenticeship. 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.
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.