The CreativeMornings's global theme for June was 'FOOD' and the Vancouver chapter was honoured to have Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society co-director Ilana Labow and Marc Schutzbank as presenters. As always, this sold out event could not have been possible without our presenting sponsor Vancity, with the help of our ongoing support partners The Province of BC, GDC/BC, Dodson Conference Centre, Ethical Bean Coffee, and Fusion Cine.

Ilana is passionate about creating community-engaged learning opportunities through urban agriculture. She received urban farm and community development training working with Growing Power in Milwaukee & Chicago, and studied sustainable agriculture and conflict-resolution at the multi-national peace institute Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, in Israel. Ilana currently sits on the steering committees of Farm to School BC, Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership, is a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and was recently nominated as one of the Vancouver Parks Board’s Remarkable Women in food of 2013.

Marc’s studied the economic viability of urban farming and how urban farmers are developing their businesses while finishing his Masters in the Land and Food Systems program at UBC, and now focusses his efforts on integrating production and local food markets into Vancouver neighbourhoods. Originally from the US, Marc graduated from the University of Pittsburgh College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business administration.

Together, Ilana, Marc, and their growing army of Fresh Roots staff and volunteers, grow resilient, engaging, education-based neighourhood farms accessible to Vancouver’s diverse communities.

A few notable comments (paraphrased) by Ilana and Marc:
"We need to connect social and financial goals in food production."
"81% of Canadians live in an urban zone and are not connected with where food comes from."
"Food is a timeless acts of community."
"Fresh Roots established the first of it's kind agreement to farm on school district property."
"Learning about urban farming in schools helps fight against racism & bullying."
"Community gardens help people grow confidence and security and in turn begin to dream big."
"Farming on school grounds was done across North America up until the Second WW. It was phased out in the 40's."

The Vancouver chapter of CreativeMornings is run by Mark Busse (@MarkBusse) and his dedicated team of volunteers. Thanks to Matthew Shettler(@Shettler), Josh Nychuk (@JoshNychuk), Mahyar Saeedi (@MahyarSaeedi), and Jake Hermiston for video production.
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CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types. Each event is FREE of charge, and includes a 20 minute talk, audience discussion & Q&A, plus breakfast & coffee!

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