Business and Operations
Q&A with the Baking Association of Canada
By Monica Dick
Bakers Journal caught up with Martin Barnett, the Executive Director and Acting General Manager of the Baking Association of Canada. Aside from the new COVID protocols restricting the number of people that allowed in an enclosed building at one time, everyone is thrilled with the idea of reconnecting with the industry faces they’ve only reached out to via phone, email or video chat. The idea of face-to-face networking after two years is almost intoxicating after almost two years of isolation and working from home.
Barnett took some time out of his day to share some of the excitement he feels in regards to April’s Bakery Showcase, and we’re delighted to share this pre-show Q&A with our readers.
Bakers Journal / How has the pandemic changed the way the Showcase will be run?
Martin Barnett / We’re in full compliance with Canada’s and Ontario’s COVID protocols. We wish to ensure exhibitors and attendees that the BA CNF show management teams will go above and beyond to keep everybody safe.
BJ / How is Bakery Showcase 2022 going to be different this year?
MB / This year, the Bakery Showcase will expand: We’ll also feature some celebrity bakers seen on CBC, and we intend to have some exciting speakers for the educational panels.
BJ / What makes the Showcase Canada’s largest and best expo for the baking industry?
MB / I think it’s the largest because it appeals to all Canadian bakers, and it’s a destination event, whether it’s on the West Coast or in central Canada. It’s a great way to network with like-minded people and see the latest innovations and talk to their suppliers and attend workshops. We also welcome international attendees and exhibitors who are looking to do business in Canada.
BJ / What do you look forward to the most this year?
MB / The BAC’s board of directors, are looking forward to reconnecting with Canadian bakers, large and small, and invites them to join us on this exciting reset of the Association.
BJ / How can the Bakery Showcase and the BAC bring in younger generations of bakers?
MB / The BAC has recognized that the new generation of artisan bakers, pastry chefs and chocolatiers also need a strong voice in industry, and a place to network their ideas among industry professionals. The BAC is reaching out to all trade colleges in Canada to help engage with new bakery students.
BJ / How many attendees and exhibitors do you anticipate coming?
MB / In past years 4000 people registered, including exhibitors and attendees: We’re expecting to meet and beat previous targets.
BJ / What impression(s) would you like attendees to leave with?
MB / I think everybody will get to learn something new. Delegates will come away with a new love for their craft, new knowledge and a feeling that they are part of the Canadian and international baking scene.
BJ / How would you measure the event’s success?
MB / We used to measure it by the number of attendees, but now, we’ll measure its success through evaluating the experiences of all exhibitors and attendees. We are confident that it will be a rewarding and successful event.
Facts about the Bakery Showcase you didn’t know
1. It is Canada’s oldest running baking-centric tradeshow and expo. The trade show and conference was established in 1965.
2. It is the only baking industry specific business-to-business event that involves educational seminars, workshops and other social and educational material during the event in Canada.
3. Over 4500 visitors are estimated to appear.
4. The number of visitors, both Canadian and International, are anticipated to be larger than last year. Many in the baking industry want to reach the post-pandemic market, and connect with like-minded professionals.
5. The Baking Association of Canada was once known as the Allied Trades of the Baking Industry. It was founded in 1932, and Canada’s first baking industry that represented our country was the National Council of the Baking Industry, or NCBI. The Independent Master Bakery Association of Ontario later opened in 1937.