Bakers Journal

Bakers gather in Winnipeg at BAC Town Hall meeting

June 18, 2023
By Baking Association of Canada

A productive gathering! Photo: Baking Association of Canada

Winnipeg – Bakers in Winnipeg were given a rare opportunity to network in a recent Baking Association of Canada Town Hall Gathering at Red River College in Winnipeg.

About 40 enthusiastic bakers and affiliates came together to share challenges and successes, dreams and priorities for their businesses.

The event was hosted by the instructional staff or Red River College under the leadership of Lylah Erkau and sponsored by BAC National.

The afternoon included introductions and a panel discussion. The panellists were Ryan Stoesz from Tall Grass Prairie Bread co., Julie Ellis from Bloom Bakery and Mill and Chenting Qian from Baked Expectations. Martin Barnett, executive director of the BAC, moderated. The three panellists gave attendees great insights into their business and proposed enterprises and sparked interesting questions, comments and discussions from the crowd.

Derek Mantha, a director from BAC National, explained the workings of the association and the support offered to the members, and he was followed by Gary Humphreys, chair of the BAC BC Chapter ,who reported on the agenda and initiatives of a regional arm of the BAC.

The conversation was started on forming a Prairie Chapter supported by the other regional chapters and the national office. Educational and fundraising events for baking and pastry students will be planned locally.

The room divided into small groups and brainstormed together on the following topics:

  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • What are your greatest successes?
  • What are your priorities in the near future?
  • What kind of event should we plan next, locally?

Like our previous gathering in Victoria, the session in Winnipeg delivered some interesting insights into the priorities of our trade. Challenges included staffing, ingredients, marketing and overall costs. Successes included community building, vegan baking, social media demos and customer satisfaction. Priorities for the near future included growth, adapting to change, developing human capital and networking. Participants said they’d like to see more networking, workshops, bakery tours and other activities in future BAC events. (See the chart below for details.)

Synopsis of Prairie Bakers’ Brainstorm Session May 29, 2023

As sponsor of this meeting and others like it across Canada, the BAC looks forward to engaging with the grassroots of Canada’s vibrant baking and pastry community.

Please go to and check out BAC partners who can help you save some dough. And don’t forget, your membership with BAC also gets you a membership in the Bread Bakers Guild (BBGA) along with many other benefits.


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