- Our Town
Timber Kings airs on HGTV Canada
The highly-anticipated reality show Timber Kings aired its first episode on HGTV Canada much to everyone’s excitement last Sunday evening.
The new docu-reality show, centred around the crew and challenging work projects undertaken by the Williams Lake company Pioneer Log Homes, has been in the works for three years now.
But for the man behind Pioneer, the show is really the culmination of a lifetime love affair with log homes and the next logical step in securing his company’s legacy.
“We went after it –– we pursued this,” Pioneer Log Homes founder Bryan Reid Sr. said of the new show, which was selected out of more than 200 pilot projects.
“We knew this was the next step in the process for us.”
Reid Sr.’s journey began as a young boy growing up in Williams Lake with five brothers and a sister, spending much of his time alongside his stepfather, Bert Chevigny,s and little brother André working a trapline from Williams Lake to Lac La Hache.
It was there, on those long walks in the forest with André and overnight stays in trappers’ cabins that Reid Sr. developed a passion for log homes.
“If those cabins hadn’t been there we would have perished,” he said. “I was fascinated by how you could be freezing cold one minute, then get to a cabin, start a fire and be sitting there nice and warm a half hour later having dinner.”
Later on, as a young man with a family, Reid Sr. set out to achieve one of his dreams of building his own log home.
Without any experience in the field, Reid Sr. said he looked for someone he could learn from and found it in a First Nations man from Toosey, named Samson Jack.
“He was a wonderful, talented man,” Reid Sr. said of Jack, who learned from Scandanavian crews building on-reserve log housing.
“He was so smart with physics. He could move a two-thousand pound log by himself. He taught me a lot and then later on I taught him some things too.”
Following a stint with Chuck’s Auto Supplies (he helped start the company), Reid Sr. ventured out to make his next dream come true, by founding Pioneer Log Homes.
And what started out as a small business, has grown under Reid Sr.’s leadership (surviving the 2008-09 global recession) to the point where Pioneer harvests its own timber, designs and custom builds lavish log homes for multi-millionaires as big as 100,000 square feet and delivers and sets them up at locations around the world.
Impressively, Pioneer’s crew has built luxury log homes in 24 countries on five continents.
“Nothing goes together better than stone and wood and the sky. That’s as natural as it gets … (and) there is nothing more satisfying,” Reid Sr. said of the work.
“When we build a log home for a client, we’re building something they’ve dreamed about their whole lives. … we help create and deliver that dream to the client.”
How Pioneer gets from the beginning of one of those dream projects to the stunning end result is the crux of Timber Kings, which captures the joys and challenges of setting up homes around the world and the sense of humour and comradery amongst the crew, many of whom are actually family members, such as his son, Bryan Reid Jr.
“It’s a family business. We try to keep it family. It’s unbelievable how close we all are,” he said, adding the real life drama of deadlines and on-the-road challenges makes for good entertainment.
“We don’t have to create any drama (for Timber Kings). Once the logs leave the yard there are many things out of our control. We are faced with changing weather and road conditions, delivery times, working with a new crane operator.”
Reid Sr. believes the show will also be a real eye-opener for the local community and will shine a positive light on his other passion ––Williams Lake.
“We know we’re the best log home builders on earth. That’s a tribute to the team, and it’s a tribute to Williams Lake. We really are a Williams Lake company through and through. It’s a beautiful place and we’re proud to be a part of Williams Lake.”
Timber Kings airs every Sunday evening on HGTV Canada.