A Conversation on Canadian Local Textiles

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Date(s) - 22/03/2023
4:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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A virtual event hosted by the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum!

Wed. March 22 4pm(PST)

visit the museum website to get your free ticket

Many Canadians buy local food, but have you ever thought about local clothing?

The local textile movement strives to keep all parts of textile production — from field to fashion — in one region. The movement includes farmers, ranchers, mill operators, dyers, artisans and community crafters, and fashion professionals. They hope to reduce the environmental impact of textiles and the fashion industry, and to strengthen local, often rural, economies.

Join us for a lively panel discussion featuring members of the Canadian movement, representing regions throughout the country as well as different parts of the textile production system.

Join the conversation! Share your thoughts using the hashtag: #FoodForThought

Register now!

Panelist Biographies

A woman wearing an apron and holding a pair of shoes smiles as she looks directly at the camera. A summer landscape and trees are visible behind her.


Jennifer Green resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she is an Associate Professor of Textiles/Fashion at NSCAD University. Her research practice is cross-disciplinary and collaborative. In April 2022, she launched the Flaxmobile Project, working with local farms to revitalize a flax fibre industry in Nova Scotia. Jennifer graduated from London’s Royal College of Art with a specialism in woven textile design. She has designed for mills in Britain and Japan and collaborated on projects relating to fashion, vehicle design, footwear, and accessories.

A woman wearing a winter hat has her arms wrapped around a large quantity of cream-coloured wool. A snowy landscape and trees are visible behind her.


Anna Hunter is a first-generation sheep farmer and wool mill owner in Eastern Manitoba, Treaty One Territory. Anna, her husband Luke, and their two sons moved to Manitoba from Vancouver, B.C. in 2015. She started Long Way Homestead, a small sheep farm, raising Shetland sheep for their beautiful wool. In 2018, they established a small-scale wool-processing mill the only one of its kind in Manitoba. They process wool and fibre for themselves and other farmers. Anna is passionate about building community and connecting rural fibre farmers with urban consumers, fibre artists, and crafters. She believes that regenerative agriculture and climate-beneficial food and clothing is integral to moving forward as farmers, fibre artists, and Manitobans.

A woman wearing snowshoes and sunglasses stands in the snow. She is holding a thick, wool sweater.


Sharon Kallis is a community-engaged environmental artist and committed, life-long learner. At home on the west coast of Canada, she is the founding executive director of EartHand Gleaners Society. Since 2008, Sharon has worked extensively with the Vancouver Park Board and is one of the primary stewards for two urban learning gardens — where materials for creative production are grown.

Sharon partners with ecologists, gardeners, and makers with an interest in linking traditional hand technologies to what we can grow, gather, and glean in our urban green spaces. Traditional textiles are at the core of the work; she has been growing stinging nettle and flax for linen in city parks since 2012. By doing her own cultural work through cloth, Sharon is working to be a better ancestor while living as an uninvited guest on the unceded land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations.

A head shot of a young woman with long, dark hair; she is smiling slightly as she looks directly at the camera.


Esmeralda Smith Romero has been building capacity in the regional textile space since founding her company, Olive + Elliot, in 2017. The company — which offers natural, Canadian textiles for a sustainable lifestyle — grew from her vision to rebuild local economies and create sustainable agricultural and manufacturing jobs in a circular economy model. Olive + Elliot trialed a variety of textile crops throughout Ontario in 2019, and beta launched in November 2022. The company is the recipient of multiple awards.

Esmeralda and Olive + Elliot have been members of the Upper Canada Fibreshed since 2018. As a Co-Chair since 2021, Esmeralda is passionate about using textiles as a vehicle to rebuild local manufacturing and rooting the source materials from locally farmed fibre and natural dyes.