A Summary of Food Forum Panels – June 14, 2024, Kaslo, BC

Watch the Food Forum Live Stream

Opening Remarks

    • Jean-Marc La Flamme from the Kootenay Lake Innovation Center welcomed everyone and acknowledged the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Sinixt.
    • The festival focuses on creating resilient and equitable food systems, emphasizing the interconnectedness of food security, decentralized energy, housing innovation, and shared mobility.

First Panel: Importance of Community in Food Production and Regional Distribution


  1. Robin Mercy (Mr. Mercy’s Mushrooms)
    • Emphasized the need for collaboration among small farmers.
    • Highlighted the importance of preserving and utilizing waste streams effectively.
  2. Marley Sansom (Community Connections Society, Cranbrook Urban Farm)
    • Focused on local food production through urban farming and hydroponic systems.
    • Stressed the importance of food literacy and innovative cold storage solutions for small producers.
  3. Nyree Marsh (Young Agrarians)
    • Discussed supporting farmers through education, mentorship, and land access.
    • Highlighted the role of young farmers and innovative approaches like circular systems.
  4. Brian Goldstein (Zero-Fox Tree Crops)
    • Advocated for perennial crops and tree farming for long-term food security.
    • Emphasized the importance of genetic repositories and the historical significance of tree crops in the region.

Key Points:

  • Collaboration and synergy among small producers are crucial for effective regional distribution.
  • Season extension through high tunnels and greenhouses can increase local food production.
  • Innovative approaches to utilizing waste streams and preserving food can enhance sustainability.
  • Supporting young farmers and providing access to land and education is vital for the future of local agriculture.

Check out photos and videos of the Food Forum event HERE

Second Panel: Opportunities and Needs for Food Production and Distribution in the Kootenay Bio-Region


  1. Patrick Steiner (Kaslo Food Hub)
    • Highlighted the need for commercial kitchen spaces for small food processors.
    • Discussed the importance of season extension and water management in farming.
  2. Dirk Gibbs (Kootenay Co-op)
    • Emphasized the importance of local food systems and collaboration among local producers.
    • Discussed the co-op’s role in supporting food recovery programs and reducing food waste.
  3. Lindsay Brandon (Permaculture Canada)
    • Advocated for decentralized food systems and community collaboration.
    • Highlighted the potential of agro-tourism and sharing resources within the community.
  4. Dawna McLennan (Feed Your Soul Foods)
    • Shared experiences of starting and growing a small food business with limited resources.
    • Emphasized the importance of community support and local food systems in reducing the environmental footprint.

Key Points:

  • Commercial kitchen spaces and shared resources can support small food processors and local food production.
  • Food recovery programs are essential for minimizing food waste and supporting community food security.
  • Decentralized food systems and community collaboration can enhance resilience and sustainability.
  • Local food systems reduce the environmental footprint and foster strong community connections.


  • The festival emphasized the importance of collaboration, innovation, and local food systems for creating resilient and equitable food systems.
  • Both panels highlighted the interconnectedness of various elements, including food production, distribution, waste management, and community support, in achieving sustainability.
  • The next event will focus on decentralized energy solutions, continuing the theme of resilience and sustainability.
The Future of Food in the Kootenay BioRegion is Bright.


Interested in getting involved? Putting your time, energy and support into the Kootenay Resilience Movement? Fill out our Festival Questionnaire and someone will get back to you right away.