OMVC Culinary Arts

Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
BC Ideas: Solutions for Stronger Communities competition.


This innovation also has a Project Page where you can read more about its latest progress.
Go to Project: OMVC Culinary Arts.

Culinary, capacity, and community partnerships... Achieving dreams through food.

About You

Organization: Old Massett Village Council more ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization

Organization Name

Old Massett Village Council

Organization Website

Organization Country

Canada, BC, Old Massett

Country where this solution is creating social impact

Canada, BC, Massett

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact

Northern British Columbia.

Is your organization a

Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Cost.

The Need: Describe the need for your solution and the size and characteristics of the community(ies) your solution is engaging

The Old Massett Village Council identified the need for a culinary Arts program in 2007 and proceeded to provide training in the Culinary Arts field. Many of the local businesses imported chefs from other communities leaving a huge economic gap for the island, however there were limited people formally trained in the art of cooking. Diabetes is a major concern in the community and the CA program wanted to address it. The community embraced the program and thoughout the years has supported the program with training 6 - 9 unemployed individuals learn a trade that can be used to fill some of the economic gaps identified. With 68% unemployement in the community, it also dedicated its purpose to provide a healthy hot lunch for 150 children, meals on wheels for 37 elders and breakfast for 30.

The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!

In 2012 the Council of the Haida Nation purchased West Coast resorts. OMVC sees this as an opportunity to provide long term employment for Culinary Arts participants and wants to continue to provide the training that will help particiapnts be employable within this company, to achieve thier RED SEAL certification, as well as provide them with the opportunity to start their own business. We propose to do this by providing participants with 1000 hours each year towards thier required 4000 hours. We propose to serve 200 meals a day to feed the two elementary schools in the area, as well as the local high school. We propose to provide 37 meals to elders daily to ensure our elders are eating a healthy meal each day. The focus is on health and nutrition, and we propose to be the best at providing healthy meals to our community.

The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include the primary activities involved in your solution.

The kitchen is set up as a social enterprise. The objective for the Culinary Arts program is to adress the following: 1. Food Safe kitchen to prepare meals. 2. Provide a healthy hot lunch program for the children. 3. To provide diabetic friendly foods to the Elders and children. 4. To provide employment for six in a community with 68% unemployment. 5. To create opportunity for participants to train LOCALLY opposed to uprooting thier lives and families to move to the closest training center - Terrace BC.

Providing this program allows our participants to train close to home. Some of the particpants are single parents and depend on thier families for support. Moving for some of them is not an option.

Providing a food safe environment. In the past, food has been prepared in homes. The culinary arts kitchen is a food safe environment with safety plans that consider allergies, food realted bacterial issues, etc.

For some of the children and elders, the breakfast program, lunch program, and meals on wheels program is thier only exposure to healthy food. With the farm to school program the Culinary Arts program is associated with, we are providing them with locally grown foods that they may not otherwise have access to because of price.

The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others working to address the same needs as you and indicate what sets you apart from them.

There are no other competitors for the programs we run, however we do have competitors in the catering department. OMVC caters its own meal needs, which was once done via volunteers for fundrasing. Unfortunately we have impacted the competition that competed for the 10 - 50 person meals, but no other group did the 50+ meals. Our meals are all prepared in a Certified kitchen, they are all prepared using diabete and health smart recipes, and they are generally more inclusive of local foods such as farm eggs, veggies from Riverworks farm, etc.

Social Impact

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Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.

Our Aha! moment came to us over time. With potlatchs exceeding 500, and lunch programs that catered to over 150, and a meals on wheels program that was growing with our aging population, we knew something had to be done to accomodate the needs of these groups. After calculating the potential and looking at the wishlist from our 5 year human resource development plan, we seen the connection and the need to develop something that would not just service these programs, but would also build capacity in the community. Once the problems were identified, we began to make the connections to health, economics, capacity and poverty. It all just seemed to fall into place. In 2007 OMVC accessed funds to renovate thier kitchen, and soon the Culinary Arts program was in full swing.

Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

1. Capacity Building
2. Healthy food programs
3. Local food programs
4. Safe food preparation
5. Plugging economic leaks
6. Local training

Through our experience we found that most of the participants did not have the means to move to another community in order to access training in culinary arts. This led in to the economic leak that happens each year when kitchens import staff from other communities, and thier paychecks leaving when they leave, providing no economic benefit for the community. We also found that the kitchens were purchasing from stores off-island, also limiting thier contribution to the local economy. We would like to support local training, buying and education.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

The Culinary Arts program feeds healthy food to approximately 200 people per day or approximately 16000 meals per year. The program combines local food programs to ensure saving in bulk purchasing allowing the programs to buy locally. The Culinary Arts program has graduated 2 RED SEAL chef's, one in which now teachs the program, the other now involved with the Canadian National Aboriginal Culinary Arts team. The Culinary Arts program employs a minimum of five people per year to a maximum nine. The Culinary Arts program provides a much needed service in the community, allowing the team to cater to large functions such as weddings, etc.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

Our projected impact over the next five years is to:
1. graduate six more RED SEAL chefs
2. purchase a commercial venue in order to provide level 3 training in a more efficient manner.
3. To make the program self sustaining
4. To keep a minimum of 5 people employed
5. To become the best at healthy food and heart friendly meals.
6. To keep over $300,000 of food purchases local.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Funding is always a barrier. Most of the programs available will assist level one or level 3 participants. there is a gap for level 2's in a 3 level program. Becoming self sufficient and less dependent on grants and fudning is the goal. The catering we provide currently pays for the chef but we generally fall short in operation funds. In the past two years our catering has increased 30% as people start to know our program. We are looking to purchase a venue to offer level 3 and that will help address the econoimic leak from the lodges. The venue we have in mind is located at the airport where Each week 800 sports fishermen fly in and fly out. We plan to provide food service to them during thier 3 hour wait. We need to get through this year in order to be in the position to make it happen.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone

Task 1

21,000 meals served through hot lunch, breakfast program and meals on wheels

Task 2

Four students achieving 800 hours towards thier required 1000 hours per level

Task 3

Revenues of $20,000 to pay for the instructor chef.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone

Task 1

Acquire a commercial venue to accomodate level 3.

Task 2

Four participants taking and writing thier level one and two examinations

Task 3

Revenues of $55,000 in order to pay for the chef.


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Tell us about your partnerships

We have a partnership with the local farmers institution. We purchase local food from Riverworks Farm. This is part of a farm to school program.
We have a partnership with School District 50 and Chief Matthews Elementary in which we provide lunch for thier students, both high school and elementary.
We have a partnership with the Haida Health Center in which we provide 37 hot lunches to elders daily and approximately 35 breakfasts to school aged children each morning.
We have a partnership with West Coast Resorts in which we do job placements for the students starting May 2013

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

We are looking at purchasing a venue that will help us with the capacity to run a level three program. The venue is located at the local airport. Over 800 fishermen pass through the venue each summer and they have to sit and wait for 3 - 4 hours each day. We aim to capture some of thier dollars by providing them with a place to eat while they wait. Revenues from this will go back into the school to help take on more students.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

We are fortunate that we have a fully functional commercial kitchen in which we can operate out of. We could use a venue in which is more accomodating to catering, as for right now we are adjoined to a community hall. Not the best place to cater a dinner. So most of our catering happens in another venue.
We know our students. We are a team. And we work together to feed our kids, to support each other in studies, and most of all we understand the barriers each of us face.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

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126 weeks ago OMVC Culinary Arts has been chosen as a finalist in BC Ideas: Solutions for Stronger Communities.
132 weeks ago Lindsay Marsh said: I like your focus on health and nutrition to combat diabetes. Good luck with your social enterprise! about this Competition Entry. - read more >
132 weeks ago Patricia Moore updated this Competition Entry.
132 weeks ago Patricia Moore submitted this idea.