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WRI Celebrates 40 Years

November 23, 2022

Since its inception, WRI Supply has maintained its core values:

  • Source premium materials our customers require to satisfy their customers’ needs.
  • Maintain stock to ensure our customers can get their projects done on time.
  • Make products available by the lineal foot so our customers can order only what they need.

In 1982, Western Rim Industries Ltd was founded by Robert Leigh as an import distributor of textiles and fabrics in the Pacific Rim.

Our first manufactured product that we carried was Hiraoka’s Awnmax awning fabric (aka Prismax). To this day, awning companies rely on the material for commercial installations.

In 1986, WRI supplied most of the fabric that adorned structures at Vancouver Expo 86.

Son’s Brent and Garwood actively supported promotion and growth of the business.

In 1992 Garwood acquired the business and moved it from Richmond, BC to Kelowna, BC in the former WFN firehall building.

In 1993, Western Rim Industries Ltd. partnered with 3M in distributing its 3630 series of translucent films to sign and awning companies.

In 1996 Western Rim became a full line 3M distributor with access to products from the commercial graphics division, traffic control division, converter specialties and adhesives.

As the company continued to experience exponential growth, in 2000 Western Rim Industries Ltd. opened its first Eastern warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario and changed its company name to WRI Supply.

As technology continued to evolve in digital printing, by 2003 WRI Supply began stocking 3M digital media films.

While customers were seeking more economical printable film solutions, in 2006 WRI Supply trademarked the Signmax brand and began carrying a variety of intermediate films and laminates.

In 2010, WRI Supply began stocking all 3M 1080 series wrap film colours as the car wrap industry took shape.

In 2011, WRI expanded its Mississauga, Ontario location by 3 times due to the amount of inventory required to maintain customer demand.

In 2013, WRI expanded its product lines to include 3M Architectural Finishes and 3M Glass Films.

WRI’s biggest competitor, ND Graphics who is also Canadian Owned and Operated, acquired WRI Supply in 2015 with the main goal for WRI Supply: to continue being successful at delivering superior products and customer service as its own independent brand.

Since 2019, WRI Supply has been the Master Distributor for 3M DI-NOC Architectural Finishes in Canada. Our quick ship program allows customers to choose from over 190 patterns available by the lineal metre from the DI-NOC catalogue that we stock in Mississauga.

As we look back at the past 40 years, we would like to thank all our valued customers for your continued support as we not only look at the current state of the industry but the future as well.

WRI Supply 40 Year Anniversary Timeline