The Okanagan Research Forum: “Eating the Okanagan” Exploring change in our local food systems, is hosted by the UBC Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) and the UBC Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER), in collaboration with partner organizations. The Forum will encourage knowledge sharing and dialogue between UBC Okanagan Researchers and the broader community, including government and local organizations.  Every two years, a Forum will be organized with a specified theme. This year’s theme is exploring change in our local food systems, a particularly relevant topic for the Okanagan region considering the pressures we face due to climate change, population growth, consumption, production and changes in land use.

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Session 1: Land Access – 9:15  to 10:30 AM

In this session the panelists will answer the question: What are some of the challenges to accessing land in the Okanagan?

Session 2: Policy – 10:45 Am to 12:00 PM

In this session the panelists will answer the question:How has government policy impacted food in the Okanagan?

Session 3: Production – 1:30 to 2:45 PM

In this session panelists will answer the following questions:  What are some of the unique aspects of food production in the Okanagan?

Session 4 : Consumption -3:00 to 4:15 pm

In this session panelists will answer the following question: Please share some exciting food initiatives in the Okanagan?

Food Security Definition

The 1996 World Food Summit adopted the following definition:

“Food security, at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels [is achieved] when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”

Will this be a technical academic event?

The event is open to the general public and to students, and speakers will be asked to avoid academic jargon. We welcome the participation of the whole local community. We will make sure that the forum includes opportunities for all conference attendees to make contributions to our discussions.

Is there a cost to attend the Forum?

Registration for the event is required. The costs for registration are:

• Organizers and Volunteers: Free
• Students presenting posters: Free
• Students: $15 dollars*
• General Public: $30 *

Keynote presentation only is $25 and includes lunch.

* Registration includes access to all events as well as food and beverages.

Who are the forum partners?

UBC Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES)
UBC Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER)
Other Organizations

What will happen during the day?

The day will include plenary presentations and discussions by expert panelists to explore how the concept of food security is affected by land access, policy, consumption and production in the Okanagan Region. We will seek representation of diverse perspectives, including indigenous knowledge and experience.  We will have to panels in the morning and two panels in the afternoon, each panel will have time for participation and collaborative work between attendees. During lunch we will have the fantastic Nancy Turner as Keynote with the presentation: “Foods of Yesterday, Foods for Tomorrow. Indigenous Plants Foods of the Okanagan Region and their potential for the future”.

We will close the day with a wine and cheese and posters session event.

Who is the Forum's target audience?

General Public
Local Government
Non-governmental Organizations
Members of BRAES and ICER
UBC Okanagan Students

Based on the venue capacity, we are expecting at the most 120 including volunteers and organizers

Do I need to register to attend the Keynote presentation?

Yes, you need to register. If you only want or can attend the keynote presentation the cost is $25 and includes lunch.


Monday, December 3rd 2018| Banquet Room, Summer Hill Winery, Kelowna, B.C. Canada
Okanagan Research Forum: “Eating the Okanagan” Exploring change in our local food systems


Meet our diverse collection of expert speakers.

Nancy Turner

Featured guest

Emeritus Professor, Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist whose research integrates the fields of botany and ecology with anthropology, geography and linguistics, among others. She is interested in the traditional knowledge systems and traditional land and resource management systems of Indigenous Peoples, particularly in western Canada. Nancy has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 40 years, collaborating with Indigenous communities to help document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and habitats, including Indigenous foods, materials and medicines, as well as language and vocabulary relating to plants and environments. Her interests also include the roles of plants and animals in narratives, ceremonies, language and belief systems. Nancy was awarded a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Fellowship in 2015. With this funding she will coordinate and participate in a progressive and focused discussion amongst multiple informed groups on the roles of ethnobotany and ethnoecology in policy, planning and decision-making in the legal and governance arenas around Indigenous Peoples’ land rights and title.  To this end she is preparing a symposium entitled Affirming Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights with Ethnoecology and Ethnobotany: Strategies for Canada’s Future. Dr. Turner is no longer accepting new graduate students. Dr. Turner has authored, co-authored or co-edited over 20 books (most recently a two-volume book, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America, and Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSÁNEĆ People - co-authored with Richard Hebda, a textbook,Ethnobiology (E. N. Anderson, first editor); Plants of Haida Gwaii; The Earth’s Blanket; and“Keeping it Living”: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America – this last co-edited with Douglas Deur), and over 150 book chapters and peer-reviewed papers, and numerous other publications, both popular and academic.  


Come join us at this unique event to share your personal experience and pragmatic insights on how to put theory into action

UBC or other affiliation are welcomed to this event.

  • Attendance to forum panels and keynote presentation
  • Lunch and coffee break
  • Wine and Cheese event

General Public

  • Attendance to forum panels and keynote presentation
  • Lunch and coffee break
  • Wine and Cheese event

Students with Posters

  • Attendance to forum panels and keynote presentation
  • Lunch and coffee break
  • Wine and Cheese event

Speakers and Volunteers
Speakers, panelists and volunteers please register here

  • Attendance to forum panels and keynote presentation
  • Lunch and coffee break
  • Wine and Cheese event

Keynote Presentation and Lunch ONLY
If you are attending the keynote presentation ONLY, please register here


  • Keynote presentation
  • Lunch


The Okanagan Research Forum is brought to you by:


The Okanagan Research Forum will take place at the banquet room in the Summer Hill Winery in Kelowna, Located at 4870 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 4M3
Come and enjoy the unique atmosphere of one of the most beautiful locations in the Okanagan Valley with stunning views of the lake and the mountains.

Summer Hill Winery is a unique venue located in the Mission area of the city, offering an unparalleled setting for entertaining. Enjoy our exquisite banquet facilities with a sliding glass wall opening fully to the largest deck overlooking Okanagan Lake. we are very delighted to host our forum at this exceptional venue.

Address: 4870 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 4M3

Are you looking for a place to stay?

Kelowna has accommodation for everyone, whatever your budget.
We recommend, when selecting a hotel, going for one of the many hotels in the city center.
Some of them offer a spectacular view of the Okanagan Lake and the city landmarks.

Food and Drink
We prepared for you the best tips on nice places to eat & drink at Kelowna. Everything can be reached on foot in a few minutes.

We always happy to help you with any questions or recommendations.

Carolina Restrepo
All inquiries related to the event
250- 807-9023