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Bringing Fair Trade to Calgary with the 8th National Fair Trade Conference

Spreading awareness for Fair Trade activities in Canada and beyond

February 21, 2020 by Centaine Hlushak on Hotel Arts

For the first time since 2013, Calgary will play host to the 8th National Fair Trade Conference on March 13-14, 2020-- drawing in leaders from agriculture, business, education and beyond who are passionate about growing the Fair Trade movement at Hotel Arts. 

“It’s important to support not just locally-made products but also to think about what’s imported from other countries and ensuring the producers are treated ethically,” says Erin Bird, founder of the Fair Trade Calgary campaign. Erin has made it her mission to spread awareness for the Fair Trade movement in Calgary. Fair Trade Calgary has been working for the past three years on getting Calgary designated as a Fair Trade Town, so Erin is thrilled to have a role in the upcoming conference. 

“Calgary is a great stage for the revolution to happen.” The conference will feature a series of panel discussions with Fair Trade companies from coffee and chocolate to fashion and beyond, including a panel on the value of B Corp certification. The first day of the conference will conclude with a Fair Trade trade show highlighting the many Fair Trade products one can buy. 

Hotel Arts -- a long-standing Be Local business -- has been a ready player in finding ways to utilize as many Fair Trade goods as possible for the conference, including featuring Fair Trade beer brewed by Olds College students available on tap.  

This year’s revolution will heavily focus on youth engagement and advocacy for the first time ever. Alberta’s two Fair Trade-certified schools -- Olds High School and Calgary Arts Academy will be in attendance with a student from each school represented on the emcee team. “Youth are the key to securing the future of our planet,” Erin says.  

“We need their voices heard.” 


  1. Click here to register for the 8th National Fair Trade Conference on March 13-14. 
  2. Check out the conference schedule online – we especially recommend the B-Corps & Sustainable Business Models breakout session, and Storytelling: How to Differentiate your Business and Build Deeper Connections with Consumers. 
  3. Learn more about Fair Trade Calgary here
  4. Check out Hotel Arts’ mandate for supporting local here.