History of the Westman Group of Companies
Starting in 1976, with just a single culvert mill but with a vision, persistence and a unique focus on customer service and employee wellbeing, Russ Edwards has grown WGI Westman Group Inc. both organically and by acquisition to become one of Manitoba’s largest manufacturers and one of Western Canada’s largest users of raw steel. A team of over 1,600 talented and trusted employees in 29 locations in both Canada and the United States have had the opportunity to realize their potential as they steer WGI to new heights.
The “Westman Group” of companies began with Westman Culvert & Metal Co. Ltd. in 1976, manufacturing riveted galvanized steel culverts in Winnipeg. Culvert production in Winnipeg continues to this day, and over the years other culvert producing facilities have been added to the Westman Group through acquisition. SPIR-L-OK, with production in BC (Langley, Dawson Creek, and Genelle) and Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) joined the group in 1994. In 2004 Steelcor Culverts in Regina was acquired. FSI Culverts with production facilities in BC (Prince George), Alberta (Grande Prairie and Ponoka), and Canada Culvert in Ontario (Orangeville), were acquired in 2005. The Orangeville facility moved to Cambridge in 2012. Integration of all our culvert companies into the new “Canada Culvert” took place in 2007.
Rollforming of corrugated steel roofing and siding began alongside the riveted culvert production in Winnipeg in 1982. Rollforming operations were relocated to Brandon in 1988, with expansion to Calgary (1992) and Langley (1996) creating what is known today as “Westman Steel Industries”. In 2010 TS Metals, with 34 years of experience manufacturing metal roofing, siding and trim in Swift Current, was acquired by the Westman Group. In 2011, to expand our precence in Ontario, a building was acquired in Cambridge and production started in 2012.
Behlen Industries LP in Brandon was acquired in 1988. All designing and manufacturing of engineered steel buildings, formerly done by our Gensteel Engineering in Winnipeg since 1987, was moved to Brandon at this time. Currently Behlen Industries LP designs and manufactures buildings and storage systems in the expanded Behlen Brandon facilities for the industrial, commercial, institutional and agricultural markets. Additional Engineering and Sales offices are located in Cambridge Ontario.
Meridian Industries (Winkler, Manitoba) and Wheatland Bins (Lethbridge and Camrose, Alberta) were acquired in 2002. All three locations manufacture all welded smooth wall steel hopper bins used for fertilizer and grain storage as well as many commercial uses. Friesen USA, was acquired in 2004. Located in Storm Lake Iowa, Friesen USA also manufactures all welded smooth wall steel hopper bins, and additionally introduced a new product line of bulk seed tenders. 2007 saw the integration of our operations into the new “Meridian Manufacturing Inc”, with continued diversification of product offerings into the oil and gas market and grain handling markets. In 2009, Sakundiak Equipment in Regina was acquired, complementing Meridian’s agricultural product line with flat bottom corrugated grain bins and an industry leading line of augers. In 2011, WGI acquired Hawes Agro Ltd adding a high quality mover to the Meridian auger lineup.