BC Association of Farmers' markets
Supporting BC farmers and sustaining our local food supply means ensuring we have land to farm and fresh food to eat. It's a way to nurture the places we live and visit.

2016 Speakers and Bios

2016 Speakers and Bios



Véronik Campbell, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm

Véronik is the Academic Programs Manager at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm. She works closely with the day-to-day operations of the farm, its farmers' market, and its institutional sales. She holds a BSc. and MSc. from Dalhousie University.

Session: Strategies for Market Diversification Through Institutional Selling: Experiences from the UBC Farm



David Connell, University of Northern British Columbia

Dr. Connell RPP (Associate Professor, UNBC) recently assessed the state of agricultural land use planning in British Columbia, which is part of a national project about principles and beneficial practices for protecting farmland. Past research includes evaluating agricultural planning by local governments, and assessing the socio-economic benefits of farmers' markets.

Session:  Protecting BC’s Farmland: How to Understand and Assess Local Land Use Policies



Keir Cordner, First Nations Health Authority

Keir is an Environmental Health Officer working for First Nations Health Authority. Keir has over twenty years’ experience working in his roles as a food safety officer, drinking water officer, communicable disease officer, small scale food processor project manager, and food safety educator. He graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto and quickly travelled west to work in Kelowna, followed by Port Moody, then Courtenay, and now Victoria. He is an active volunteer with the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors and has held the positions of BC Branch President, National Treasurer, and is currently the National Chair of the Council of Professional Experience. Keir has recently been a subject matter expert participating in the development of the BC MarketSafe online course.

Session: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Food Safety at Farmers' Markets

Lou-Anne Daoust-Filiatrault, University of Northern British Columbia

Lou-Anne is a Master's degree student at UNBC. She is studying farmland protection in British Columbia, and is working on a national project about principles and beneficial practices for protecting farmland.

Session:  Protecting BC’s Farmland: How to Understand and Assess Local Land Use Policies



Katie Eistetter, University of Northern British Columbia

Katie is a Master's degree student at UNBC. She is studying farmland protection in British Columbia, and is working on a national project about principles and beneficial practices for protecting farmland.

Session:  Protecting BC’s Farmland: How to Understand and Assess Local Land Use Policies



Helen Fathers, White Rock Farmers' Market

Helen is a White Rock City Coucillor, the Market Manager of the White Rock Farmers' Market, and a Board Member of the BC Association of Farmers' Markets.

Session: How to Present as a Delegation to Your Local Government



Tara Immell, Recipient of a Vancouver Coastal Health Community Food Security Grant

Tara is a finance instructor at Simon Fraser University, an active volunteer at the North Shore Neighborhood House’s social enterprise, The Edible Garden Project, and a home food preserver of over 400 jars annually. In 2015, she received Vancouver Coastal Health funding to pilot low-risk home preservation classes for Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program recipients. By sourcing produce considered food waste by farmers, wholesalers, distributors, and retail outlets, Tara provided cooking skills, community engagement, and 150 jars of preserved produce to vulnerable community members.

This project sparked her professional research interest in the social responsibility of farmers and the monetary incentives available to reduce food waste. Following a career in international financial risk management and fourteen years teaching finance, she is now completing a Masters of Agriculture degree to help urban farmers acquire the numerical business skills needed to earn a living wage.

Session: Connecting with Your Community to Turn Food Waste Into Food Security



Laura Kalina, Interior Health & Kamloops Food Policy Council

Laura is a registered dietitian (McGill University) with a Master’s degree in Adult Education (St. Francis Xavier University). She has more than 25 years experience as a Public Health Dietitian with Interior Health (Kamloops) in the area of food security and community development. Laura is an author and international speaker, having written numerous books including Building Food Security in Canada: From Hunger to Sustainable Food Systems, as well as the international bestseller, Low Glycemic Meals in Minutes. This book has been used by schools, teachers and parents as a way to help families use whole, local foods in easy recipes.

Laura is also the founder of the Kamloops Food Policy Council, and has championed numerous projects in her community including community gardens and kitchens, Public Produce and Gleaning, the Gardengate Training Centre, Kamloops, and Food Share. Most recently, her work is focused on food policy development at the municipal level with the City of Kamloops' 2015 Food and Urban Agriculture plan. She is a pioneer in food security and has worked across Canada assisting local governments and community groups in developing food security strategies and policies. Laura is currently on the leadership team for Farm to Cafeteria in Canada. She also founded the “Shop Smart Tour,” one of the larger supermarket nutrition education programs in Canada.

Awards include the Dietitians of Canada’s Speaking for Food and Healthy Eating award, the Kamloops’ Women of Distinction Award, the YMCA International Peace Medal, and the 2014 Dietitians’ of Canada Members Award for Innovation.

Session: Striving for a Healthy Sustainable Food System: Connecting Farmers to Community Food Action and Food Policy



Rebecca Lawrence, White Rock Farmers' Market

Rebecca is a CGA and works with the White Rock Farmer's Market.

Session: How to Present as a Delegation to Your Local Government



Jan MacDonald, Bodylove Bathworks

Jan is a manufacturer of bath and body products with 20 years of experience. She owns Bodylove Bathworks in Creston, and sells products at her factory storefront and at markets throughout the Kootenays. Jan has also served on the Board of Directors for the Creston Valley Farmers' Market, and assisted in implementing the requirement for adherence to Health Canada's regulations for the sale of cosmetics and soap.

Session: Cosmetic, Soap and Body Products Regulations



Shauna MacKinnon, Canada Organic Trade Association

Shauna heads up Community Relations & Development for the Canada Organic Trade Association, and is working with the Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) and the BC Ministry of Agriculture on components of the transition to the 2018 organic regulation. Shauna's experience in the agriculture and food sectors includes market research, communications, CSR, organizational strategy, as well as tending to her own backyard hens.

Session: 20 Things You Need to Know About BC's 2018 Organic Regulation Committment



Cat Majors, Armstrong Farmers' Market

Cat is currently the President of the Armstrong Farmers' Market, winner of the 2014 "Farmers' Market of the Year" award, and has been on the Board of Directors of the BCAFM for six years. Her background in theatre has led her to enjoy the festive community atmosphere which farmers' markets provide. In addition to supporting local farmers and artisans by shopping locally, Cat likes nothing better than creating "photo ops" and enthusiastically promoting sustainability and food security through good news stories.

Session: Blow Your Own Horn



Melissa Maltais, Royal City Farmers' Market

Melissa is the Operations Manager for the Royal City Farmers' Market in New Westminster. She is currently studying Recreation Management at Langara College.

Session: Creating a Wellness Plan for Market Managers



Jillian Merrick, Jillenium Consulting

Jillenium Consulting is a community economic development agency, established in 2014 and based out of Prince George. Jillenium Consulting is owned and operated by Jillian Merrick, who has over ten years of experience in business and community­-based development in both urban and rural communities of Interior and Northwest British Columbia. She is a leading expert on agricultural business development in Northern BC. For the past five years, she has dedicated her professional career to assisting small farms along BC's Highway 16 on business development strategies.

Jillian provides strategic business coaching to a wide variety of clients in agricultural and beyond. Her most popular short seminar, The Cost of a Dozen Eggs, is delivered as both a training tool for small farmers and an education tool for the broader community.

Session: The Cost of a Dozen Eggs



Lisa J. Powell, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm

Dr. Powell is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm and the Agriurban Research Centre at the University of the Fraser Valley. Her work focuses on farm-to-institution programs and agriculture at the rural-urban interface. She is part of a longstanding family farm, and holds a BA from Harvard University, an MS from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD from the University of Texas.

Session: Strategies for Market Diversification Through Institutional Selling: Experiences from the UBC Farm



Sion Shyng, BC Centre for Disease Control

Sion is a Food Safety Specialist at the BC Centre for Disease Control. He has worn many “hats and hairnet” in his 25 plus years in the BC food industry in both food processing and public health roles. Sion joined the Environmental Health Services team at the BCCDC in 2003, and splits his time between dairy inspections, food safety and processing consultations, and food safety education. He is a “Food Techie” at heart, and is an advocate for food safety training. In 2009, the BC Food Safety Initiative project won the BC Premier’s Award for collaboration. Sion was the project manager for that outreach program and led the development of the successful A BC HACCP Training Program. He has also collaborated on the MarketSafe and online MarketSafe courses, ones that the BCAFM has helped guide and bring to fruition. Sion is the Chair of the MarketSafe Steering Committee.

Session: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Food Safety at Farmers' Markets


Angeline Street, Stellar Food Group

Angeline uses her 25+ years of high end retail experience to help create winning sales strategies and attractive merchandise displays. Angeline has a deep understanding of customer needs, perceptions, and behaviours - honed to an art with her marketing courses at Vancouver Island University. Angeline has created a toolbox of thrifty and free methods to help her business reach the next level.

Session: Guerrilla Innovation - Bootstrap Methods to Grow Your Business



James Street, Stellar Food Group, Red Seal Chef

James has over 25 years experience in the food service and food manufacturing industries. A long time advocate and promoter of local food, James has been involved in the development of many local and regional food security projects throughout Vancouver Island. James is currently pursuing a degree in Business at the Vancouver Island University. He sits on the Board of Directors at the Cedar Farmers' Market as Director of Marketing/Advertising and Web Communications.

Session: Guerrilla Innovation - Bootstrap Methods to Grow Your Business



Michelle Wolf, Whole Green Heart, Farmers' Market of Nova Scotia

Michelle, BA, MES, is one of Canada's leading farmers' market experts. She is the lead 
facilitator and program developer for the incredibly successful farmers' market vendor and management training programs offered since 2011 throughout Nova Scotia and is the Director of Training for Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia. She is a former award-winning farmers' market manager, was an 18-year veteran farmers' market vendor, sat on the founding board of Farmers' Markets Canada, is a former president of Seeds of Diversity Canada, and teaches and trains across Canada and the United States at workshops, conferences, and events. Michelle has a background in adult education and is a trained workplace education consultant for Nova Scotia's Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

Session: Merchandising Best Practises - 100 Booth and Display Photos to Inspire Your Best Booth Ever, Blow Your Own Horn, and Healthy Markets Make Healthy Communities - Innovations and Initiatives at Markets



Jill Worboys, Interior Health, Central Okanagan Food Policy Council

Jill is a Public Health Dietitian with Interior Health. Jill works alongside community groups and is on the Board of Directors of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council, helping move food action and food policy forward. Also, by linking health to agriculture, food production, and land use, Jill works with local governments by providing a health perspective on the importance of protecting agriculture land. Jill also sits on the City of Kelowna’s Agriculture Advisory Committee as a representative of Interior Health’s Food Security Program. Jill is very passionate about all aspects of food; from growing, to cooking and preserving... and eating!

Session: Striving for a Healthy Sustainable Food System: Connecting Farmers to Community Food Action and Food Policy