Posted by: VPSN | October 21, 2010

Celebrating Women’s History Month: panel discussion on women and food


Mary Hale canning herring for BC Packers
City of Vancouver Archives – CVA 1184-59

Among the many interesting events coming up in the next few days is this one — looking at the historical connections between women and food in Vancouver.  Organized by the City Women’s Advisory Committee, the event takes place next Tuesday evening (Oct 26). 

Here’s the press release:

Women and Food: A Vancouver Historical Perspective
Celebrating Women’s History Month at City Hall

Join Herstory Café for an evening of historical insight into the role of women in the food industry of Vancouver. Hosted by City Council’s liaison to the Women’s Advisory Committee, the event is scheduled for October 26 from 7 pm to 9 pm in Council Chambers at Vancouver City Hall.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the evening will involve a series of guest speakers, each with their own perspective on how women of diverse backgrounds have played a defining role in the history of food in Vancouver.

Through the production, cultivation, distribution, preservation and sharing of food, women have influenced the development of local businesses and industrial growth in Vancouver. Despite war times, tough economic times and other defining moments of Vancouver’s history, food-related activities of women supported the well-being of families.

Women have played an especially important role in BC’s canneries, particularly when men were dispatched to war. Some women were even taken from school to ensure fresh, frozen and canned foods were readily available.

In 1948, a celebrated local icon, Vie Moore, opened what became a well-known restaurant in Hogan’s Alley at the heart of Vancouver’s black community in the East End. Vie’s Chicken and Steak House, famous for southern fried cooking and blues music, became a gathering place for people with diverse backgrounds from all over the city. Her eatery provided many jobs for women before it closed in 1975.

The panel of local speakers on Oct. 26 will share historical accounts, memories, traditional knowledge and experiences from the perspective of First Nations, Indo-Canadian, Black, and Chinese communities. Speakers will also present on topics such as sustainability, labour, the service industry, farmer’s markets and community gardens. Guest speakers include:

  • Andrea Reimer, Vancouver City Councillor
  • Cease Wyss, Squamish Nation Artist and Filmmaker
  • Meeru Dhalwala, cookbook author, chef and co-owner of Vij’s Restaurant
  • Tracey McDougall, granddaughter of Vie Moore, owner of Vie’s Chicken and Steak House
  • Edith Turner, Gulf of Georgia Cannery
  • Shirley Chan, CEO Building Opportunities for Business
  • Devorah Kahn, previously Food Policy Coordinator for the City of Vancouver and former Executive Director of Vancouver’s Farmers Markets

Info on speakers and their presentations is available at

More about the Women’s Advisory Committee can be found on the City’s website.



  1. […] gave you a heads up about a week ago on the Women and Food: A Vancouver Historical Perspective event that took place on Tuesday night at City Hall. I think that […]

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