2021 Workshops & Networking Events

Networking & Social Events

Get to know your neighbour! Join fellow farmers’ markets, vendors and community partners within your region. Get to know each other, share resources, brainstorm, problem solve, and plot your local future together.

Join us for gentle stretching and meditation in a relaxing yoga session. Breathe your worries away and set your intentions for the rest of the conference.

Get together with fellow attendees to collaborate, share and learn. Roundtable details coming soon!

Learn to make pie from an award-winning pie maker, Karen Curtis!

Prepare in advance: View the pie ingredients and recipe HERE.

Join us for a private screening of First We Eat, followed by a Q&A panel with Suzanne Crocker.

Putting food sovereignty to the test in the far North of Canada – filmmaker Suzanne Crocker, living just 300 km from the Arctic Circle, removes absolutely all grocery store food from her house. For one year, she feeds her family of five, only food that can be hunted, fished, gathered, grown or raised around Dawson City, Yukon on the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. Add three skeptical teenagers, one reluctant husband, no salt, no caffeine, no sugar and -40 temperatures.

Ultimately the story becomes a celebration of community and the surprising bounty of food that even a tiny community in the far North can provide.

Join us for our annual awards ceremony as we celebrate all of the wonderful things farmers’ markets bring us! This event will also host a conference of buskers who we all miss seeing at the market every week.

More details to come.


We have an amazing lineup of over 15 engaging and informative workshops over the three weeks of our conference in celebration of our theme, PIE: People, Innovation Equity.

  • Week 1 (Feb. 1-7) – PEOPLE
  • Week 2 (Feb. 8-14) – INNOVATION
  • Week 3 (Feb. 15-19) – EQUITY

Visit our Conference Schedule webpage.

All workshops are virtual.

Speaker: Kendall Ballantine (Marketing For Farmers & Central Park Farms)

The best part about shopping at your local farmers market has always been the community of shoppers and vendors. It’s the fact that shoppers get a real life connection with the folks who produce their food, but in 2020 we learned that having a presence online is vital. But how do we juggle our businesses online without losing that connection? In this workshop, you’ll learn how to not only grow a community around your business online through social media and email newsletters but how to foster true connection with your followers. You’ll learn the basics of how to implement a social media strategy on both Facebook and Instagram and how to grow an email list that supports your business growth.

Speaker: Lily Nichol & Minna Guo (New West Farmers Market)

Discover a wide range of free tools and social media concepts at this workshop, as well as how to use them effectively to fortify your market’s online presence. We will be showcasing tools like Canva (image creator and editor), Buffer (scheduling software), various cloud based softwares, and useful resources like Linktree, Google Surveys, Mailchimp, etc. We will be demonstrating how to use them and create a quick post for your market during the workshop, and provide take-home instructions to use at your own pace. As a market manager or market staff, you will take away a robust selection of new tools and ideas to revitalize your social media and online presence.

Speaker: Vanessa Daether (Farm Food Drink)

This workshop will focus on the current market trends affecting farmers’ markets due to the market disruption from COVID-19, and how to address that through marketing during and after the pandemic. Workshop participants will be engaged to share and brainstorm strategies (through Polls and/or Zoom Rooms) to market and sell local food and artisan products in a post-COVID world, with a specific focus on digital strategies. Participants will leave with a toolkit of ideas and marketing tactics that they can test out after the workshop. Learning outcomes include market trends, consumer insights, and marketing tactics.

Audience: Market managers; market vendors, farmers

Speaker: Meghan Hamilton

In this workshop, we will learn the difference and how to identify stress vs. anxiety and explore the different ways to tackle them. We all have a stress cup with a limited capacity, and external factors contributes to a sometimes overflowing cup. We will learn the importance of noticing how full our cup is, and what signs to look out for. Furthermore, we will explore:

  • How we can lessen what is in our stress cup short term, long term, and on a continuous basis
  • How to build resilience (reserve in the cup) through boundaries, learning to say no, self care & self compassion, and community support 

Speaker: Evie Lavers (Rhythm Club)

We can’t think of a better way to prepare for our 2021 season than freshening up on our marketing methods for the year ahead with Evie Lavers, owner of Rhythm Club. Whether you’re a market manager, vendor or artist, Evie will share with you her best practices, tips and tricks for engaging our rural communities. Throughout this session, she’ll gift you all the goods to get your town excited, engaged and ready to show up, both online & in-person! In attending this session you will receive a content calendar made exclusively for BCAFM Members and Instagram Cheat Sheet in printable PDF to share with all your marker members & vendors.

*It is recommended that participants take both sessions.

Plan on joining this session? Help Evie give the best information possible by filling in this form.

Want a 1 on 1 with Evie? Sign up for a speed session here. Spots are limited!

Speakers: Katrina Couto (Local Line) & Darren Stott (Greenchain Consulting)

Online ordering is here to stay. This workshop will outline best practices to integrate an online store or market into your everyday operations. You will learn:

  • How to best manage your products to maximize online sales
  • How to facilitate curb-side pickup of pre-paid orders for exceptional customer experience
  • How to best market your farmers’ market online store to increase site visits and orders
  • How to communicate with your vendors using the online store so they can maximize their benefits
  • Investment needed to support your online marketplace to put it on the right footing for success

With Katrina’s role at Local Line and Darren’s extensive experience in the food industry, we will present case studies and success stories gathered from online farmers’ markets across North America. Learn about the future of online markets, as they are becoming food hubs and generating significant revenue, while farmers come together to create these virtual marketplaces. We encourage attendees to share their experiences in each of the 5 areas above, so we can all learn from one another.

Speaker: Wylie Bystedt (Cariboo-Central Interior Poultry Producers Association & McLeese Lake Farmers Market)

Poultry in the Garden is a pilot project between local market poultry vendors, the Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association (CCIPPA) and local community agencies in the Cariboo. The project determines the efficacy of providing egg producing poultry in local centres such as community gardens or senior home complexes, in municipalities that allow backyard flocks. This can improve the knowledge and familiarity of urban consumers with poultry and local poultry producers, as well as increase the opportunity for urban consumers to access fresh eggs. Furthermore, it can help boost community resiliency and food sustainability, in addition to diversifying the community relations that small scale poultry producers have.

This workshop focuses on how the partners are working together, training sessions for community participants, and working towards making the program replicable. We welcome any feedback on potential analysis and additional community access points during this workshop.

Speaker: Melissa Maltais (Fraser North Farmers Market Society & BC Association of Farmers’ Markets)

Your Farmers Market has the potential to generate $250 – $500 per market in extra sponsorship revenue by attracting the right sponsors to the table! In this interactive workshop, Melissa will show you how to:

  • Discover where your local sponsors are at
  • Nurture those relationships to further your fundraising goals
  • Identify parts of your in-person market which has revenue earning potential
  • Identify parts of your online presence which has revenue earning potential
  • Craft that killer sponsorship package

We encourage attendees to share their sponsorship success stories with the group, so that we may all learn from each other and help one another in reaching our fundraising goals.

Speaker: Tien Nguyen & Savar Khanna (IOT Farming)

In this workshop, Tien will present the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology in agriculture as well as its challenges. Through this workshop, farmers will learn about the advantages of IoT-based agriculture over traditional agriculture.

Speaker: Kevin Hull (Biochar)

This session will cover the characteristics of biochar and their importance, and the many applications for biochar in agriculture. Attendees will learn how they can benefit from biochar, including increasing crop yield/health, better managing waste, and raising healthier animals, while contributing to a significant decrease in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Speaker: Allison Witter and Dan Scott

More details coming soon!

Speaker: Evie Lavers (Rhythm Club)

Following the lessons from our first Rhythm Club webinar of creative communication, Evie Lavers will share with you how to design, develop & integrate your content calendar, integrating online tools including Mailchimp & Instagram to the create a localized, equitable brand narrative that connects with your community in a  simple, yet savvy social media strategy.

*It is recommended that participants take both sessions.

Plan on joining this session? Help Evie give the best information possible by filling in this form.

Want a 1 on 1 with Evie? Sign up for a speed session here. Spots are limited!

Speaker: Sangeeta Subramanian (Chetana Consulting)

Have you or anyone in your organization wondered how to start a safe and healthy conversation on racism, anti-racism, microaggressions, unconscious bias, and discrimination safely and effectively? If your answer is yes, join this conversation because you are not alone. In this session, we are going to talk about how to start this dialogue with confidence, whether you identify as a racialized person or not. You will be given frameworks and insights on how to begin these critical conversations that are necessary and essential to the survival of every organization in these challenging times. Please note: This is not about political correctness – this is about having the heart and courage to acknowledge and talk about racism.

Speaker: Freya Kellet & Laura Fash (National Farmers Union)

This workshop will be an introduction to National Farmers Union (NFU), Canada’s national farm organization that has been committed to family farms, agroecology and food sovereignty for 50+ years. The NFU is a grass-roots, democratic organization with a strong history of victories in farm policy (from blocking the introduction of GM wheat, to defending Canadians right to save seeds, to protecting supply management) and an unwavering commitment to the well-being of farmers and the broader public good. We will discuss the importance of having a collective, national voice of small and medium-scale farmers in Canada, and the critical policy and direct action work of the NFU. We will ask the question “how can we be louder as farmers?” so that we can get the critical policy changes we need in the face of the farm-income crisis and the climate crisis.

Speaker: Sangeeta Subramanian (Chetana Consulting)

[FREE] This session is free to the public and can be streamed on our Facebook Page.

Guided by a facilitator, join fellow attendees to discuss systemic racism within the local food system, and learn how we can work to ensure food justice for all.

Speaker: Alisa Hutton

Does your business plan align with your core values? Are you creating a company you would want to work for?

value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important. … We walk our talk—we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviors align with those beliefs. –Brené Brown.

Join BC Food & Beverage and industry experts for an interactive session to explore building a values-based business model that reflects what is most important to you.

Moderated by James Donaldson, BC Food & Beverage CEO





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Something for everyone in our program!

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