It was fitting that the inaugural Food Bloggers of Canada Conference was book-ended by winter weather. My drive to the conference took me along the side roads north of Toronto. On Friday afternoon I wended through a twinkling, ice-shellacked landscape. It was so beautifully distracting that I needed to remind myself not to let my attention waver and collide with one of the fallen trees that lay collapsed, unable to bear the weight of its shimmering, icy coat. On the aptly named Sunday morning – the last day of the conference - the cars in the lot were blanketed with fluffy, fresh fallen snow despite the fact that the calendar read April. Mother Nature ensured that no one arriving at or leaving FBC2013 needed a reminder that this was a Canadian event.
Although I no longer blog myself, I remain an avid reader of food blogs of both the domestic and imported varieties. And, it’s my opinion that Canadian food blogging has a future that is as bright and sparkly as those ice covered trees. I truly believe we have every opportunity to be an international influence on the genre. Consider these facts:
- English, one of our official languages, is the third most spoken (and read) native language globally
- French, also an official language in Canada, is the native tongue for 110 million people worldwide
- 72.2% of Canadian households have access to broad band internet (higher than in the US or the UK)
- We have a 99% literacy rate that ensures a large audience of home grown readers
- And, 92 % of Canadians aged 25 to 34 have completed high school which means our bloggers should be technically proficient writers
What does it mean to be a successful Canadian food blogger?
I suppose there are many different answers to that question, likely one for each Canadian food blogger. Regardless of what motivates an individual, I hope that our nation’s food bloggers can extend our national brand beyond our borders. Sharing, caring and self-effacement are three qualities I think Canadians have in abundance. By commenting on each other’s posts and sharing links on social media networks that drive traffic to one another’s blogs we can do a lot to raise the profile of all Canadian bloggers while staying true to some of our best national qualities.
In terms of content, I encourage food bloggers to write about what matters to and interests them; however, I also ask Canada’s food bloggers to fly the maple leaf with pride. Speak universally, cook the foods you love and tell people why your subject is important to you both as a person and as Canadian. If you celebrate what you find in front of you on the kitchen counter, you’ll be helping to define Canadian cuisine by teaching the rest of the world about our wonderfully eclectic and regional food scene.
So, get into your kitchens and then sit down and type away with abandon! Have fun and, in the famous words of Pink Floyd, shine on you crazy diamonds!
Dana McCauley is the Vice President of Marketing for Plats du Chef, one of Canada’s most internationally successful frozen soup, appetizer and snack companies. Follow Dana on twitter: @DanaMcCauley and check out Plats du Chef at www.platsduchef.com