Food Bloggers of Canada is excited to present the FBC2017 Speakers Lineup!

If ever there was a year to celebrate how far the Canadian food blogging scene has come in the last 14 years, this is the year!  The depth of food talent within Canada continues to deepen and every year we see more and more Canadian food bloggers authoring cookbooks, appearing on television (both as experts and as co-hosts), starting food related businesses, taking on ambassadorship roles, and inspiring people to try new things and learn new skills.

We're taking our annual conference to Ottawa this year as part of Canada's 150+ celebrations and we are very proud to announce, for the first time in our history, an all Canadian speaker lineup for FBC2017 led by Canadian food icon and Member of the Order of Canada, Elizabeth Baird!

Oh Canada indeed!

FBC2017 Tickets are currently sold out but we are accepting people to our ticket waitlist:

Keynote Speaker — Elizabeth Baird

We are thrilled to be welcoming former Canadian Living food editor, the author of multiple cookbooks, and member of the Order of Canada, Elizabeth Baird to FBC2017 as our keynote speaker.

Elizabeth Baird FBC2017 Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth Baird grew up in the 1950s, a time of optimism. After finishing high school in Stratford, Ontario she studied French at the University of Toronto, and then spent a year speaking French in Grenoble, France!

She went on to teach French in London England and Toronto. But an invitation to write a cookbook from publisher James Lorimer changed the course of her career and life. She had always been an enthusiastic cook, and the book, <em>Classic Canadian Cooking</em>, was her entry into the food world, and encouraged her to pursue two interests, the history of food in Canada, and cooking.

When the book came out in 1974, Elizabeth had the opportunity to write a weekly column, "Canadian Cookbook", in the Toronto Star.  This was followed by the Sun, and opportunities to freelance for magazines such as City and Country Home, Homemakers and the new kid on the block, Canadian Living.

Freelance turned into a permanent position as food editor of Canadian Living, a job she enjoyed for 22 years. It opened doors - the opportunity of working with excellent test kitchen and editorial staff, to travel Canada, north, east and west, to meet the farmers, fishers, gardeners, hunters, ranchers who put food on our tables, and the home cooks and chefs who put it on our plates. She loves meeting Canadians who take pride in cooking well, and sharing with their friends, family and community.

Elizabeth is the author and editor of mulitiple cookbooks both on her own and with Canadian Living and most recently published a new Canadian classic, Canada's Favourite Recipes which she co-wrote with Rose Murray.  It was published in 2014. In 2014, Elizabeth  was also honoured by becoming a Member of the Order of Canada.

Elizabeth's Favourite Canadian Dish: Tourtiere.

Ethan Adeland - Sunday General Session Presenter Ethan Adeland

Ethan will be joining Melissa Hartfiel on stage for a special FBC General Session on Sunday morning. 

Ethan is the co-founder and Managing Director of Partnerships of Food Bloggers of Canada where he works hard to create mutually beneficial campaigns for Canadian food bloggers and FBC's brand partners.

Having lived all across Canada, speaking both official languages and working with some of the most recognizable brands in Canadian food and agriculture , he has tremendous appreciation for the diversity of this big country and how food ties us all together.  He currently lives in Vancouver and is learning pottery with the goal of being able to fill a dinner table with his own creations!

Ethan's Favourite Canadian Dish: Butter Tarts (with raisins) and squeaky cheese curds

Connect with Ethan on Social Media: 

Instagram  |  Twitter

Dana VanVeller and Lindsay AndersonLindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller - Saturday Evening Presenters

Think Big: Creating Your Own New Opportunities .  Lindsay and Dana will be participating in a Saturday post-dinner fireside chat on how thinking and dreaming big resulted in an epic Canadian culinary road trip, a cookbook and countless new opportunities.  They will be available for a post session book signing.

Originally hailing from northern British Columbia and southern Ontario respectively, food writers Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller first met around an Okanagan campfire in 2011. Two years later, they launched FEAST: An Edible Road Trip, a journey across the entire country during which they experienced and blogged about Canada's food, culture, and wealth of fascinating characters.

37,000 kilometres later, and toting a coveted "Best Culinary Travel Blog" award from Saveur Magazine, Lindsay and Dana shared these tales in FEAST: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip, published with Appetite by Random House. Already a bestseller, the book features over 110 recipes from coast to coast and the great white north, alongside compelling stories of adventure, life on the road, and what it means to be Canadian.

Lindsay's Favourite Canadian Dish: Fried bannock with maple syrup and flaky sea salt

Dana's Favourite Canadian Dish: Montreal Bagels

Connect with Lindsay and Dana on social media:

Facebook   |  Instagram |  Twitter

Lisa BoltonLisa Bolton - Pre-Conference Instructor

Lisa will be teaming up with Beth Dunham to lead the Friday Pre-Conference Food Styling Workshop.

Lisa Bolton is a freelance food writer, recipe developer and the creative mind behind the successful blog Food Well Said, a space dedicated to thoughtfully presented and wholesomely prepared meals and recipes.

Lisa holds a masters degree in business and is currently working on her first cookbook with Penguin Random House coming out October 2018.  She is a regular contributor to Food Bloggers of Canada and authors both the On Board in 20 and Food Styling 101 columns. She lives in British Columbia with her husband and son.

Lisa's Favourite Canadian Dish: Candied Smoked Salmon

Connect with Lisa on social media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  | Twitter

Theresa Carle-SandersTheresa Carle-Sanders - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Book Agents: How To Find One & Work Together.  Theresa will be covering the ins and outs of finding and working with a literary agent, whether you're thinking about writing a book or already have an offer from a publisher.

Theresa was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and is the youngest of three children in a family obsessed with books, food, wine, and beer. She pored over food magazines as a teenager and has journals filled with recipes stretching back more than thirty years. After a lifetime of jobs including deli worker, fence painter, part-time-caterer, warehouse skills instructor, operations manager, and many more, she now describe herself as a trained chef and food writer.

Theresa discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon in 2001, and has been a devoted fan ever since. She and her husband Howard moved to Pender Island in 2003 to take life at a slower speed. It was a few years later, while on a walk in the woods with their dog, that Theresa thought of recreating the dishes from her favourite story.

After a few more years of hard work, Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook was published in June, 2016. It is in its fourth printing, and is due to be published in German, French, and Polish in summer 2017.

Theresa's Favourite Canadian Dish: Her mom's butter tarts.

Connect with Theresa on Social Media: 

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Pailin ChongchitnantPailin Chongchitnant - Sunday General Session Presenter

Using Video To Build A Successful Food Business and Community. Pailin shares how the many ways of embracing video content can lead a thriving community of fans and create new business opportunities for food bloggers. There really is a video concept for everyone!

Pailin “Pai” Chongchitnant is the creator and host of the YouTube cooking show "Hot Thai Kitchen" and "Pai's Kitchen" with close to 400K subscribers and 2 million monthly views. She has authored a best-selling cookbook "Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home" published by Random House Canada. She can also be seen on television as a co-host of "One World Kitchen" seasons 1 and 2, airing nationally on Gusto.

Pai was born and raised in southern Thailand. She has always been fascinated by food and cooking, and was always found in the kitchen helping with family dinners. After graduating high school in Bangkok, she traveled to Canada to study Nutritional Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and was later trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco.

Having a cooking show had always been a childhood dream of hers, so when YouTube made it possible for anyone to have their own show, she didn't hesitate to create hers while working in the restaurant industry. After a few years cooking professionally, she realized that her passion really lies in educating and empowering others to cook, so she decided to put her focus on the YouTube channel, which has since become her full-time business.

Pailin's Favourite Canadian Dish: The BC Roll!

Connect with Pailin on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  Website

Beth DunhamBeth Dunham - Pre-Conference Instructor

Beth will be teaming up with Lisa Bolton as part of the Friday Pre-Conference Food Styling Workshop.

Beth is a well-seasoned professional photographer, food stylist, and photography instructor based in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia. Over the past 20 years, fueled by the challenges of a rapidly evolving industry, Beth has grown her business from a small darkroom off her kitchen to a full service digital food photography studio. She specializes in creating striking visuals that consistently whet the appetite and sell products.

In addition to her own photography, Beth also works as a food stylist for advertising campaigns in both print and film.

A passionate lifelong learner, deeply committed to constant professional development, Beth is always happy to share her expertise. She has a proven track record as an inspiring effective dynamic instructor and mentor.

Never one to take herself too seriously, Beth's preferred mode of transportation is the pogo stick.

Beth's Favourite Canadian Dish: She can't decide between two Atlantic Canada dishes: Lobster and Hodge Podge

Connect with Beth on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  | Twitter

Melissa HartfielMelissa Hartfiel - Saturday Workshop Presenter, Sunday General Session Presenter

Blogger Burnout: What To Do When The Thrill Is Gone.  Melissa will show you how to recognize the early signs of creative burnout as well as covering strategies for avoiding it or pulling yourself out of the depths of burnout when it's already struck.  She'll also join Ethan Adeland on stage on Sunday for a special FBC general session.

Melissa Hartfiel is the co-founder and Managing Editor of Food Bloggers of Canada where her mandate is to promote and support and grow Canadian food blogging talent both in Canada and around the world.

A graphic designer, illustrator and writer by trade, Melissa has relied on her creative skills to earn her living for the past decade through her design company Fine Lime Designs.  She chronicles her adventures with food, photography and her creative life with her blog, Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach.  Melissa lives on the west coast, just outside of Vancouver, with FBC's Chief Morale Officer, SamTheDog, too many mystery novels and sketchbooks full of doodles.

Melissa's Favourite Canadian Dish: Wild Sockeye Salmon Sashimi (or poutine - it's too hard to decide!)

Connect with Melissa on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Laura-Jane KoersLaura-Jane Koers - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Building a Business Around Your Blog.  Laura-Jane walks you though the steps for turning your blog into a full time business with actionable steps, questions to consider and tips for working through the most common stumbling blocks.

Laura-Jane Koers, known online as The Rawtarian, is a leading creator of simple, satisfying vegan recipes. She is the author of Cook Lively (2017, Da Capo Press), the host of The Raw Food Podcast, and her recipes and photography have been featured in The Huffington Post, The National Post, and Vegan Life magazine.

She is also an active speaker on the business of blogging, including at the BlogHer Food conference in Miami, FL, Word on the Street in Halifax, NS, and the Food Bloggers of Canada conference in Vancouver, BC. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. For free recipes and inspiration for healthy living, visit

Laura-Jane's Favourite Canadian Dish: I have a sweet tooth and I grew up on Vancouver Island, so I'm going to have to go with raw vegan Nanaimo Bars!

Connect with Laura-Jane on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  | Twitter

Will LamontWill Lamont - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Will will be teaming up with Zannat Reza to present a workshop on How To Snag Media Opportunities and Survive Interviews. Get tips on how to approach and pitch media to promote your blog and brand, as well as how to handle radio, print and TV interviews and food segments without having a nervous breakdown!

Will is a seasoned public relations professional with proven experience in developing integrated communications strategies and managing national and regional campaigns.

He has extensive experience in the consumer sector, focusing on food and beverage, agriculture, nutrition and lifestyle communications. This has resulted in strong media and stakeholder relationships across the country.

Will is a keen strategist and big picture thinker, key strengths include the ability to combine different elements of clients’ stories into creative, newsworthy concepts that capture media and consumer attention.

Prior to joining the team at thrive360, Will was VP at a public relations firm working on high profile clients such as Dairy Farmers of Canada, Alberta Barley Commission and the Canadian Health Food Association.

Will's Favourite Canadian Dish: A cheese board full of Canadian Cheese


Dana McCauleyDana McCauley - Sunday General Session Presenter

Dana spoke at the very first FBC conference in 2013 where she predicted the world would be looking for more Canada and that Canadian food bloggers were perfectly positioned to be leaders.  She was bang on! This year she'll be diving into Canadian entrepreneurship with an eye to the dynamic Canadian food trends that are making an impact right now as well as what we can expect to see in the future.

Dana McCauley is a seasoned front end marketing executive with extensive experience in all facets of the food business and a track record of taking ideas from concept to kitchen to commercialization.

As Executive Director of Food Starter, a food business incubator and accelerator, Dana helps start up food businesses to grow. As CEO of Blue Unicorn Innovation, Dana helps medium and large-sized food companies optimize existing assets to turn problems into profits.

Outside of the boardroom, Dana contributes frequently as an expert food trend and innovation source for the media; she was an on-air judge for seasons one and two of Canadian reality TV show Recipe to Riches and she shares food industry insights in a video format on her YouTube channel Food Trends TV. Dana has authored four cookbooks, all published by top tier publishers, which have sold over 200,000 copies worldwide.

Dana's Favourite Canadian Dish: butter tarts

Connect with Dana on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  | Twitter

Maha MunafMaha Munaf - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Five Minute Tricks To Appetizing Food Pix: Unleash Your Editing Wizard.  Maha will show you how you can take a food photo from ordinary to WOW with just a few minutes of editing, whether on your iPhone or your computer.  A few simple tricks and your photos will pop!

Maha Munaf is an Architect turned Food Photographer, stylist & educator who was born and raised in UAE and made Toronto home almost four years ago. In 2015, Maha was finalist of Toronto Arts Foundation’s TELUS Newcomer Artist Award and in 2017 became an RBC Arts Access Fund recipient.

As a little girl, Maha was always with her mum in the kitchen, cutting, stirring or mixing stuff; and today after a long journey she found her way back into the kitchen capturing images that communicate the love, passion and thought that goes into every recipe.

Maha is on a mission helping others realize their creative potential and unleash the photographer within. She is also the creator of #AskMahaMonday, a weekly Instagram Q&A where she talks all things Food Photography!  You can also find her online at Cameras and Cupcakes.

Maha's Favourite Canadian Dish: butter tarts

Connect with Maha on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram

Ben PaveyBen Pavey - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Overhead Videos: From Planning to Post Production.  After creating countless recipe videos for clients, Brittany and Ben Pavey will be teaming up for this workshop where they show you how they create overhead recipe videos from start to finish.

After being raised in scenic Muskoka, ON, Ben ventured away from his roots to see what the rest of the world had to offer. While travelling in South Africa he was inspired to pursue business school back in Canada. Ben moved to Kitchener, ON where he studied marketing and advertising at Conestoga College. This started him on a path to work as a graphic and multimedia designer at Rees + Stager Inc where he gets to be part of a great creative community that specializes in food marketing.

Being creative and eating good food... I can't think of a better way to spend my day!

Ben's Favourite Canadian Dish: Anything with bacon!

Zannat RezaZannat Reza - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Zannat will be teaming up with Will Lamont to present a workshop on How To Snag Media Opportunities and Survive Interviews. Get tips on how to approach and pitch media to promote your blog and brand, as well as how to handle radio, print and TV interviews and food segments without having a nervous breakdown!

Zannat is Founder and CEO of thrive360, a health promotion social enterprise. Her work inspires people to eat better, move more, stress less, explore new ideas, and create meaningful moments.

Zannat is also a media dietitian who appears regularly on CTV, CBC and CH Morning Live. In addition, she is part of The Dish expert panel for The Toronto Star. As well, she is quoted in the Canadian Press' media network.

Zannat's Favourite Canadian Dish: Poutine

Connect with Zannat on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Mairlyn SmithMairlyn Smith - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Improv 101 for Food Lovers. Do you get nervous the minute a camera is on you? Scared of doing video because you'll freeze up? Get tongue tied at the thought of being interviewed? Worried you'll look goofy? Then you need Improv 101! Learn to loosen up, think on your feet, turn mistakes into humour and have lots of fun with Second City alum Mairlyn Smith. 

Mairlyn Smith is the only professional home economist ~ aka a PHEc. ~ in Canada who’s also an alumnus of the Second City Comedy Troupe, making her the self-proclaimed funniest PHEc. in the entire world.

A popular media personality, MC and keynote speaker Mairlyn is also a Regular Guest Expert on the award winning national daytime television show Cityline as well as a regular on Toronto’s Breakfast TV.

Mairlyn’s latest food adventure is her own web cooking series aptly called My Left Frying Pan which you can watch on YouTube. It’s Mairlyn unleashed…

Mairlyn's Favourite Canadian Dish: poutine

Connect with Mairlyn on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  | Twitter

Brittany StagerBrittany Stager - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Overhead Videos: From Planning to Post Production.  After creating countless recipe videos for clients, Brittany and Ben Pavey will be teaming up for this workshop where they show you how they create overhead recipe videos from start to finish.

Brittany Stager is the designer & writer behind My Daily Randomness, a personal lifestyle blog. It’s there that she writes about everything from home renovation and decor, to travel and food. Her true loves in life include her dog Maddy, coffee and dessert.

When she’s not blogging, she’s filling her days with her two passions, social media & food, at her integrated marketing agencies, REES + STAGER and Real Food Creative.

Brittany's Favourite Canadian Dish: Nanaimo bars and butter tarts

Connect with Brittany on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  Twitter

Heather TravisHeather Travis - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Behind The Brands: What PR Teams Need Bloggers To Know. Heather will let you in on the secrets to creating successful relationships with brand partners and their agencies. Learn how to demonstrate that you can be the true partner they need to work with, that you understand what their challenges are and you can deliver practical win-win solutions.

Heather Travis is a PR professional, writer, artist, and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for a wide variety of food and lifestyle brands.

Heather is a freelance strategist and storyteller working with clients to succeed in telling their brand stories.

She is a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix …err, piece of content for her website

Heather's Favourite Canadian Dish: Kraft Dinner

Connect with Heather on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Sam Turnbull - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Standing Out In a Crowd: Building Your Brand Identity. With 150 million blogs on the internet (give or take a few) how are you making yourself stand out? Sam will show you why your personal branding is so important and help you develop your own brand through not only your blog design but with your writing style, your photography and all the small things that will make your blog your own.

After finishing her Master of Fine Art, Sam Turnbull bounced from job to job. She worked in the theatre and film industry as a muralist, in animation, graphic design, product design, and fashion design, but none of these jobs ever made her happy. She thought once she got to the top of the ladder, then she would enjoy her career, but when she made it to art director, she still dreaded going to work every day.

Sam realized that in order to be happy she needed to run her own business. So, when she went from carnivore to vegan, inspiration piqued and she started the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. With the internet packed full of food blogs, Sam used her art and design background to build a unique brand and stand out from the crowd. It worked! In just 2 years, Sam left her job as her as art director to take It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken full-time. She won a spot in the #LoveLentils contest where she got to film a cooking show with celebrity Chef Michael Smith. Then she landed her first cookbook deal and wrote Fuss-Free Vegan  to be published by Appetite by Random House this fall. Sam finally found the job of her dreams and now works full-time from her kitchen counter with her pooch Chickpea by her side.

Connect with Sam on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube  |  Twitter

Christina VarroChristina Varro - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Keeping Your WordPress Site Secure. Too often we let our blog's security slide - it's not sexy, often it feels too complicated and it's just not fun.  And then... disaster strikes! If you've been there you know how traumatic a site hack can be.  Christina will give you a list of immediate steps you can take to secure your WordPress site including backing up, restoring, how to use some of the best free security plug-ins.  Don't get caught off guard!

For over 15 years, Christina has worked in web and graphic design, and more than half of that time she focused on using WordPress. She has also spent nearly a decade running her own business, managing projects for clients, giving creative direction and capturing beautiful images.

Christina want to give back to the community that has supported her along her career, through sharing knowledge and educating others. Design, technology and visual communications are fields she is passionate about and she enjoys sharing her experience and perspective.

Christina's goal is for her talks to be inspiring, but also practical. She wants audience members to walk away with immediately actionable items, that will help them build better websites, take better photos or run their businesses more efficiently.

You can also find her on her food blog, Foodventure.

Christina's Favourite Canadian Dish: BBQ'd Maple Glazed Salmon

Connect with Christina on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Debra WongDebra Wong - Saturday Workshop Presenter

Grow Your Blog and Business Through Community Building. Building a community at the heart of your blog may just be the most important thing you can do to grow a sustainable blog and business.  Deb will share how writing a love letter to Toronto on her blog for years not only helped her build a thriving community through her blog and social channels but also how it created a welcoming audience, supplier and customer base when she launched her subscription teabox business.  She'll give you actionable steps so that you too can focus on building a loyal community and audience in your niche that can support your dreams.

Deb is a lover of all things tea, sweets, and crafts. Blogging since 2010, Deb has transitioned from an all-around Toronto food blogger to a tea blogger in the last year and a half.

Her adventures in steeping, baking, photographing, and afternoon tea hopping for her blog, The Sugared Teacup, have allowed her to grow both a business (The Sugared Teacup Subscription Teabox Company)  and an online community of fellow bloggers and tea lovers near and far devoted to supporting and showcasing Toronto tea shops, businesses, and sharing the joy and passion in all things tea.

Debra's Favourite Canadian Dish: Poutine! And fresh Canadian oysters!

Connect with Debra on Social Media:

Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

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