2022 Workshops & Networking Events

Networking Events

Friday Breakfast

Connect with your fellow conference attendees and farmers’ market enthusiasts as we welcome you to the conference

Date: Friday, November 4, 2022
Time: 7:30-8:30 am (PST)
Where: Massey Theatre, New Westminster

Friday Lunch & Farmers’ Market Awards

Join us for a sumptuous feast of local food by EL SANTO and our annual Farmers’ Market Awards. This event is included with your All-Inclusive Conference Pass or you can select to attend a la carte with the Friday Luncheon & Awards Pass – register here.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2022
Time: 11:45 am – 1:30 pm (PST)
Where: Room 1C, Massey Theatre, New Westminster

Friday A Taste of Farmers’ Markets

Mingle with your peers at the lovely Massey Theatre prior to our first ever Pecha Kucha event. We will have a variety of local bites and beverages available from celebrated farmer’s market vendors. This event is included with your All-Inclusive Conference Pass.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2022
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm (PST)
Where: Plaskett Gallery, Massey Theatre, New Westminster


You’re invited to our first-ever PechaKucha event! PechaKucha is an interactive storytelling format, where each presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary. This promises to be a fun evening showcasing work and exchanging ideas. Speakers who love food, teach about food, serve food, make food as a family, make art with food, and have food stories will speak from the heart, including Jen Arbo, Johnathan Baylis, Alexandra Brigham, Mary Chernoff, Raymond Liens, Melissa Maltais, Barb Pearson, Bill Picard, Kevin Schwantje and Scott Ashton Swan. This event is open to the public and members of the BC Farmers’ Market community. This event is included with your All-Inclusive Conference Pass or you can select to attend the PechKucha when registering here. Members of the public, don’t miss out on a wonderful evening of learning and sharing! Get your ticket here.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2022
Time: 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm (PST)
Where: Massey Theatre, New Westminster

Thursday Training

All Thursday training takes place at the Inn at the Quay.

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Presented by: Jasmina Egeler

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 MarketSafe training for free! You can also register for MarketSafe training on its own ($30). Limited to 26 participants. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Upon successful completion of the course, individuals will receive their MarketSafe certification.

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Presented by: Sangeeta Subramanian

This is a session for market managers/volunteers and board members that want to develop a shared understanding of Equity, Justice, Decolonization, and Inclusion (EJDI) for their markets. Each market attending will work to co-create an EJD Statement of Purpose and leave with a better idea of what they should develop as policies/procedures and culture at their market, as well as some concrete parts of such a plan. Markets may share some common desires, but also may have ones that are most relevant in their own context.


Workshops and Presentations

We have an amazing lineup of engaging and informative workshops. Select a workshop below to learn more about what’s in store.

All workshops take place at the Massey Theatre, New Westminster.

*Schedule subject to change.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 9:00 am – 9:30 am
Presented by: Heather O’Hara and Wylie Bystedt, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and Dr. David Connell, University of Northern BC

Join BCAFM for our opening plenary and official announcement of the provincial BC Farmers’ Market Economic Impact Study we will complete in 2023! The study team of Dr. David Connell, University of Northern BC and Heather O’Hara, BCAFM Executive Director along with Wylie Bystedt, BCAFM Board Chair will share an overview of our study plan, key timelines, benefits and how markets can get involved followed by a Q & A to learn more. This is an exciting opportunity for our farmers’ market sector since our prior studies completed in 2006 and 2012.

Attend this workshop if you are a board member, market manager or vendor looking to gain a deeper understanding of the economic impact of agriculture.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 9:30 am – 10:15 am
Presented by: Sion Shyng, BC CDC Safety Team and Amanda Ng, Ministry of Health Food Safety Team

In this session, representatives from the BCCDC, Ministry of Health Food Safety and Health Authority will address all major changes to food safety and health concerns that are commonly raised at farmers’ markets. Learn how to make sure all food vendors at your market are preparing, storing and selling food products in a safe way to protect both their business, the market, and their loyal customers. This workshop is a must if you run a food business or are a market manager.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 10:15 am – 11:45 pm
Presented by: Alma Tarelli

Structuring your business relationships: do you wonder about the advantages and disadvantages of working with people as contractors or employees? Do you get scared about payroll when thinking of switching to an employee model? We will debunk all the myths so you are ready to choose what’s best for your business.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 10:15 am – 11:45 am
Presented by: Sherri Calder, Sherri Calder Counselling and Coaching

Do you find yourself dealing with people who are angry or upset, breaking the rules or using objectionable behaviours? When navigating some of these challenges it can be difficult to stay calm, clear and respectful. In this engaging and experiential session, we will focus on ways to self-manage and find calmness in the face of conflict, distinguish between what is negotiable and what is not, and practice balancing empathy and assertiveness in a variety of situations. We will touch on best practices from market to market and look at tips for de-escalating serious conflict situations.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 10:15 am – 11:45 pm
Presented by: Jal Pranjal, Labour Market Facilitator, Inclusion BC, and Sheldon Kitzul

In this workshop by Inclusion BC, you will discover best HR practices for inclusive recruitment, hiring and onboarding, best practices for inclusive talent management. The presenter will share tips on creating a welcoming workplace culture and how to develop inclusive performance management strategies. Here you will discover available individualized assistance and support that RWA offers to help businesses meet their unique labour needs.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Presented by: Catt Fields White, Farmers Market Pros

Education and advocacy need to be a part of every farmers’ market organizer and participant’s toolkit.

While we may be aware that farmers’ markets provide a unique set of advantages to farmers, small business owners, and consumers, it’s not always common knowledge. Keeping farmers’ markets in the conversation means speaking up.  We’re thrilled to be joined by the CEO of Farmers Market Pros, Catt Fields White who will provide essential tips and guidance for making our voices heard so that we can be guaranteed a seat at the table. Catt will provide guidance on key talking points and phrases, social media graphic templates with instructions for editing, templates for Op-Ed submissions and letters to policymakers. Attendees will leave with a call to farms and a to-do list.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Presented by: Tara Immell, Simon Fraser University

Learn the science-based reasons behind why plastic waste “burdens our economy and threatens the health of the environment” and take away tangible steps that can be taken at every farmers’ market to move away from plastic usage.

This workshop focuses on local efforts at farmers’ markets which support the global effort to reduce single-use plastic packaging and carry bags. Bring your alternatives to plastic packaging to share what is working well and what is not recommended. The results of three UBC student research projects into plastic packaging alternatives at farmers’ markets in the Metro Vancouver area will be shared. These research studies asked farmers about their preferred packaging methods, and focused on hard-to-find alternatives to plastic, such as new ideas for packaging green leafy products. Participants will learn the science-based reasons behind why the Government of Canada says that plastic waste “burdens our economy and threatens the health of the environment” and will take away tangible steps that can be taken at every farmers’ market to move away from plastic usage.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Presented by: ALL Regions

An opportunity for market managers, board members and vendors to collaborate and discuss hot topics and issues. Brainstorm and discuss the hottest topics at farmers’ markets with your peers from all regions. Share your knowledge and experiences.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
Presented by: Nanette Plant, Camosun College

Presenting the Makers to Market Project for Immigrant and Refugee Women and findings from the first two seasons, while incorporating fun team building and reflective activities for participants

The Maker-to-Market program is a five-year program funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In this 10-week program, a cohort of 10-12 immigrant and refugee women create a small collective business. These women acquire language and business skills to create products for sale at farmers markets and winter fairs.  Each participant in the program brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from their home countries that they share and incorporate into their businesses. The program is an adventure for the whole team; as they navigate through the opportunities and challenges of the past few years and the intricacies of processing food for sale under the temporary market guidelines. Partnerships with government, non-profit and local community organizations are integral to the success and sustainability of this program. This workshop will provide a detailed overview of the program, and will outline program activities and how the results can be beneficial to all, including areas for further research and collaboration.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
Presented by: PANEL

Regional coordinators and the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative will share their insight into the role that Farmers’ Markets play in Food Security, and their perspectives from different regions will offer examples, reasoning, and a chance to ponder how this could work in your market’s context. They will speak to organizing, funding, and maintaining education programs, community gardens, and seed saving to highlight how they help to increase food security.

Date: Friday, November 4
Time: 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
Presented by: Darren Stott, Green Chain Consulting

This workshop will guide vendors and entrepreneurs through an eight-step process to help develop or update their business plan. 

Business plans are important for any business or organization to provide a realistic path for sustainable growth for the next few years, that meets the needs of its stakeholders. The eight-step process is based on recent programs supported by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, namely their Business Plan Coaching Program and Food Business Refresh Program, where participants are coached by consultants to write their own business plan. This workshop provides a walk-through of each step, focussing on key questions in each step. During the workshop, we will look at how to answer some of the questions through brainstorming, research and stakeholder engagement. Speaker Darren will discuss these key areas of focus: 

  1. Business Overview and Summary (partners, current situation, vision, objectives)
  2. Market Overview and Analysis (demand, competition, trends) 
  3. Operating Plan (equipment, facilities, logistics, processes, policies) 
  4. HR Plan (ownership, management, staffing) 
  5. Marketing Plan (advertising, promotions, pricing, positioning, branding) 
  6. Financial Plan (costs, revenues, 3-to-5-year projections) 
  7. Risk Assessment and Mitigation Plan 
  8. Implementation Plan 

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Presented by: Metro Vancouver

Hear what regional food systems planning looks like from a panel from Metro Vancouver and how this thinking can be transferred to your region in BC. An informative and interactive workshop to understand the complexities of food systems.

Regional food systems involve the coordinated function of many complex processes including the growing and harvesting of food, to food processing, packaging, transportation, distribution, preparation, marketing, and consumption. Food systems also include the management of food and packaging waste and the recovery of nutrients. This presentation provides insight into how Metro Vancouver has helped the region’s food system adapt to the ongoing effects of climate change, and how your region can too.

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 10:15 am – 11:30 pm
Presented by: Melissa Maltais, BC Association of Farmers’ Market 

What does Make Bake Grow looks like at your market? We will explore reselling and Make Bake Grow bylaws, followed by Q & A

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 10:15 am – 11:30 am
Presented by: Mandi Lunan, Food Business Coach

We get it, taking the important step to becoming a vendor at your local farmers market is a big deal, and there’s a lot to do in preparation. This workshop is designed to equip current and would-be vendors and business owners with all the information and tips needed to be a hyper-prepared market vendor.

This session covers everything from building your ‘market kit’, an extensive checklist for packing, and a seasonal social media housekeeping list which vendors and market managers can take home and share with their vendors and their local communities.

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Presented by: BC Farmers’ Markets Regional Coordinators

BC Farmers’ Markets Regional Coordinators will speak to their experiences working with farmers’ markets in specific regions and how they can combine powers to form a cohesive force within their region.

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 11:45 am – 1 pm
Presented by: Lily Nichol, New West Farmers’ Markets

Ensure that your market is developing community through free “value added” events and opportunities that provide more to your visitors and vendors. Led by market manager Lily, this workshop focuses on how you can transform your market from a place to do business, to a community builder. Learn tips to help build a detailed picture of exactly who your market customers are, and preempt what they’re looking for. This workshop is designed for market managers and will help foster knowledge to bridge gaps in your local community, make connections with other organizations and learn how to bolster one another. Community connection is a powerful thing.

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Presented by: Ryan Malcom, The Number

The BC Farmers’ Market Trail is the definitive guide to over 145 markets across British Columbia. The Trail makes it easy for tourists and locals to find fresh, local, in-season food and artisan goods at the farmers’ market in your community. Be included on the Trail website and our print brochure. Learn to use the Trail for your market’s success and sustainability.

Date: Saturday, November 5
Time: 11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Presented by: Jo Tobias, RootShoot Soils

Learn how to boost your farm’s health.

This workshop will explore the fascinating world beneath our feet and the intimate relationships between plants and soil. You will learn how to boost your farm’s health by supporting the complex interactions and processes that living soils and compost provide.

This workshop will also guide farmers and agri-businesses on making, managing, and using compost teas and extracts to amend soil.

Conference Program Overview

Check out our exciting program comprised of trainings, workshops and networking opportunities.

See the full schedule