2019 Workshops and Networking Events

Networking Events

Friday Night Reception + Curling

Connect with other BCAFM members and vendors while skipping, throwing and sweeping your way to the button! Your reception ticket includes appetizers, one drink ticket, access to the lounge, and the option to curl.

Date: Friday, March 8, 2019 Time: 7pm – 9pm (MST)
Where: Kimberley Curling Club (523 Archibald St)
Free return shuttle from the conference venue will be provided


Banquet & Farmers’ Market Awards

Join us for a sumptuous feast of food and drink. This evening will feature our annual Farmers’ Market Awards.

Date: Saturday, March 9, 2019
Time: 7pm – 10pm (MST)
Where: Kimberley Conference Centre (New Dawn Ballroom)
Host: Dennis Walker, host of Summit 107 Mornings

MarketSafe Training

Date: Friday, March 8, 2019
Time: 10am – 5pm
Venue: Kimberley Conference Centre

MarketSafe training is for farmers, food processors and producers who make, bake or grow products to sell at local farmers’ markets, farm gates or other types of temporary food markets. It increases awareness and knowledge of food safety and safe food handling procedures for farmers’ market vendors, market managers, farm gate vendors, home kitchen small scale food processors, and others who may make, bake or produce food products for public consumption outside of food service establishments. MarketSafe is not equivalent to FOODSAFE Level 1.

* Please note, if you registered for an All-Inclusive or Conference Only pass, you can choose to attend either MarketSafe training or SuperHost training for free! You can also register for MarketSafe training on its own ($25). Limited to 25 participants. Registration on a first come, first serve basis.


SuperHost Training – Foundations of Service

Quality Date: Friday, March 8, 2019
Time: 10am – 5pm
Venue: Kimberley Conference Centre
Instructor: Anna-Marie Rautenbach

SuperHost training is for front-line employees and offers relevant, up-to-date content and best practices that meet the current needs and expectations of employers and visitors. First launched in 1985, SuperHost is recognized as the standard for customer service excellence in BC. The Foundations of Service Quality introduces the principles of providing a quality service experience in the workplace, and provides an understanding of the importance of exceptional customer service. Participants will learn about:

  • workplace communication
  • problem solving
  • customer and employer expectations
  • and more

* Please note, if you registered for an All-Inclusive or Conference Only pass, you can choose to attend either SuperHost training or MarketSafe training for free! You can also register for SuperHost training on its own ($25). Limit to 25 participants. Registration on a first come, first serve basis.

Workshop List

  • Are Farmers’ Markets the Key to Food Hub Success?
  • Captivating Through Storytelling
  • Demystifying Social Media Marketing
  • Developing a Farmers’ Market in a Rural and Remote Area with “No Farmers” – Our Story
  • Effective Conflict Management
  • Elevating the BC Farmers’ Markets Brand with Destination BC and Farm|Food|Drink (plenary)
  • Engaging Local Partners
  • Farmers’ Markets as Incubators
  • Farmers’ Market Photography
  • Food Safety and Farmers’ Markets
  • Harvest Dinner Fundraiser
  • Is My Business Profitable? Tools to Help Vendors
  • Land Matching Program with the Young Agrarians
  • Small Business Valuation – An Overview and Succession Planning Tool
  • Squirrel Learns to Grow
  • Starting a Farm Marketing Co-op

Workshop Descriptions

Are Farmers’ Markets the Key to Food Hub Success?
Greg McLaren, Farm|Food|Drink Inc. – Business Advisory Team

Food hubs are being researched, planned, and launched throughout the province and across the continent. Depending on the region, food hub projects vary in both form and size. Yet, many of the planned food hubs have struggled to launch, and others, once launched, struggle to be viable. There are many questions and some risks involved in the development of food hubs. To many vendors and consumers, farmers’ markets are food hubs. But are they part of the conversation? Or part of the planned solution? If not, why not? If farmers’ markets don’t engage, will they become a side story and lose customers? How can farmers’ markets support and tap into this growing opportunity?

Based on food hub research/planning projects and farmers’ market development projects, Greg will present an overview on food hubs and facilitate a discussion on how farmers’ markets can get into this food system conversation, become a solution, and maximize this opportunity.


Captivating Through Storytelling
Zan Comerford, Rhythm Club

Social media falling flat? Marketing not making the mark? Knowing how to get your customers and community to believe in your business’ unique story is your secret weapon in a saturated industry. As each of you has an incredible opportunity to pull your audience into a powerful story of overcoming obstacles and believing in a more beautiful future. In this workshop you will learn:

  • the 4 key elements of your brand narrative
  • the 3 step process to create captivating content that supports your story
  • how to position yourself in the marketplace
  • how to connect with the hearts of your community


Demystifying Social Media Marketing
Zan Comerford, Rhythm Club

Have you spent hours posting on social media, but don’t ever see a tangible result? Are you tired of wondering if what you’re doing is making a difference? Do you find yourself saying you “hate marketing” and “wish you could just focus on your passion”? You’re not alone. This workshop will cover:

  • The essentials to hack your way to social media success
  • How to create an easy to implement marketing campaign
  • When and how to spend money on social media and print marketing
  • How to assess what’s working and what isn’t
  • 5 ways to stay sane while using social media for business


Developing a Farmers’ Market in a Rural and Remote Area With “No Farmers” – Our Story
Leslie Dyck, Mount Waddington Community Food Initiative; Neva Perrott, North Island Farmers and Artisans Market

The Mount Waddington region is geographically large and demographically diverse. The idea of a regional farmers’ market had been a topic of discussion for a long time with the public wanting better access to healthy, fresh, locally grown foods. With such a huge vision, so much need, and no traditional farming taking place in the region, how could a market be possible? Seven short years ago, Neva had the inspiration to start a new farmers’ market in the region; just start it and see what happens. In the first year, there were three regular vendors (rain or shine) who set up at a local gas station parking lot. The next year vendor numbers doubled, and the market has continued to grow ever since.

This workshop will take you down the winding road of the burgeoning North Island Farmers and Artisans Market. Neva and Leslie will discuss the importance of developing community partnerships, working with local government, forming a society, and becoming part of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. They will discuss challenges (there are many) and successes. A large part of the work has been developing/supporting new vendors and building the confidence of the community. Attendees will learn:

  • the importance of building community partnerships and how;
  • developing and attracting vendors;
  • social media engagement in the “off-season”;
  • getting the word out; advertising in a region where word of mouth is the norm;
  • working with local government;
  • extending the reach, joining BCFAM, developing a second market, supporting a network of other local community markets


Effective Conflict Management
Josie Cale, Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services

Conflict is a natural part of our lives. How you communicate can heavily effect how conflict is handled and resolved. These skills are not something you are born with, they are developed. In a 90 minute session, the basics of communication are covered including listening, asking questions, mindfulness, “I” statements and apology. Basic conflict tools and strategies are reviewed to help you achieve your needs and handle difficult situations. There will be hands on exercises to put what you learn into practice. Having great communication and conflict resolution skills improves interactions with customers, vendors and the public and lowers your overall stress.


Elevating the BC Farmers’ Markets Brand with Destination BC and Farm|Food|Drink
Belinda Ewald-Middleton, Destination BC; Heather O’Hara, BCAFM; Greg McLaren, Farm|Food|Drink Inc. – Business Advisory Team

Join the BCAFM and Destination BC (DBC) to learn more about our collaboration through the cooperative marketing program and the expansion of the BC Farmers’ Market Trail, along with how markets and vendors can leverage many other DBC programs and resources. Following this, Farm|Food|Drink will unveil and explore the exciting new look and feel of the BCAFM brand refresh and member-centred website.


Engaging Local Partners
Livia Lara, Cranbrook Farmer’s Market

This workshop aims to explore the many possibilities to grow and strengthen markets through partnerships with local organizations and businesses. Cranbrook Farmers’ Market Manager, Livia Lara, will present the market’s 10 year anniversary season as a case-study in which the market team was able to increase attendance by 15%, and average vendor attendance by 20%. This initiative was only possible due to the development of local partnerships, grants and sponsorships. Join Livia as she paints a picture of how the market was able to make these incredible gains.


Farmers’ Markets As Incubators
Stuart Anderson, Community Futures North Okanagan; Lindsay Bisschop, Ministry of Agriculture; Sean Campbell, Community Futures Cranbrook; Kevin Dorrius, Community Futures Revelstoke; Tracey Frederickson, Basin Business Advisors Ag Program Community Futures Nelson; Sophie Larsen, Farm Kitchen Cranbrook; Heather O’Hara, BCAFM

In this workshop you will learn how to better position, leverage and strengthen your farmers market as a business incubator to support local businesses and attract new vendors. Join a panel of economic development practitioners and other guests to learn how to plug into regional and provincial initiatives and resources that will launch and grow the success of vendor businesses selling at your market.


Farmers’ Markets Photography
Anice Wong, Photographer; BCAFM

Farmers’ markets are a feast for the senses. How can you capture the excitement, colours, textures, and people that make markets so vibrant? Learn some tips and tricks in photography to better showcase your market, products, farmers, and vendors. From, the rule of thirds, angles and perspectives, shot size, framing, and more – you will be able to use these easy and practical tips next time you take a shot!


Food Safety and Farmers’ Markets
Sion Shyng, BC Centre for Disease Control; Daphne Sidaway-Wolf, BC Ministry of Health; Kevin Touchet, Interior Health Authority

This session will provide an understanding of the different standards and approval requirements as they apply to the various types of food services operating at temporary food markets. Standards for lower risk food vendors, higher risk food vendors, vendors providing food samples, and vendors serving food for immediate consumption will be covered. The roles of Environmental Health Officers, BC Centre for Disease Control – Environmental Health Services, market managers, and market vendors will be explored while examining the various categories of food service. Attendees will also learn about ProcessSafe, a course that helps enhance small scale processors’ food safety, and will have an opportunity to ask important food safety questions that affect small scale processors.


Harvest Dinner Fundraiser
Marcus Gill, Colin McNair, Rob Pingle, Salt Spring Community Market Society

The Salt Spring Tuesday Market has worked each year to host a fundraising dinner that showcases the food grown in the community and the talents of chefs participating in the market. The funds raised at this dinner are donated to the community partner to support the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program. This workshop will discuss the successes and challenges of hosting this event. Each presenter will bring a different perspective to what is needed for a successful event, including board actions, front of house coordination, menu planning and harvest demands.


Is My Business Profitable? Tools to Help Vendors
Paige Dampier, Close to Home Organics

This workshop is for vendors who want to strengthen their business by gaining a clearer sense of when and how they are profitable. By the end of the presentation, participants will have a set of tools for: tracking daily sales; preparing invoices; and setting prices that reflect costs of production. These tools can be useful for vendors in contexts outside of farmers’ markets. The farmers’ market sector, overall, would also benefit from having a clear sense from vendors about their daily sales objectives. Are you looking to make a livelihood? Support a hobby?Test a new item for a broader market release? What makes it ‘worth your while’ to be at market?


Land Matching Program with the Young Agrarians
Hailey Troock, Young Agrarians

Got Land? Want Land? Join the Young Agrarians Columbia Basin Land Matcher Hailey Troock for a session exploring the B.C. Land Matching Program and the nuts and bolts of leasing land. We’ll look at what goes into creating a solid land arrangement: land assessment, communication tools and building strong working relationships, agreements, and regulations surrounding farm classification, housing, and ALR. You’ll come away with a solid understanding of the resources available, and knowledge to help you build out mutually beneficial land agreements – plus, learn how the B.C. Land Matching Program can offer hands on support to match farmers and farmland owners in the region. Bring your questions!


Small Business Valuation – An Overview and Succession Planning Tool
Stuart Anderson, Community Futures North Okanagan

Community Futures North Okanagan is a community-based not-for-profit corporation offering a comprehensive selection of business and employer services, employment assistance services, and economic development. Join Stuart, Business Services Advisor, in this workshop where attendees will learn:

  • why prepare and plan for a successful succession event;
  • why a valuation may be needed;
  • to evaluate their own business and position;
  • how to prepare for a business valuation;
  • how to define goodwill;
  • identify three valuation methods;
  • marketing their business post valuation; and
  • common mistakes to avoid.


Squirrel Learns to Grow
Lisa Aasebo Kennedy, Creative Monkeys Children’s Programs

Farmers’ markets have a dedicated following in BC. A large chunk of those attendees are families. Parents shop and enjoy music, but what about the hoards of young minds energetically bouncing from tent to tent? What are they taking away from these weekly events? Is this not a perfect opportunity to engage and empower a captive audience full of future food growers and ethical, locally-conscious consumers? YES! We sure think so! Join us for a fun-filled, interactive, theatrical look at engaging the youngest attendees of your markets. Learn to move away from static booths full of stickers, flyers, balloons, and crafts that just end up in the garbage next week, and create a lasting, positive, interactive, environmental education experience for future marketeers!


Starting a Farm Marketing Co-op
Joy Emmanuel, CoopZone

Farm marketing co-operatives have been operating successfully in British Columbia since the early 1900s. Co-ops are a member-based, value focused business model tailored to meet the needs and capacities of their members. Farm marketing co-ops can allow growers to focus more on production and bring increased financial returns.

The workshop will provide an introduction to the co-operative business model, highlight different types of marketing co-ops and offer guidance on assessing the suitability of the model for a group of farmers or vendors and illustrate the steps to getting started. Attendees will become familiar with:

  • the key characteristics of the cooperative enterprise model;
  • successful examples of farm marketing co-ops;
  • the benefits and challenges associated with co-ops;
  • how to get a cooperative started; and,
  • success factors

Workshop content is based on the Starting a Farm Marketing Co-operative guide being developed by the co-op sector in partnership with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets; the guide will be available for distribution at the workshop.