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BC Food Systems Network (BCFSN), a project on Tides Canada‘s Shared Platform, works to create healthy, just and sustainable food systems in British Columbia by strengthening connections, nurturing capacity, and supporting joined-up food policy at all levels. BCFSN works in partnership with farmers and ranchers, fishers, First Nations, and people in communities working to rebuild their food systems from the ground up. BCFSN works to undertake awareness building and education, and to develop balanced policy proposals that adhere to sustainability principles and reflect the needs and interests of a wide range of people, communities and ecosystems.

Updates October: 2018

Annual Gathering and Network updates

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that the 2018 BCFSN Gathering will not be happening as we have focused staff time and volunteer energy to successfully transitioning Sustain BC. It was decided that we could not do both the Sustain BC project and host/coordinate a Gathering. Limited time, people (staff and volunteers) and money were a strong factor in our decision. We apologize to folks for the lack of communication. The situation continues to be challenging, but we are doing our best to move forward.

As part of this forward movement, we have decided to pull back from the coordination and facilitation of Sustain BC. Instead we will be prioritizing our efforts to building a movement in BC for fair and sustainable food and agriculture. In April 2018, the Steering Committee and BCFSN staff came together to discuss the future of the network. We identified as a priority for the network to address inequities with growing, accessing, and working with food, and the loss of control over food and foodlands in BC. With this new direction, we propose that the BCFSN directs its energy towards addressing the challenge of fair and just BC food and foodlands.

Key efforts of the network will be:

i) To bring attention and understanding of structural inequities within food and agricultural systems in BC
ii) To skill BC actors in organizing, mobilizing knowledge, and working to decolonize their own practices and institutions
iii) To amplify and strengthen voices across BC that call for a fair and sustainable food system

We know how important the Gathering is to many food system and foodland actors across the province. Our goal is to ensure that the 20th Anniversary of the BCFSN Gathering goes ahead for 2019. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Consider contributing and supporting our work. We are looking to recruit volunteers with lived experience or self-identified expertise in:
⇒ Anti-oppression
⇒ Decolonization
⇒ Movement building
⇒ Equity education
⇒ Planning with a focus on radical change, compassion, or healing trauma
⇒ Organizing

Finally, we wanted to acknowledge the efforts of our ancestors, those who have come before, those in the here and now, who have contributed their time, sweat, and tears to the BCFSN and building this movement. Please consider supporting this movement for a fair and just food system. Click to DONATE.

Updates: August 2018

Come Join Our Team!

Are you passionate about food and social justice? We have three volunteer steering committee positions available. Click the links below to view the committee descriptions and how to apply.

Communications & Membership Lead

Fund Development Officer

Volunteer Coordinator

Updates: December 2017 

Welcome Terri Rutty, new Project Director with the BC Food Systems Network!

Terri Rutty, Director, BCFSN

Terri Rutty, Director, BCFSN

Tides Canada Initiatives and the Steering Committee of the BC Food Systems Network are delighted to introduce our new Project Director, Terri Rutty. 

Terri brings to the position a strong background in community organizing and facilitation and non-profit program management.  While with the YMCA in Toronto, Terri created and filled a position as Director of Environmental Sustainability. Some of her most significant contributions at the YMCA were initiating community projects related to food.  Terri has more recently worked with Simon Fraser University in community engagement and as a leadership facilitator for the JUMP! Foundation, focusing on schools and youth leadership.

Terri holds a Masters of Environment and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria and is one of the 2017 RADIUS Fellows in Radical Doing at Simon Fraser, a program which supports emerging social innovators.  In the strong field of candidates for this position, Terri stood out for her strategic sense of opportunities for sustainability and innovation, her passion for healthy, socially just and sustainable food systems, and her demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

We look forward to working with Terri on building and expanding our work with Sustain BC, the local government-food security Community of Practice and other projects, and extending our reach as a provincial food systems network.   Feel free to reach out to welcome Terri on email: director@bcfsn.org.


And we are wishing Abra Brynne well in a new role –

Founding BCFSN member, long-time supporter, foodshed animator and policy analyst extraordinaire Abra Brynne is scaling back her staff role at the BCFSN to work on sustainable fisheries with Ecotrust Canada.  Abra has filled a wide variety of roles for the BCFSN since its founding in 1999, including many years as Director of Communications.  Since 2014, she has been on staff as Director of Policy and Engagement.  Her contributions in terms of community service, organizational skill and public policy smarts have been enormous.  Ecotrust Canada will soon learn that if you have Abra on staff, you are greatly blessed.

As Abra points out, this is not a shift away from food but a shift in focus – from the agriculture to the fisheries side – in her continuing work connecting sustainable land- and water-based food systems. She also intends to continue a role with the BCFSN’s Community of Practice, and her other food systems work, including the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council and the Kootenay Co-op (she chairs its Board in her spare time), so undoubtedly you will continue to see her in this space.  You can contact Abra with your congratulations at abra@foodshed.ca


Happy holidays to all!

Kathleen Gibson, Co-Chair, BC Food Systems Network Steering Committee


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