Some of Canada’s top culinary artists will join scores of seafood buyers, aquaculture experts, industry leaders and government representatives to network, meet and grow the seafood industry at the 2019 edition of the B.C. Seafood Expo.
The event, happening in the Comox Valley on June 12-13 is one of the largest seafood industry trade events in the Pacific Northwest. The expo is wrapped around the 2019 BC Seafood Festival, on now and running until June 16.
“The festival is now the largest seafood festival in Western Canada, and the expo and trade show components this year has attracted a record number of exhibitors, delegates, buyers and suppliers,” said John Watson, executive director of Comox Valley Economic Development, the organization that collaborates with a wide range of seafood organizations and institutions to develop the B.C. Seafood Expo annually.
“It is an excellent opportunity to showcase your services to a diverse range of both wild fishery, and aquaculture sectors and leaders.”
The expo features dozens of trade show exhibitors, as well as leading speakers in their fields. It provides a venue to network with industry leaders, international buyers, distributors and educators for every type of fish, seafood and seafood-related products and services.
The program is packed with educational sessions covering seafood business and leadership, aquaculture, food safety, policy, sustainability, traceability and transparency.
“The BC Seafood Expo is a great opportunity to bring everyone together to talk about the business … It is really the only time every year that the entire seafood business gets together in B.C.,” said Jeremy Dunn, director of public affairs for salmon farming firm Mowi Canada West.
The Seafood Expo also brings attention to both the farmed and wild fisheries sector here in the province, Dunn said. “Seafood is an incredibly important business for B.C. Having local, regional and national leaders gain a greater awareness and understanding is really important.”
One of the keynote speakers at this year’s expo is Mark Saunders, director of the International Year of the Salmon – Pacific Region, a five-year outreach and research initiative of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization. The Year of the Salmon aims to raise public awareness, gather stakeholders, stimulate science and inspire action to protect salmon.
Award-winning food stylist, Nathan Fong, from Fong on Food, the expo’s chef producer, has brought together a dozen chefs for the International Buyers’ Reception with a wide range of talents from around the Comox Valley, Vancouver Island and B.C.
The general public is also invited to take in the wide variety of events related to the BC Seafood Festival, which range from whale watching tours, fishing charters and nature walks to hatchery tours, oyster shucking how-to classes, craft brewery tours and more.
The events culminate with the Signature Weekend, which includes culinary and beverage events, chef demos and music performances, based at Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in Comox. Find more information at bcseafoodfestival.com.