B Record Breaking Participation at Bakery Congress 2017, attendance increases by 25% AC’s Bakery Congress 2017 held April 23rd and 24th in Vancouver, B.C., had more than 25% increase in show participation, the event has established a new benchmark! Some 2,200 baking and food industry personnel participated in the two days of trade show and conference. Particularly encouraging was that baker and food service category attendance has seen a huge increase of 35% from the last time the event was held in Vancouver. The show floor was sold out with baking industry products and services by Canadian and U.S. companies representing domestic and international products and brands, however the show also had a good number of direct international exhibitors that included companies from U.K., Spain, Japan, France, China, UAE and South Africa. The success of a sold out event and higher participation in 2017 is a clear indication that bakery business in Canada is performing well, especially the independent bakery/cafe business category including artisanal bakers. Other reasons that can be attributed to the growth of the event are location and timing, the downtown Vancouver Convention Centre appealed to the participants in many ways and proved to be very convenient in terms of access, hotels, evening engagements for business and personal meetings & entertainment. The conference program on both days was also well attended with the first day panel session Employing Millennials Setting the Stage for Today Bakers to Understand and Address Today’s Customers and Staff in the Language of Millennials with Mary Mackay of Terra Breads; Jeffry Kahle of Fairmont Pacific Rim; Mark Burton of Four Seasons Vancouver and Hailey Mannynvali and Paul Aboud of Hearthstone Artisan Bakery, the session was moderated by Kyle Preston of ITA BC. This was followed by the session Successful Retailing in which Aaron Gillespie of COBS Bread shared his views on bakery market with ever changing consumer demands. First day of the event concluded with the dinner at the famous Terminal City Club hosted by BAC – BC Chapter. The profit of this dinner will support local baking educational programs at Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University. The second day began with What’s Happening and Where do we go from here session by Paul Hetherington and Johanne Trudeau of Baking Association of Canada. This session answered questions that Canadian bakers had on regulatory affairs and other challenging issues. The last session of the day was a panel Responding to the Changing Demands of Today & Tomorrow with Louis Bontorin of Calgary Italian Bakery Ltd; An Nguyen of Island City Baking (A Premium Brands Company) and Mara Cosh of Whole Foods Market. A highlight of the trade show floor provided by students and instructors of Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Island University were their demos in the feature area both days. Attendees had a chance to see baked products production, desserts, sugar craft and various machine operations and more. The efforts and support of BAC BC chapter members has also been a key driver in taking the Bakery Congress event to a new height. BAC expresses its sincere appreciation to the exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, volunteers and attendees for their part in making the most successful Bakery Congress ever! BAC is currently planning the next event Bakery Showcase 2018, this will be a two day Trade Show & Conference April 29th to 30th at the The International Centre, Toronto (Mississauga). Exhibit space reservation & sponsorship will commence in July/ August, for details please email Ahmed Mutaher at email@example.com or call 905 405 0288 extension 22.