Life of Bryan: Working the magic of sustainable food's sweet spot


  • Wayne Roberts



Bryan Gilvesy is one of Canada’s most-recognized farm innovators, as well as one of the country’s best-known leaders of the food movement. That combination is unusual in any region or country—one of the ways that Gilvesy exemplifies both the hallmarks of the food movement in Canada, as well as the unique components of agroecology as it emerges in a temperate-cold climate. This portrait of a food and farm leader is based on my own reporter’s notes taken over seven years of attending meetings where Gilvesy has spoken, and on files of news clippings and academic articles related to the farming methods he’s pioneered in Canada. Part 1 of this article provides an overview of Gilvesy’s background and personal evolution prior to his adoption of views and practices for which he’s presently renowned.  Parts 2 and 3, which will be posted in subsequent issues, introduce his measures to promote a wrenching shift in food system redesign—specifically the provision to pay farmers for ecosystem services they produce on the working landscape of their farm. Parts 2 and 3 will also spell out specific trends within Canada’s food movement, such as its promotion of concrete, positive and practical reform measures and its service as a Big Tent coalition of various public interest groups—trends that Gilvesy personifies.

Author Biography

Wayne Roberts

Wayne Roberts is internationally recognized as a leading analyst, advocate and practitioner in the field of city food policy. From his home base in Toronto, Dr. Roberts has written 12 books, most recently The No Nonsense Guide to World Food (2nd Edition) and Food for City Building. He is also a longtime associate of Bryan Gilvesy, and has volunteered for two years as an unpaid “director of sustainability education” for Y U Ranch, which Gilvesy owns.




How to Cite

Roberts, W. (2014). Life of Bryan: Working the magic of sustainable food’s sweet spot. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 1(1), 20–26.