8th Vancouver Urban Farming Forum

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Pacific Room at the Pacific Coliseum

100 North Renfrew Street

Vancouver, BC V5K 5J1


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The Vancouver Urban Farming Society (VUFS) is pleased to host the 8th Vancouver Urban Farming Forum in the Pacific Room of the Pacific Coliseum on Sunday, January 19, 2020, 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

The Forum brings together urban farmers from across the region, policymakers, food security advocates, and urban agriculture enthusiasts. All are welcome!

Your ticket for the day includes admission to a diversity of sessions and panel discussions on urban farming topics, as well as a delicious lunch made with ingredients sourced from urban farmers.

As a convening organization, we are proud to bring together a group of speakers & participants with extensive experience in the food and farming sector who are working in diverse and creative ways toward an increasingly vibrant and resilient local food system.


8:30 - 9:00 REGISTRATION


9:25 - 10:25 KEYNOTE SPEAKER

We are pleased to welcome Evan Bowness, Ph.D. Candidate, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability as our Special Guest Speaker. Evan will share the findings of his research into urban agriculture and land struggles, and opportunities within the urban farming sector to support social mobilization for food systems change, and creating a more equitable world.


11:00 - 12:00 SESSIONS A & B

City of Vancouver Update: Vancouver Urban Farming Guidelines Review

In 2016, the City of Vancouver adopted Urban Farming Guidelines to legitimize urban farming as a permitted land use activity and licensable business type in residential, industrial, commercial, and historic area zones. Council directed staff to collaborate with stakeholders on reviewing the policy after a pilot period and to report back to Council on its effectiveness. Caitlin Dorward, Social Planner from the City of Vancouver, will provide an interim update on this review currently underway, including a summary of feedback heard thus far, issues under consideration, and opportunities to provide further input.

  • Speaker: Caitlin Dorward, Social Planner, City of Vancouver

Unpacking White Privilege in the Food Movement

One year ago, the Hua Foundation in partnership with the Vancouver and Kamloops Food Policy Councils, hosted the inaugural “Unpacking White Privilege in the Food Movement” series. Over 1.5 days, a supportive learning space was held for those with white and light-skinned privilege working in Vancouver and Kamloops’ food movements to unpack how our racial privilege shows up in our work and explore what being a white anti-racist means. Folks who participated in the first series will host a conversation about this work, our learning, and growing the project.

12:00 - 1:20 LUNCH

1:20-2:20 SESSIONS C & D

Policy and Possibilities: Census Findings and Policy Examples from Other Jurisdictions

How can cities meet their sustainability goals while supporting the growth of a vibrant urban farming sector? This session presents preliminary findings of the Vancouver Urban Farming Census and how the urban farming sector has changed since the last census in 2016. We will highlight specific examples of how other cities use policy to support urban farming, and discuss recommendations for how the City of Vancouver can use policy to advance, rather than hinder, the growth of the urban farming sector.

  • Speaker: Angeli dela Rosa, Researcher, Vancouver Urban Farming Society

Urban Bee-keepers & Flower Growers: Opportunities and Challenges

A growing number of urban farming businesses are producing honey and cut flowers. Panelists will describe their operations & discuss the benefits and challenges of operating hives and fields of flowers in an urban context.

  • Moderator: Thanushi Eagalle, Farmers on 57th

  • Elly Rakhmetouline, Late Bloomers Flowers

  • Sarah Common, Hives for Humanity

  • Deb and Liam, Six Legs Good Apiary

  • Rose Dykstra, Front Yard Flower Co

2:35-3:35 SESSIONS E & F

Workshopping the City of Vancouver Urban Farming Guidelines

Urban farmers and policy makers will convene to discuss key aspects of the urban farming guidelines, the challenges they pose to urban farm businesses, growth of the sector and possible policy solutions. Facilitated by Shauna MacKinnon, author of VUFS report: ‘Class B’ Urban Farm Guidelines: Impacts and Recommendations, attendees of the session will increase their understanding of the day-to-day and economic realities of urban farming. Cross-jurisdictional planners and city staff are asked to join the discussion with the goal of discussing creative and specific solutions to improve city policy on urban farming.

  • Facilitator: Shauna MacKinnon, Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems Consultant

Farm Profiles will be provided by:

  • Michael Ableman, Sole Food Street Farms

  • Elana Evans, City Beet Farm

  • Aaron Quesnel, Sky Harvest

  • Camil Dumont, Inner City Farms

  • Chris Thoreau, Food Pedalers

  • Karen Ageson, Farmers on 57th

Special invitation to all planners and city staff! Please join the discussion.

Food Waste Management: An Unpackaged Future

How do urban farms contribute to a low to zero-waste economy, and how can farmers leverage their participation in the zero-waste economy to attract more customers? Olga Landscorp will talk about how using local compost products contributes to the circular economy, while improving production results. Karly Pinch will share the opportunities and challenges of minimizing waste in a Community Supported Agriculture food distribution model.

  • Moderator: Marc Wandler, Susgrainable

  • Olga Landscorp, SPEC

  • Karly Pinch, Former CSA Farmer

3:40 - 4:00 CLOSING


**NOTE** If you would like to further support VUFS’ initiatives to support Vancouver urban farmers, please, consider becoming a member by registering on our website: Membership

Work-trade options available. Contact hello@urbanfarmers.ca if you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at the Forum.

We want to acknowledge that this event is taking place on the unceded ancestral lands of the Musqueam (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) traditional people. As farmers, settlers and organizers, it is important for us to recognize the indigenous stewardship that has come before us and the struggles and stories that these lands have composted over many years.

The 8th Vancouver Urban Farming Forum is made possible with funding from Vancity, Metro Vancouver Agriculture Awareness Grants, Pacific National Exhibition, Real Estate Foundation of BC, UBC Public Scholars Initiative and the Centre for Public Engaged Learning Research to Action Grant, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society and Sky Harvest.

Access to the Pacific Room at the Pacific Coliseum (100 N Renfrew Street) is via Renfrew Street North of East Hastings through Gate 6. Parking available. There are stairs at the entrance of the Pacific Room. Please notify us at hello@urbanfarmers.ca if you require assistance accessing the event.

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Pacific Room at the Pacific Coliseum

100 North Renfrew Street

Vancouver, BC V5K 5J1


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No Refunds

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