On April 25 at approximately 10 pm, the head Vancouver office and pressroom of Metropolitan Fine Printers was destroyed by a fire, according to a statement from the British Columbia-based company.
PrintAction visited Print Digital Solutions’ daylong open house today where the company is showcasing new printing systems that it distributes in the market. 
Representatives were there from Mutoh, Multigraf, Duplo and OKI Data.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, Xerox announced it reached an agreement with shareholders Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason to resolve a pending proxy contest and ongoing litigation related to the company’s proposed combination with Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Fujifilm, which would allow Fujifilm to take the controlling interest in Xerox.
Transcontinental Inc.’s Media Sector, TC Media, on April 27 completed the sale of 30 publications. The transaction includes 21 weeklies in the Montréal area, the Métro Montréal weekday newspaper, as well as eight publications in the Québec City area to Transmet Logistics & Metropolitan Media, led by President and Montréal businessmen Michael Raffoul.

Transcontinental launched a process to sell its Québec and Ontario newspapers one year ago, and today only five of those 93 titles remain under the company’s control.

“It is with much pride that we have served the Montréal and Québec City communities for many decades with the local newspapers and the reputed Métro Montréal weekday newspaper,” said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer of TC Transcontinental. “We [now] hand over these publications to Michael Raffoul, an entrepreneur who is active in print media-related services.”

The transaction includes all Web properties related to the titles sold as well as the Québec Hebdo Website. In total, 119 employees of the various publications and 20 employees from TC Media’s Production team are transferred to the acquirer. TC Transcontinental also concluded a multi-year agreement for the printing of all of these titles, as well as for the distribution, with the exception of Métro Montréal, which is already under contract with Raffoul’s print media distribution company.

Raffoul said: “The print media industry has been at the heart of our business for a long time. Because of this unique relationship that binds us together, we truly understand the importance of newspapers in the communities. The acquisition of these quality publications thus reinforces our position in the industry, furthering our growth and development opportunities.”

In addition to the Métro Montréal newspaper, the Montréal-area publications included in this transaction are: Ambiance/Rendez Vous, L’Avenir de l’Est, Cités Nouvelles, Courrier Ahuntsic, Courrier Bordeaux-Cartierville, Corriere Italiano, L’Express d’Outremont – L’Express Mont-Royal, Le Flambeau Mercier-Anjou, Le Guide Montréal-Nord, Le Magazine de l’Île-des-Sœurs, L’Informateur de Rivière-des-Prairies, Journal de Rosemont, Messager Lachine & Dorval, Le Messager LaSalle, Le Messager Verdun, Nouvelles Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Les Nouvelles Saint-Laurent News, Le Plateau, Progrès Saint-Léonard, Villeray–Parc-Ex Petite Patrie and La Voix Pop.

For the Québec City area: L’Actuel, L’Appel, L’Autre Voix, Beauport Express, Charlesbourg Express, Le Jacques-Cartier, Journal Habitation and Le Québec Express, as well as the Québec Hebdo Website.

“To conclude, I would like to mention how satisfied and pleased we are with the outcome of the ongoing sale process for our local newspapers in Québec and Ontario launched a year ago,” noted François Olivier. “With the transaction announced today, only five of the 93 newspapers up for sale are left in the process and we continue to have discussions with potential buyers.”

Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the world’s largest integrated pulp and paper manufacturers, has achieved a gold rating from EcoVadis, which focuses on sustainability assessments of global companies. EcoVadis’ gold rating designation places Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in the top five percent of organizations rated.

This is the second time APP has received this recognition from EcoVadis. The rating is based on an assessment of four key areas in APP’s operations in Indonesia and China: Environment; Labour Practice and Human Rights; Sustainable Procurement; and Fair Business Practices.

EcoVadis’ assessment platform derives results from a survey adapted to a company’s size and sector, supporting documentation and public and stakeholder information. EcoVadis holds assessments for around 40,000 suppliers in 150 sectors in 120 countries.

“This gold rating affirms our efforts to ensure sustainability in all areas of our operation and our continued progress on our sustainability journey,” said Elim Sritaba, Director of Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, Asia Pulp & Paper.  “Continual improvement and consistency are essential as we try to achieve all our goals to become a fully sustainable company.”
Asia Pulp & Paper, part of Sinar Mas, is a trade name for a group of pulp and paper manufacturing companies in Indonesia and China. APP has an annual combined pulp, paper, packaging product and converting capacity of over 19 million tons per annum.

In March 2018, PrintAction published a feature article, The Pursuit of Prosperity, focused on APP's Indah Kiat Perawang mill to illustrate progress around the five-year anniversary of its Forest Conservation Policy.

Supremex, a North American manufacturer and marketer of envelopes and a growing provider of packaging and specialty products, has concluded the acquisition of Groupe Deux Printing (G2) and its related company Pharmaflex Labels Inc. of Laval, Que.

The parties say the transaction was concluded for total cash consideration of $11.25 million on a cash-free and debt-free basis subject to customary adjustments for working capital and other items.

“With packaging representing close to 30 percent of our revenues on a pro-forma basis, we are now one step closer to reach our 50/50 diversification objectives, which is critical to our long-term success as the secular decline in the Canadian envelope market continues,” said Stewart Emerson, Supremex President and CEO.

Emerson says the acquisition “perfectly complements” its previous packaging acquisitions and growing labels business.

“We can now provide a complete range of packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical industry including related inserts, leaflets and labels, essentially becoming a one-stop-shop for our growing multinational customer base in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries,” he added.

G2 is a family-owned fully integrated manufacturer of folding cartons with annual revenues of approximately $12 million over its most recent 12-month period, including its related labels business, Pharmaflex. Employing 60 people across its two facilities, G2 offers in-house prepress operations and printing.

“[G2 is] delighted to be part of the growing Supremex family. With access to their manufacturing and distribution platform in Canada and the U.S., we expect to expand our reach and continue to grow," said Giancarlo Mirabelli, who assumes the role of Director, Business Development, Folding Carton, at Supremex.

Supremex operates facilities across seven provinces in Canada and three facilities in the United States, and employs approximately 865 people.
Bullfrog Power on Earth Day, April 22, noted a milestone it had reached with Ricoh Canada, which has been using Bullfrog Power's green electricity program to reduce its environmental impact for more than a decade. With more than 5,500 megawatt hours of electricity put onto the grid on its behalf, Ricoh Canada has displaced more than 900 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the emissions from more than 3.5 million kilometres driven by an average passenger vehicle.

"We're delighted to celebrate Ricoh's tenth anniversary with Bullfrog Power alongside the company's global commitment to the RE100 to use a minimum of 30 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050," said Ron Seftel, CEO, Bullfrog Power.

Through the agreement, Bullfrog Power ensures that renewable electricity is put into the grid to match the amount of conventional electricity that Ricoh Canada's distribution centre in Concord, Ontario, uses. Across Canada, Bullfrog's green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.

"The partnership with Bullfrog is a great example of Ricoh's longstanding collaborations on sustainability as we strive to reduce our environmental impacts across the entire business," said Glenn Laverty, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Ricoh Americas; President and Chief Executive Officer, Ricoh Canada, Inc. "We take great pride in our new commitment to RE100 and in working with Bullfrog Power as part of Ricoh's global efforts to implement measures against climate change and enhance sustainable environmental management."

Ricoh Canada is also contributing to Bullfrog Power's community renewable projects program that has supported more than 130 community-based projects across Canada. In Ontario, the Bullfrog-powered community helped to fund a 225-panel solar project on Kew Beach Junior Public School in Toronto's The Beach neighbourhood.
The Printing House has been recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2018, based on the criteria of Mediacorp Canada Inc., which manages Canadian employment programs and events. Mediacorp explains The Printing House's green volunteerism goes hand-in-hand with its philosophy of being eco-friendly in its operations.

TPH explains that 93.7 percent of the paper it purchased in 2017 was environmentally certified, with 91.5 percent of the paper designated as Forest Stewardship Council-certified. “Our continued goal is to inch ahead to 100 percent,” said Andrew O'Born, VP of Business Development.

TPH, among a range of initiatives, also points to recognition as the most sustainable and forest friendly printer in Canada – number two in North America – by Canopy in 2017, as well as its implementation of a Paper Procurement Policy in 2015, with guidelines provided by not-for-profit partner Canopy. This policy ensures TPH is not sourcing from ancient and endangered forest hotspots.
More than 80 Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards were presented to printers and technology suppliers from across the country at the 12th annual Canadian Printing Awards last November. Among these outstanding work of print, Burlington, Ontario’s Artcraft Label, led by Alain Paquette, swept the Labels, Flexography category.

Among the company’s three winning wine label projects, Monarch Late Harvest took Gold and was among four finalists for Best of Show at the 2017 awards gala.

Gold Award production challenge
The Monarch Late Harvest project was run on a Nilpeter FB5500 at 4,500 metres, with the goal of creating an illusion of motion. The label was printed on a silver metalized paper for the wing tips to add a dash of shine, explains Artcraft, subtle enough to look like they are dancing.

The white ink had to be near perfect in laydown to cover the naming panels, as if it were white semigloss paper; and then behind only the CMYK gradations of orange and Match Colour for the Monarch wings. An overall flood of imprintable matte UV was applied and finished off with a tactile rotary silkscreen.

Gold: Monarch Late Harvest,
Artcraft Label

Silver: Kacaba Susan’s Sauvignon,
Artcraft Label

Bronze: Kacaba Pinot Gris,
Artcraft Label
At a fundraising dinner hosted by ICON Digital Productions of Markham, ON, on April 5, 2018, at The School of Fine Dining, ICON raised a total of $35,000 for Geneva Centre for Autism (GCA) programs and services.
The Toronto Club of Printing House Craftsmen Awards Dinner took place on April 11 at the Duncan House, Don Mills, ON, led by master of ceremonies Ralph Pike and President Bill Kidd.

Leading graphic communications students from the Greater Toronto area received awards in two distinct programs, including the Tai Chi Awards, which considers academic standing, and the Graphic Challenge Awards, which evaluates graphic design.

Now in its 43rd year, both Toronto Craftsmen programs provide scholastic funding to the students. This year’s recipients include:

Toronto Craftsmen Chai Tse Award Recipients

Ivory Garlock
Centennial College, The Centre for Creative Communication

George Papadopol,
Central Technical Secondary School

Stefany Bakelaar
George Brown College School of Design

Calla Simpson
George Brown College School of Design

Tanja Schnell
Georgian College Design and Visual Arts

Aamer Seth
Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School

Aaron Inocencio
Humber College Graphic Design Program

Carman Fan
Ryerson University School of Graphic Management

Michael Membreno
Seneca College School of Creative Arts and Animation

Graphic Challenge Award Recipients

Post Secondary
Cherina Entena
Seneca College School of Creative Arts and Animation

Michelle Paquot
Humber College Graphic Design Program

Secondary Schools
Stephan Giczey
Central Technical Secondary School

Vianna Chow
Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School

Tianqing (Toby) Li
Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School
At the London Book Fair on April 11, HP introduced its Piazza book printing service, which the company describes as a set of independent and interlocking cloud-based book manufacturing and distribution services for publishers. HP explains Piazza allows publishers to build a virtual warehouse for the management, automation, distribution, print, and direct fulfillment of book orders, while holding zero inventory.
FPInnovations, a not-for-profit organization that supports Canadian forest sectors, welcomed the Quebec government's latest economic plan, économique du Québec, which provides for an additional $6.5 million in forest-sector workforce training. The organization said the move helps Quebec's hardwood forests, and particularly in southern Quebec.
The Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) reached an innovation milestone receiving its 2,500th U.S. patent, entitled Silver Nanoparticle-Sulfonated Polyester Composite Powders and Methods of Making the Same. The patent, according to XRCC, reinforces its global position in advanced materials research and development.
Print Digital Solutions (PDS) on May 4, 2018, is holding a daylong open house to showcase new printing systems that it distributes in the market.

The open house event, taking place at the company’s Scarborough location, is scheduled to run from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and will feature newer systems like the Duplo DFL-500 3, which provides laminating, foil and dry coat with formulated film that is melted onto the sheet. The system’s foil capabilities leverage what Duplo describes as unique adhesive rollers that stick to the toner. It targets applications like book covers, business cards, postcards direct mailers and brochures.

Also on display will be the OKI 942, a 5-colour with white toner print engine. PDS will also be showing new digital garment printers from OKI, model 8432 CMY + White, and model 6410 with neon. Both of these printers can be matched up with the HIX Heat press line.

PDS, in addition to its distribution agreements with MBM and Mutoh, will also be highlighting a range of systems from Multigraf, which develops one-pass slit, cut, crease and fold technology.
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