Making Agriculture Sustainable in the Hazeltons
Put a bunch of friends together in a room who love live music, local food, nature and community and next thing you know events are getting planned! MASH aka Making Agriculture Sustainable in the Hazeltons is a non-profit society registered in February 2017. Our idea is to host events on local farms, providing educational entertainment and supporting local farms in the process. We have hosted over 20 events in the last 3 years, some were straight up workshops related to sustainable agriculture and permaculture, and others were concerts by touring musicians. Our biggest project has been the Hazelton Hootenanny - a multi-day festival with on-site camping. Always a good time and always great people. Laurie is the driving force behind MASH and acts as the community programmer and treasurer.
Our goals for 2020
With the merge with the Northwest Food Action Network, the global pandemic, and the significant increase in livestock at Bulkley Canyon Ranch, our organization has set new goals that focus more on food security, tiny events, and online delivery of programs and services. During the AGM and the Board meeting in June 2020 we set the following goals.
1. Create a dedicated website for MASH and integrate resources from the NWBC FAN website (www.nwfoodsecure.org). COMPLETED www.mashazeltons.org
2. Build capacity within our organization and in our communities to deliver programming and contribute to a sustainable local food system while having fun. This involves training our team to use the equipment in our inventory and to diversify our teaching methods so that we can reach a wider audience.
3. Deliver four workshops on food preservation in the fall focusing on fermenting, canning, dehyrating, and cold storage.
4. Boost local and regional musicians through regular posts on social media, soundtracks for educational videos, and live performances for our tiny events.
5. Support local farmers by providing resources related to agritourism, marketing, foodsafe, and workers and wage subsidies.
6. Build on apple pressing events delivered in 2019 and learn from programs offered by other groups in BC such as LifeCycles and Richmond Food Security.
Our goals from 2019
- Reflect on the events of the past 3 years and regroup. Droughts, wildfires and lots more live music venues means we need to change up what we are doing.
- Broaden our scope to partner up with projects we like. Art Classes in the Hazeltons is being organized by Laurie G with support from the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council.
- Support events organized by other groups and use the break to attend other festivals.
- Compile a playlist featuring all the performers we have hosted over the years.
- Be open to opportunities to collaborate and follow up ideas hatched at the Festival Directors Learning Circle at the 2018 Hazelton Hootenanny.
- Get our administration tasks up to date and do some Board development.
- Offer infrastructure, advice and templates to other groups committed to sustainable events. We lend out zero waste systems - just ask us!
Board of Directors
Laurie Gallant brings over 20 years of start-up, entrepreneurial, and event planning experience to her solar powered permaculture farm business (Bulkley Canyon Ranch & Hazelton Hops) and her role as President. She served as Treasurer for the Kispiox Valley Music Festival in 2016, and has volunteered in various other roles with music festivals in the Bulkley Valley since moving here in 1998. Laurie consulted as a specialist in Zero Waste systems for government and corporate clients in Ontario and BC. She earned a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Geography) from the University of Waterloo and, more recently, a Permaculture Design Certificate. She is deeply committed to sustainable community development and is leading a local initiative for regional food security.
Bill Crosson is a true-blue northerner, and grew up on the family homestead and hobby farm in Quick, 20 minutes east of Smithers. He provides the practical knowledge and experience that keeps the board grounded in its sometimes overly grandiose plans. He has a BSc in math from Thompson Rivers University, where he served on the campus community radio’s board and was president of the TRU Wine Geek Club. Bill applies his strong permaculture background on the farm he owns with his partner Laurie Gallant. Bill has a passion for backcountry skiing, music and adventure and often performs a few songs at live music events hosted at the Ranch. It was inevitable that the bottom floor of the farm house would be converted into a live music venue given Bill’s long history as a singer-songwriter and one-time lead man for the Ski Bums, a jam band based in Smithers that spawned a lifetime of musical connections.
Tony Morgan joined the Board in April 2020 and lives in Gitanyow, BC. (Resigned November 2020)
Limwel Ramada comes to MASH from the NWBC Food Action Network during the merger of February 2020. He is the driving force behind Sulads Fairhaven Farm by Kitwanga, BC.
Laurie Paulin joined the Board in December 2017 as Vice-President. She is a Consciousness Medicine Facilitator and the Owner of Hummingbird Holistic Health. After working as a Human Resources Professional for 15 years, Laurie decided to start a full-time business and become a Mompreneur. Laurie is Haisla and Haida and grew up in Kitwanga and Terrace. In 1997, Laurie received her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. A Human Resources Post Diploma was obtained in 1999. Laurie became a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner in 2011. Laurie and her 5 year old son love spending time at the rivers, lakes, and trails in this area. She grew up off the grid until the age of 8 and has a goal to live on a property that meets her needs for self sufficiency.
Simon Stockner also joined the Board in December 2017 and will be focusing on bookings and promotions. Being born and raised in the Hazelton’s/Kispiox Valley, Simon, 22, plays drums in a popular local band, The Racket. Simon also plays the role of booking-agent for his band, booking most of their shows including a 40 show tour spread over 4 months for their “Petty Crimes Summer Tour 2017”. He was born a few months before the very first Kispiox Valley Music Festival and grew up three minutes down the road from the festival, never missing a year. With this beautiful hometown festival practically in his blood, and having years of experience writing and performing music, his love for creating and sharing good energy through music and community is very true.
New Board members in 2021: Yoenne Ewald (Secretary and Membership Committee), Silvana Ivandic-Quigley (Food Preserving Committee), and Charlene White (Lending Library Committee).
Past Board Members
Elaine Seier was on the Board from start up to our AGM in April 2020. She has worked with not-for-profit organizations for over 20 years in Smithers and Whitehorse, Yukon, both as a board member and as an employee managing projects for adults with disabilities. She grew up in rural Saskatchewan on a small mixed-use farm, and farming has been her first love ever since. She is now co-owner of Ross Lake Farm, an up-and-coming operation breeding Miniature Donkeys and Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats near New Hazelton, BC. While the term “permaculture” is new to her, she has always believed that sustainable farm practices must use naturally existing systems to produce maximum food yields with minimum toll on the earth’s limited resources. Furthermore, she believes that everyone is entitled to their fair share of the earth’s wealth, so the ethical philosophy that forms the foundation of permaculture rings true for her. In a world where increasing demands are made on energy and resources, farmers must both care for the earth and share resources with less fortunate people in their communities. Elaine believes that the Permaculture Farm Festival Club will play a vital role in promoting the values of permaculture to all northerners.
We are so grateful to the organizations who have provided funding for are events over the years, including Creative BC's Live Music Fund and Amplify BC, the BC Arts Council, Northern Development Inititiative Trust, and Ministry of Agriculture.
Become a Member today!
Benefits of the $25 membership include a quarterly newsletter with advance notice of all events, members only pricing, and the intrinsic rewards of supporting live music and sustainable agriculture in Northwest BC! Memberships can be bought buy clicking on the button below, through Eventbrite when you buy event tickets, or during events. Some Directors have also been known to carry application forms on their person while attending other events, so if you prefer random, we’ve got you covered. Please visit the dedicated MASH website for more information www.mashazeltons.org.