2016 National Slow Food Conference to be held in The Columbia Valley

SlowFood_CVSlow Food Canada National Meeting

April 6-10, 2016 – Invermere, British Columbia

Background:

Each year, members of Slow Food Canada’s board, convivium (local chapter) leaders and other notable members of Slow Food, including Slow Food International representatives from Italy, have gathered to discuss the state and direction of Slow Food in Canada at the Slow Food Canada National Meeting. Locations of the National Meeting have shifted each year, from Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia to Montreal, Quebec, to Osoyoos, British Columbia and in between.

We are thrilled to announce that Slow Food Columbia Valley’s bid to host the 2016 Slow Food Canada National Meeting has been accepted.

The Goals of the Slow Food Canada National Meeting are: 

  1. Discuss the state, direction, and business of Slow Food Canada
  2. Showcase the culinary and agriculture culture, as well as, the indigenous heritage of the hosting convivium.

To read more about Slow Food, please visit www.slowfood.com ; www.slowfood.ca ; Slow Food Columbia Valley or visit us on facebook.

The delegation of approximately 100 will include culinary, agriculture and media professionals amongst the most highly regarded in their industry. Members include Slow Food Canada’s Past President, Michael Howell, Slow Food Canada’s International Envoy, Sinclair Phillip, Slow Food International Representatives from Italy, Slow Food USA Representatives, as well as, culinary educators, members of national and provincial tourism boards, and celebrity chefs. Several members are active in main-stream media, and almost all members are active in social media.

Activities:

Slow Food Columbia Valley has been handed a mandate to provide a variety of activities that highlight the heritage and culinary culture of the East Kootenay region.

  • Culinary, agriculture and tourism excursions and experiences
  • Tours of food and beverage processors, museums and cultural centres
  • Cultural experiences such as First Nations story telling and history – including eco-systems
  • Fundraising Dinners for the delegates and public to attend to profile local culinary talent and Canadian Food Culture.

Location: 

Our host location will be Copper Point Resort.  As well, events will be held in other locations throughout Invermere and the Columbia Valley.

Partnerships

We are delighted to be partnering with other organizations in the Columbia Valley. Pynelogs Cultural Centre in Invermere will be partnering with Slow Food Columbia Valley in offering a food-themed art show.  The Village of Invermere will be partnering on a Market of Taste, featuring local foods and producers. We look forward to forging partnerships with other valley organizations such as the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Windermere District Farmer’s’ Institute and other organizations.

Sponsorship Benefits 

This event will raise the profile of food and agricultural tourism in the East Kootenays across Canada and throughout the world. Local and regional wineries, breweries and agricultural products are a large part of the experience of the Slow Food National Meeting and Conference . 

  • Each delegate attending from over twenty convivia across Canada is an active leader in their own food community. Part of the mandate for each participant is to share their experiences while in Invermere, the Columbia Valley and the East Kootenays with their home convivium and within their food community. What better way to entice people to our beautiful corner of British Columbia? 
  • Representatives from Slow Food International headquarters in Italy will also be attending and will showcase their experience through follow-up newsletters and on the Slow Food website slowfood.com which reaches millions of people around the world. 
  • Local and provincial main-stream media has been extremely supportive of all past events. This event and all sponsors will receive considerable local, provincial and national publicity. 
  • Through education and awareness-raising, we can highlight the importance of a sustainable local food system to enhanced food security and economic development.
  • Profiling all of our farmers, ranchers, bee-keepers, cheese-makers, breweries, and wineries with the ancillary business opportunities demonstrates what a great place Invermere, the Columbia Valley and the East Kootenays is to live and work and vacation.
  • The possibility of future National Slow Food events of far greater size being held in our region- Terra Madre Canada. The possibility of a Canadian Terra Madre conference was raised at the 2011 Slow Food National conference. The experience of the delegates in Invermere and our region will introduce Invermere and the Columbia Valley as a possible location for the Canadian Terra Madre, which could well be an annual event – contributing significantly to our local economy and our marketing position nationally and internationally. Attendance at Terra Madre 2014 in Italy was more than 9,000 delegates from over 150 countries, as well, as, hundreds of thousands Italian and international tourists who attended Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto, a culinary symposium. 

Funds and Support

Slow Food Columbia Valley has been given a mandate by Slow Food Canada, to charge no more than $350 conference fee per delegate in order to keep the cost of the conference affordable.  In addition the accommodation fee has been capped at $60 per person per night.  In order to provide a seamless, robust experience for delegates, additional funds and support are required.

We are seeking funding or in-kind support to offset the costs of items such as:

  • Locally-produced ingredients for all events
  • Dynamic keynote speakers
  • Advertising
  • Transportation
  • Print Material
  • French Translation

It is a significant opportunity for our region to profile our farm to table and food community – agriculture being one of the cornerstones of our region, and also a growing component of our tourism demand. Culinary Tourism has been identified as the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry.  For more information about how you can support this National Event and great contact Alison Bell at alisonbell0@gmail.com.

 

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