2004/2005 Soil to Soul – A Tasty Trip into the Heart of Canada

Soil to Soul: (left to right) Sara Ehrardt, Mentor Nancy Olewiler, Kevin Chan, Freddy Abnousi, Josh Silvertown, Beverly Sembsmoen.

Soil to Soul: (left to right) Lyndsay Poaps, George Roter, Nadine Caron, Craig Cameron, Jean-Frédéric Morin.

Craig Cameron, Nadine Caron, Jean-Frédéric Morin, Lyndsay Poaps, George Roter

Can the food we grow and eat here in Canada reveal a national, cultural identity? Five Action Canada Fellows spent eight months exploring Canadian “terroir” – a French word evoking the complex layers of unique relationships that form around special foods and traditions within a specific region.

The group – Nadine Caron, Jean- Frédéric Morin, Lyndsay Poaps, George Roter and Craig Cameron – travelled to five Canadian communities: Charlevois, QC; the Niagara region, Ontario; La Ronge, SK; Whale Cove, NU; and Burnaby, BC for dinner parties and dialogue about terroir’s place in the Canadian identity.

Their goal was to shift Canadians’ tendency to identify people by where they have come from to an exploration of who these Canadians have become. By publicizing their project, Soil to Soul, through the media, their hope is that Canadians will better understand the connections between where they live, the natural resources that sustain them and the common cultural identity that grows from this.

The result is an interesting series of five articles detailing their adventures, conversations and discoveries, as well as media coverage that includes articles in Via Rail’s Destinations Magazine and the Vancouver Sun, and a dialogue on CBC Radio’s Sounds Like Canada.