Be sure to attend our most comprehensive conference to-date.

 | Recommended for all registrants wishing to expand their knowledge

 | Recommended for personnel working in a retail environment

 | Recommended for manufacturers, distributors and business services

 | CHFA Member and/or Associate only event, check description for details





Thursday February 22, 2018

12:00 p.m. –
5:00 p.m.

The Regulatory Forum and Lunch

Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate

7:00 p.m. –
9:00 p.m.

Hosted Event:
Mushrooms, Mycelium &  The Mycology of Consciousness: An Immersion Lecture

Paul Stamets
Host Defense
and TallGrass

Friday February 23, 2018

9:00 a.m. –
10:00 a.m.

Keynote Breakfast:
2018 Food and Drink Trends

Joel Gregoire

10:15 a.m. –
11:15 a.m.

Why Natural Health Retailers Are The Envy of Their Competitors

Ryan Benn
Alive Publishing Group

10:15 a.m. –
11:15 a.m.

How to Market Your Brand Like a Food Network Star

Dayna Lapkovsky
Suite 203 Communications


Networking Break Sponsored by:


11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m. -
1:00 p.m.

Hosted Lunch:
Exclusive VIP 2018 Launch Event

Innovite Health

11:30 a.m. –
1:00 p.m.

Hosted Lunch:
Print Methods of Labels in Terms of your Cost

Steve Smith
Jet Label & Packaging

1:15 p.m. –
6:00 p.m.

Product Education Sessions

Hosted by Exhibitors

1:15 p.m. –
2:00 p.m.

Death by Amazon

Bruce Winder
Retail Advisors Network

1:15 p.m. –
2:15 p.m.

Food Regulations in Canada

Health Canada’s Food Directorate and Canadian Food Inspection Agency

2:15 p.m. –
3:15 p.m.


Retail Leaders Round Table
(CHFA Member Retailer, Owner/Operators)

Bruce Winder
Retail Advisors Network

2:30 p.m. –
3:15 p.m.

Are Organics and “X-ponics” Mutually Exclusive?

Kelly Monaghan
Ash Street Organics

3:30 p.m. –
4:30 p.m.

Winning Over the Connected Generation

Annalea Krebs
Social Nature

3:30 p.m. –
4:30 p.m.

Respecting the Boundaries

Lewis Retik &
Daniel Cole
Gowling WLG

Networking Break Sponsored by: 4:30 – 4:45 p.m. 

4:45 p.m. –
6:00 p.m.

Get the Insider’s “Members-Only” Story at the CHFA Member Forum

CHFA Leadership

6:00 p.m. –
7:00 p.m.

CHFA Member Welcome Reception


Saturday February 24, 2018

7:30 a.m. -
8:15 a.m.

Hosted Event:
Vega Morning Boot Camp


10:00 a.m. –
5:00 p.m.

CHFA West Trade Show


5:00 p.m. –
7:00 p.m.

CHFA Industry Achievement Awards
at the Pan Pacific Crystal Pavilion Ballroom


Sunday February 25, 2018

10:00 a.m. –
5:00 p.m.

CHFA West Trade Show



Thursday, February 22, 2018
The Regulatory Forum 
Room 109 | Lunch Included | Pre-Registration Required | Members and Associates $50
Member and Associate Lunch 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Regulatory Presentation 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Networking Break 3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Member-Only Meeting 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Manon Bombardier, Director General, Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD)
Kim Godard, Senior Manager, Regulatory Operations and Regions Branch (RORB)
Sonia Parmar, Manager, Bureau of Licensing Services and Systems (BLSS)


If your business is involved in the NHP sector, register for CHFA’s Regulatory Forum to learn more about the many changes happening in Canada that could impact your business.

Manon will present updates on key projects underway within the department. Topics include the self-care products framework, changes to the use of "statements to the effect of", new electronic tools for product licensing and other important developments. Kim and Sonia will discuss compliance and enforcement initiatives, specifically the report on their findings from the compliance monitoring project and future educational opportunities that are planned for GMP compliance.

Following a short break, members will have the opportunity to discuss Health Canada's presentations during a one-hour, member-only forum. Click here to view the agenda. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to stay up to date, ask your questions and connect with industry peers. 

Sponsored by:    
Hosted Event: Mushrooms, Mycelium &  The Mycology of Consciousness: An Immersion Lecture
Now is the time for the Paradigm Shift
 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. | Ballroom A | Register Here | Hosted by       
Speaker: Paul Stamets

Join Paul Stamets, engaging speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, for an immersion lecture on mushrooms that will deepen your understanding and respect for the organisms that exists under every footstep you take on this path of life.

Discover why Paul feels “w​e are now fully engaged in the 6th Major Extinction (“6 X”) on planet Earth. Our biosphere is quickly changing, eroding the life support systems that have allowed humans to ascend. Unless we put into action policies and technologies that can cause a course correction in the very near future, species diversity will continue to plummet, with humans not only being the primary cause, but one of the victims. What can we do? Fungi, particularly mushrooms, offer some powerful, practical solutions, which can be put into practice now.”

Paul’s research is considered a breakthrough by thought leaders for creating a paradigm shift for helping ecosystems. Join us in February when his latest discoveries will be revealed! 


Paul Stamets, speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, is considered an intellectual and industry leader in fungi:  habitat, medicinal use, and production.  He lectures extensively to deepen your understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep you take on this path of life. His presentations cover a range of mushroom species and research showing how mushrooms can help the health of people and planet.  His central premise is that habitats have immune systems, just like people, and mushrooms are cellular bridges between the two. Our close evolutionary relationship to fungi can be the basis for novel pairings in the microbiome that lead to greater sustainability and immune enhancement.

Paul’s philosophy is that “MycoDiversity is BioSecurity”. He sees the ancient Old Growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as a resource of incalculable value, especially in terms of its fungal genome. A dedicated hiker and explorer, his passion is to preserve and protect as many ancestral strains of mushrooms as possible from these pristine woodlands.

Paul is also the author of 6 books, discovered and named numerous new species of mushrooms and is the founder and owner of a brand of Fungi Perfecti, LLC ( which makes Host Defense Mushroom product line. 

This is a hosted event with exclusive registration not included as part of the CHFA West Program. Seats are limited, please register early.

CHFA Attendee Code: HFRetailer

Register Here

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Friday, February 23, 2018
Keynote Breakfast : 2018 Global Food and Drink Trends
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Room 211 | Registration Required | Members $15 | Non-members $30
Speaker: Joel Gregoire, Mintel

Gaining an edge in the food and drink industry starts with a simple question: “What do consumers want?” Mintel’s 2018 Food and Drink Trends presentation helps answer this question and provides perspective on how companies are responding to these demands.

How are Mintel’s trends identified? They are the result of collaboration among 60 of Mintel’s expert analysts across more than a dozen countries. The resulting trends are based on concepts that reflect current consumer-focused themes around trust, self-care, stress, individuality and sustainability, and aim to make sense of what’s new and important to help companies make informed, strategic decisions.


Joel Gregoire is the Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, specializing in the Canadian food and drink industry. Joel has over 15 years of experience working in market research, 12 of which focused on what matters to Canadians in terms of how they eat and drink. Before joining Mintel, Joel worked at OMD, Loblaw Companies Ltd, where he generated insights for the company’s private label brands, including President’s Choice, and The NPD Group, where he tracked consumer eating patterns and presented the analysis to top tier clients. Joel heads up Mintel’s Food and Drink team in Canada, and has personally authored over 20 reports on various topics related to food and drink during his tenure. Joel has also contributed to various publications including Canadian Grocer, where he writes a quarterly column. Despite Joel’s expertise in understanding what Canadians eat, he’s still trying to figure out what to feed his three year old for dinner. You can follow Joel on Twitter at @JoelDGregoire.

Why Natural Health Retailers Are the Envy of Their Competitors
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Room 212 | Members Free | Non-members $10
Speaker: Ryan Benn, Alive Publishing Group

Understand the key differentiators that can ensure a profitable, long-term business model for the natural health retailer — includes a toolkit and playbook for success.

Join an insightful conversation with Ryan Benn to discuss what natural health retailers are doing right, what they are doing wrong, and what they need to improve on to increase their business and stay ahead of FDM (or competition). Ryan will share information gathered from polling the alive Listens reader panel to gain insights into what consumers are looking for at the stores that they shop in and to compile a playbook of actionable tools to ensure the success of your natural health business.

Ryan became President of Teldon Media Group in 2012, and served as Executive Vice President for the company three years prior to his appointment. Over that time, he has brought extensive leadership and innovation to help Teldon’s customers do what they value most: creating superior client experiences.

Since 2005 Ryan has also been the President of Alive Publishing Group, where he continues to serve today. Over the past twelve years, Alive Publishing has introduced numerous new products and services making it a multi-faceted media company. With the launch of alive USA, Australia, alive@work, alive Studios and the alive Summit, Ryan and his team have taken a trusted Canadian brand and transformed it into a global powerhouse with an audience of over 30 million readers around the world. These new products and services have diversified revenue and generated above exponential income growth. 


How to Market Your Brand Like a Food Network Star
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Room 216 | Members Free | Non-members $10
Speaker: Dayna Lapkovsky, Suite 203 Communications
With an explosion of new health products entering the marketplace every year, how does your brand stand out, compete and become a customer favourite? You don't have to be a reality star to win at making your brand shine! Marketing consultant Dayna Lapkovsky will draw inspiration from television’s biggest personalities and share her five biggest secrets learned while working with brands, both big and small, over the past 15 years. In this presentation, find out how to become and stay relevant to your target market and build a loyal, engaged group of brand ambassadors.

Dayna Lapkovsky is on a mission to help brands become customer favourites. As a marketing strategist with over 15 years experience in building and safeguarding corporate images, she has worked with an array of companies, from start-ups to international powerhouses, including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, TCBY, Avon and Birks. She is the owner of a marketing consultancy, Suite 203 Communications, that helps lifestyle brands become the #1 choice for their customers by recommending the best combination of strategies & tactics to reach the right people at the right time.


Hosted Lunch: Print Methods of Labels in Terms of your Cost
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Room 208 | Register Here | All Suppliers Invited
Hosted by: 

Join Jet Label for lunch to learn about the latest print methods you can use to produce labels. With capabilities that are light years in advance of conventional equipment, Jet Label has raised the standard in label quality and printing efficiency. We’ll help you identify the four biggest cost drivers of every label manufactured and guide you in the decisions that have the largest impact on the price of a label. This is a hosted event with exclusive registration through the link below and not included as part of the CHFA West registration.

Register Here

Hosted Lunch: Exclusive VIP 2018 Launch Event
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Room 211 | By Invitation Only 
Hosted by: 

This is a hosted event with exclusive invitation and not included as part of the CHFA West program.

Product Education Sessions
1:15 - 6:00 p.m. | Level 2 | Open to all Retailers | Free with your CHFA West Registration

Consumers repeatedly say that one of the main reasons they shop at independent health stores is the knowledge of the staff. Whether you’ve been selling natural health products for years or are new to the industry, educating yourself on popular products and trends will give you a competitive edge. You’ll be better able to serve your customers, feel confident in the information you are sharing and set your store apart from other retail outlets in your area.  These sessions are FREE to attend with your CHFA West trade show badge so be sure to register today!

View Times and Sessions Here 

Death by Amazon
1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Room 217 | Members Free | Non-members $10
Speaker: Bruce Winder, Retail Advisors Network

Death by Amazon… it’s a jarring headline and perhaps a thought that has crossed your mind. In a recent article published in the Financial Post, the story led with this: “ Inc.’s purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc. last month has pushed an already nervous retail sector into a collective panic not seen since the great recession.” But the real headline here should be how retailers can withstand the onslaught, suggests Bruce Winder, an expert in the field of retail who also contributed to the article.

What are select retailers doing differently to resist being disrupted by this behemoth? How do in-store experience, location, assortment, staff product knowledge, niche marketing and value-added services minimize the commoditization of retail? There are some merchants using these strategies and more to set themselves up to thrive in this ever-evolving arena that has seen countless businesses give up. 

Retail Leaders Round Table 
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Room 210 | CHFA Retailer Member Owner/Operator Only | Free
Speaker & Facilitator: Bruce Winder, Retail Advisors Network
Following the Death by Amazon session, CHFA Members are invited to join Bruce as he facilitates what is sure to be a lively discussion. This is your opportunity to share pain points, insights and best practices with other independent store owners. This session is limited to owner / operators and is the perfect opportunity to engage with others who may be having the same challenges — and experiencing the same successes — as you. So come out to share your knowledge and gain insights from your fellow retailers.

Bruce Winder is a Retail Expert, Entrepreneur, Professor and Speaker serving a variety of clients in the retail and manufacturing industries.  
His 25 + years’ experience in big retail as well as consulting and freelancing make him one of Canada's most sought after experts in the retail field.  As the Co-Founder & Partner at the Retail Advisors Network™, he is often interviewed on leading TV media outlets such as BNN, CBC, CTV News, CP24, Global News and has contributed to the Globe & Mail, the Financial Post, The Toronto Star, Reuters, Bloomberg, Adweek, The Calgary Herald and the Ottawa Citizen just to name a few.
Bruce started the first ever retail-only freelance talent marketplace called Retail Advisors Network™ Marketplace and is an active consultant to companies big and small.  
He enjoys teaching business at a Toronto based College and is writing his first book, due in 2018.

Food Regulations in Canada
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Room 216 | CHFA Members Free | Non-members $10

This one-hour session is dedicated to the food sector and provides attendees with the opportunity to learn about new and ongoing initiatives from the Canadian government.

Dr. William Yan, Director at Health Canada's Food Directorate and Jeanelle Paterson, National Operations Specialist at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will discuss the many developments that will impact food businesses. During the session, you will hear more about revisions to Canada's Food Guide, the Healthy Eating Strategy (including changes to food labelling), front-of-package labelling, sodium reduction initiatives, restricting marketing to children, and CFIA's Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). Click here to view the agenda. 

Are Organics and “x-ponics” Mutually Exclusive?
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Room 214 | Members Free | Non-members $10
Speaker: Kelly Monaghan, Ash Street Organics
Organic agriculture is generally considered to be soil-based — but what about hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics? USDA’s NOP still allows organic hydroponics while Canada and the EU do not. Canada is heading towards permitting organic aquaponics of products traditionally grown in soil. The latest updates on these rules and regulations will be discussed in this 45-minute seminar.

Kelly has worked in the organic industry since 1997 in the United States, Europe and now back in her native Canada.  She is an IOIA-accredited processing inspector performing audits for several international organic certification bodies.  Kelly assists processors of all sizes throughout North America to obtain organic certification for their products.  A highly acclaimed trainer, Kelly has developed and facilitated training programs for certifiers, inspectors, companies and government agencies in Canada, the United States and Australia.  She is a member of the Canadian Standards Interpretation Committee & the OMRI Canada Review Panel.

Winning Over the Connected Generation
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Room 214 | Members Free | Non-members $10
Speaker: Annalea Krebs, Social Nature

The retail landscape has changed with the rise of the connected generation, which is defined not by age but rather how consumers purchase and where they’re spending time. To succeed, a seamless omni-channel (online and in-store) approach to sales and marketing is required. This talk will give insights and tactics on how retailers can collaborate with suppliers, and why they should see this changing landscape as an opportunity and not a threat.

Key takeaways will include understanding the connected generation, how this relates to the changing path to purchase, and marketing tactics to bridge the gap between digital and brick and mortar.


Annalea Krebs is the founder of Social Nature, a CPG marketing company on a mission to inspire millions of consumers to try natural products. With almost a decade of digital marketing experience, Annalea is both an innovator and thought leader in next generation marketing.

Annalea is recognized as an expert in digital sampling and influencer marketing, and has been profiled in leading industry publications like Western Grocer, Food Navigator and Marketing Magazine.

Social Nature combines hyper-targeted trial with social media amplification to drive results across online and in-store channels.


Respecting the Boundaries
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Room 216 | Members Free | Non-members $10
Speakers: Lewis Retik and Danial Cole, Gowling WLG

Ah, yes, the magic supplement that cures everything from anxiety to cancer.  We’ve all seen advertising that makes us scratch our heads and wonder, “How did they get away with that?” Canadian regulations dictate that manufacturers should not make any claims for which the product is not approved. So why do marketers push the boundaries? In this session, you will be presented with examples where claims are either bordering on misleading the public or just plain false. What are the risks in embellishing an approved claim? Are the rules for marketing on social media platforms more lenient? Do retailers hold any responsibility when selling products that make false claims? Join us for a lively discussion as we help you navigate the dos and don’ts when pushing the boundaries.

Lewis Retik is the leader of the Advertising & Product Regulatory group and co-leader of the Food & Beverage group at Gowling WLG. As a partner in Gowling WLG's Ottawa office, he practices primarily in the area of product regulatory law, specifically in the area of food, NHPs, and cosmetics. Lewis' practice includes regulatory, distribution, manufacturing, advertising, packaging and labelling. He is often responsible for working with clients to develop marketing strategies and packaging and advertising designs that are both consumer friendly and compliant. Lewis regularly advises clients with respect to regulator enforcement. In addressing client issues, Lewis interacts with senior officials of government within such departments as Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Environment Canada.            

Daniel Cole is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Intellectual Property Group, practicing exclusively in the areas of advertising and marketing law.  His practice focuses primarily on contest design and review, automotive advertising, packaging and labelling and advertising copy review.  He also advises clients on consumer protection law and the legal logistics of developing e-commerce platforms.  A large part of Daniel’s practice involves advising on social media legal issues, including the design of targeted social media programs for a wide range of social media platforms, as well as drafting various social media policies and managing public relations concerns. With extensive experience in the social media and marketing arenas, Daniel is able to help his clients navigate a complex and constantly evolving landscape.  He not only focuses on his clients legal needs, but also their business needs. He regularly works with client’s legal and executive teams to manage risk and streamline processes related to their advertising and marketing procedures.  He is a frequent speaker and author on social media and advertising law (including at the Association of Corporate Counsel, Lexpert, IT-CAN and the Brand Activation Association), and was previously adjunct faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School.  Daniel is also ranked in Chambers (Canada) for Advertising and Marketing. Year called to the Bar: 2008.


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CHFA Member Events
Get the Insider’s “Members-Only” Story at the CHFA Member Forum 
A Must-Attend for Industry Leaders!
4:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Room 217 | CHFA Members Free
Have your say on what CHFA tackles next. If you’re looking for a platform to exchange insights and experiences, leverage the collective wisdom of your peers and expand your personal network of business leaders, join us at the CHFA West Member Forum. Join CHFA’s Board of Directors as well as President Helen Long and Vice President David Clark to discuss challenges and opportunities in the industry, and provide your feedback and ideas on CHFA activities. Whether you are new to the association or a long time member, this is a great opportunity to have your voice heard.
CHFA Member Welcome Reception 
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Room 211 | CHFA Members and Associates Free
Join us for drinks and canapés as we celebrate the opening of CHFA West 2018 with our members and associates. Connect with your industry colleagues and meet CHFA staff you talk to year-round. This is the VIP way to kick off your trade show weekend!
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Saturday, February 24, 2018
Vega Morning Boot Camp
7:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. | Level 2 | Register Here | Available to All CHFA West Registrants

Hosted By:    


Please join Vega for a high-repetition, bodyweight strength and cardio class. Challenge yourself physically and mentally as you power through this high-intensity workout. All fitness levels are welcome! Find the boot camp outside room 210 (in front of the green roof.) @vega_team

This is a hosted event with exclusive registration through the link below and not included in the CHFA West registration.

Register Here

CHFA West Trade Show 
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Included in your CHFA West registration
CHFA Industry Achievement Awards
Pan Pacific Crystal Pavilion Ballroom | Included in your CHFA West registration
Cocktail Reception 5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Awards Presentation 5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Join us as we celebrate the outstanding commitment and achievements of our peers. Beginning with a reception at the Pan Pacific Hotel, we’ll move in to the beautiful Crystal Pavilion Ballroom to enjoy light appetizers during the awards presentation. We offer open seating to all registered participants of CHFA West, so be sure to arrive early for the most popular event of the weekend.

Pan Pacific Hotel, Crystal Pavilion (Lobby Level)
Suite 300-999, Canada Place Vancouver
British Columbia V6C 3B5

Sunday February 25, 2018
CHFA West Trade Show
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Included in your CHFA West registration


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