Growing the Local Food Economy: Actions for a Healthy and Sustainable Future

Regional Forum January 27, 2018
Okanagan College, Vernon Campus 9am – 3pm

Invited participants at this North Okanagan regional forum will include local food producers, processors, distributors, retailers, restauranteurs and others interested in expanding the local food economy. Most of the time will be used for discussion and the sharing of ideas, with an effort to prioritize and plan our actions for building a robust local food economy.


Curtis has served as Senior Associate since 2005 and brings to the Boston-based Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC) his experience in education, community building, leadership development, and program design, as well as an abiding passion for work at the intersection of racial justice and environmental sustainability.

For the past several years he has built a robust practice in support of numerous multi-stakeholder collaborative change networks, including Food Solutions New England; Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture, and Sustainability; Cancer Free Economy Network; Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network; Vermont Farm to Plate Network; Connecticut Right From the Start; and the Education Justice Network.

He is a recognized thought leader around network development and social change, and has presented numerous webinars and keynote speeches and is a regular contributor to the IISC blog on this and other related topics.

Abra Brynne, Director of the BC Food Systems Network

Founding BCFSN member, long-time supporter, foodshed animator and policy analyst.

Abra is a leader in  connecting sustainable land- and water-based food systems. She is also involved in the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council and the Kootenay Co-op (she chairs its Board in her spare time)

Our objectives

  • To begin the process of sharing ideas and thinking like a “collective impact” network, breaking down barriers to improve communication, strategic thinking and coordination across the food system.
  • To support the growth of North Okanagan food businesses while also reaching out to the general public to educate them as consumers in the multiple ways a stronger local food economy can benefit the entire region.
  • Our ultimate objective is to develop a concrete plan and a set of ‘next steps’ on how to strengthen the North Okanagan food economy, both in the short-term and the long-term.

By attending this event, you and your business will be able to:

  • Be inspired by success stories from other parts of North America and BC where local food economies have thrived.
  • Learn about the opportunities and challenges currently facing the North Okanagan food system, and the recommendations for action that have been generated by recent public consultations.
  • Discuss areas of concern and help us fill in the gaps or missing links in all aspects of the local economy, from farm to table, including producing, processing, distributing, marketing, and retail.
  • Help to form, and be part of, a local food and agriculture network of farmers and businesses.
  • Decide which actions you and your organization can take to strengthen your own business while simultaneously building the local food economy as a whole.

About us: 

  • The volunteer organizers of this regional forum work or study in a variety of areas related to food, agriculture, human health, food access and sustainability.
  • This regional forum is our first major event of a planned long-term effort to develop a robust, self-sustaining local food economy to the benefit of economic livelihoods, human health, food security and environmental sustainability.

The ad-hoc committee for “Growing the Local Food Economy”:

  • Mary Stockdale, UBCO
  • Linda Boyd, Interior Health
  • Leigha Horsfield, Community Futures of the North Okanagan
  • Jane Lister, Okanagan College
  • Linda Elmose, Okanagan College
  • Eva-Lena Lang, UBCO Masters student/producer/Young Agrarian

… plus

  • Andrea Gunner (producer/processor)
  • Emily Jubinville (producer/Young Agrarian)
  • David Askew (retail)
  • Victor Cumming (community economic development)
  • … and others.

For more information, contact: [email protected]