Two days of Canadian literary, visual and culinary fare come to Richmond

Wed, Feb 10, 2016

Richmond, B.C. – Ready your poetic palates and prepare to eat with your eyes, mouth and ears: a two-day feast of food, literature and art is coming to Richmond Feb. 19-20.

Over 25 local and international academics, artists, curators and writers will explore how Canadian writers and visual artists use food to articulate larger historical and cultural contexts in the Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium, hosted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) at its Melville Centre for Dialogue.

“Food Studies has been growing in popularity with scholars across the globe and here in Canada. We hope the Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium will inspire conversations about how our nation’s foodways are inextricably tied to the imagination and diverse forms of creative expression. What do we discover about the shifting counters of Canada’s “culinary imaginations” through our stories, performances and representations?” said Dr. Shelley Boyd, a Canadian literature specialist in KPU’s Department of English.

Foodways are the cultural, social and economic practices surrounding both the production and consumption of food. On the table of next weekend’s symposium will be presentations on First Nations culinary heritages, how where you are defines what you eat, “foodland security”, food performances and much more.

Vancouver Poet Laureate Rachel Rose will speak on poems inspired by food as the event’s creative keynote speaker. Internationally recognized visual artist Sylvia Grace Borda will present some of her art projects and their relationship to sustainable food systems and economies.

The symposium coincides with the launch of the art exhibition “Artful Fare: Conversations About Food” which features collaborative projects from KPU fine arts and English students. The online exhibition showcases creative critical dialogues about Canadian poetry.

“Our shared research, located at the intersection of literary and art historical analysis, laid the foundation for our collaborative work co-organizing the Canadian Culinary Imaginations Symposium. It also helped inspire the related student exhibition, “Artful Fare” that has been taking place at KPU since last fall and will be part of two separate exhibitions in February and March,” said Dr. Dorothy Barenscott, art historian in the KPU Fine Arts Department.

The upcoming student exhibitions will take place at KPU Richmond during the symposium, Feb. 19-20, and at KPU Surrey March 3-17. More information is available here.

Tickets to the symposium next weekend begin at $40 for the general public and include meals, snacks and coffee over both days. Attendance for KPU faculty and students is free but seating is limited and meals are not included unless guests register. Speaker bios, an event schedule and registration are available here.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at    

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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