In November 2007, Deconstructing Dinner attended one of the first regional food security conferences ever held in Canada. With a population of less than 10,000 people, the City of Nelson, British Columbia, hosted over 250 people for the first evening of keynote speakers. With an equally impressive 170 in attendance on the second day of keynote speakers and workshops, the conference acts as an example for other Canadian communities wishing to begin organizing themselves to take greater control over the food available to them.
Deconstructing Dinner hopes the raw recordings, shows, and resources presented on the Conference Page will aid groups across the country looking to ensure the presence of a socially and environmentally responsible local food system that benefits local economies.
On Part II we hear from two more keynote speakers who address how the region can begin going about rebuilding its local food system.
Abra Brynne, Board President – Kootenay Country Store Co-operative (Salmo, BC) – Abra is known in the region as a Foodshed Animator – inspiring and working with groups who are in the process of preserving or building a more sustainable local food system. She acts as the Secretary for the Kootenay Organic Growers Society, co-founder of the BC Food Systems Network and is working with the Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy of the BCFPA. Abra has lent her voice to Deconstructing Dinner on both the launch of our “Co-operatives: Alternatives to Industrial Food Series” and during our inaugural broadcast in January 2006.
Don Low, Agricultural Economist, Industry Competitiveness Branch, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (Creston, BC) – Don is based at the Ministry’s Creston office. Prior to his role as an Agricultural Economist, Don was the District Agrologist, a profession that has disappeared in many parts of the country, and those positions that do remain have changed significantly from their more traditional role of advising and supporting farmers on the operations of their farms. Don also operates a large cherry orchard – Quiet Valley Farms.
Marilyn James, Spokesperson, Sinixt Nation (Winlaw, BC) – The land on which Nelson resides is the traditional territory of the Sinixt Nation also known as the Arrow Lakes People. The Canadian government has officially declared the Sinixt extinct, yet, many descendants do still reside in the region, so much so, that right here at Kootenay Co-op Radio we host the weekly program Sinixt Radio hosted by Marilyn James herself. As with any discussion taking place in this country when the issue of land use and resources are the focal point, support and approval from the original inhabitants of the territory is of critical importance. Marilyn welcomed conference delegates.
Nadine Steele and Andre Piver, Organizers, Future of Food Conference Collaborative (Bealby Point, BC) – As members of the Nelson-Creston Green Party of BC, Nadine and Andre are two of a handful of organizers who helped bring the Future of Food in the Kootenays Conference into being.
Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclip – Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)