About the Culinary Historians of Canada

Mission Statement

The mission of the Culinary Historians of Canada is to inspire appreciation and advance knowledge of Canada’s food history.

The CHC researches, interprets, preserves and celebrates Canada’s culinary heritage, which has been shaped by the food traditions of the First Nations peoples and generations of immigrants from all parts of the world. Through programs, events and publications, CHC educates its members and the public about the foods and beverages of Canada’s past. Founded as the Culinary Historians of Ontario in 1994, CHC welcomes new members wherever they live.

Board of Directors

The members of the 2017-2018 board of directors are:

Executive Officers

  • President:  Luisa Giacometti (term ends 2018)
  • Vice-President: Samantha George (term ends 2018): Samantha is Curator of Parkwood National Historic Site in Oshawa. A member of the board of CHC since 2015, Samantha has made presentations on food history at both the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and Vimy 100. Her personal interests are food recipes and remedies of the Spanish Flu epidemic 2018/2019 and the Jam for Victory Campaign 1939 to 1945.
  • Secretary: Carolyn Crawford (term ends 2018): Carolyn has served as secretary since January 2016. In April 2017, she represented CHC at Vimy (France), demonstrating Canadian War Cake, and has since offered WWI Homefront and Front Line food presentations at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and to historical societies. She generously provides historic and traditional baked goods for sampling or sale at numerous CHC events. Having grown up on a farm and still farming today, as well as her involvement in organizations such as 4-H, Women’s Institute and her local Fall Fair, have led to her love of baking and collecting culinary antiques, recipes and cookbooks.
  • Treasurer: Sylvia Lovegren (term ends 2019): Sylvia has been a member of the CHC since moving to Canada ten years ago.  She has written two books: Fashionable Food, Seven Decades of Food Fads and Melon: A Global History—both available through University of Chicago Press—and contributed a number of entries in the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Food. She has served on the Board of CHC for a number of years, first as Secretary, and then as Treasurer. She is still humbled by how much there is to learn about Canadian food history.

Standing Committee Chairs

  • Chair of the Membership Committee: position vacant
  • Chair of the Programme Committee: Sylvia Lovegren (see above for bio)
  • Co-Chair of the Communications Committee/Electronic Resources: Julia Armstrong: Julia has been a member of the board for three years. She assists with digital communications: researching and posting items on CHC¹s social media, photographing events for sharing in Digestible Bits & Bites, maintaining the CHC Flickr album and contributing to the newsletter as compiler of the conferences section and as proofreader. In the coming year, she looks forward to expanding the resources section of the website. For 10 years, Julia was an editor at Canadian Living magazine, where she was privileged to work with the talented members of the food department. She has copy edited several cookbooks, the most recent being one of her favourites: Recipes for Victory by CHC lifetime members Elizabeth Baird and Bridget Wranich in collaboration with the historic cooks at Fort York. Julia is the supervisory editor at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, University of Toronto (Biographi.ca).
  • Co-Chair of the Communications Committee/Publications: Sarah Hood: Sarah has managed the monthly e-newsletter, Digestible Bits & Bites, since June 2014; she joined the board in 2016. An award-winning jam-maker, she is currently working on a book titled Jam, Jelly and Marmalade: A Global History for Reaktion Books in the UK. She contributed historical recipe research to the television series Back in Time for Dinner. She gives occasional presentations about food history and volunteers as a historic cook at Montgomery’s Inn.

Other Board Positions

  • Chair of the Education Committee: Jane Black
  • Chair of the Outreach Committee: position vacant
  • Coordinator of Publicity: Samantha George (see above for bio)
  • Coordinators of Refreshments: Sherry Murphy & Carolyn Crawford (see above for bios)
  • Coordinator of Volunteers: position vacant
board-2016-2017-small

Culinary Historians of Canada Board 2016-2017 (l-r): Luisa Giacometti, Shirley Farrar, Julia Armstrong, Emily McKenzie, Fiona Lucas, Samantha George, Carolyn Crawford, Sylvia Lovegren, Sarah Hood. Absent: Jane Black, Sherry Murphy, Lydia Robertson, Mya Sangster. Photo by Mark D’Aguilar

, Sydney Oland

Constitution and By-Laws of the Culinary Historians of Ontario

Programs

Every year we hold a range of events, from lectures and workshops to historic meals, behind-the-scenes factory tours, and field trips that explore food history. (See Upcoming Events, Recent Events and Past Events.)

History

  • 1994: CHC was founded by Fiona Lucas, Christine Ritsma and Bridget Wranich, who directed the association’s growth for almost a decade. They attracted a membership that reflects a broad spectrum of skills and expertise in the field of culinary history.
  • 2003: On the eve of CHO’s 10th anniversary, members adopted a Constitution and elected its first Executive, for a two-year term.
  • 2010: The membership approved a change of name from the Culinary Historians of Ontario to the Culinary Historians of Canada.
CHC board members

The 2009–2011 Board members: Fiona Lucas, Janet Kronick, Maggie Newell, Bob Wildfong, Angie McKaig, Liz Driver, Amy Scott (Photograph courtesy of Angie McKaig)

Founders of the Culinary Historians of Canada (left to right): Christine Ritsma, Bridget Wranich and Fiona Lucas examine the two known copies of The Frugal Housewife’s Manual (Toronto: 1840), the first English-language cookbook compiled in Canada, at the U of T’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in 2003.

 Founding executive 2003

First executive, 2003 (left to right): Eva MacDonald (Program), Melanie Garrison (Newsletter), Fiona Lucas (made Past President because a founding member), Maggie Newell (Secretary), Liz Driver (President), Bob Wildfong (Treasurer), Amy Scott (Vice President) and Elizabeth Nelson-Raffaele (Membership)

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