Win amazing prizes!

 - by Shirley

The Grand Prizes are so amazing this year! When you come through the door and receive a ballot, you can choose to enter to win one of two awesome prizes, the New Parent Grand Prize or the Growing Family Grand Prize. Huge thanks to all the exhibitors who contributed such wonderful gifts!

New Parent Grand Prize Approx value $1548

Abernathy Naturals: Gift Certificate $50

Ddrops: Baby Ddrops gift package $50

Glitter & Spice: Ice cream teether & teething necklace $65

HappyBaby Sleep Solutions: Sleep consultation $425

Laura McOrmond Photography: One hour portrait session including four 8X10 fine art prints. Choice of newborn, baby, child, maternity or family session. $360
Mothering Touch Centre and Birth Services: Punch card for pre and postnatal yoga and activity classes $120 New mom gift basket $129

TJ’s the Kiddies Store: Guzzie and Guss black wooden highchair $239

Tokyo Baby: Monkey pants, winter hat & leg warmers $60

Urban Baby Boutique: Gift basket full of their shop products $50


Growing Family Grand Prize Approx value $1710

Hotel Zed: Rebel Birthday party package $250

Mia’s Moccs: one pair of 100% genuine leather moccasins (size 3), teether clip, a swaddle blanket, and a little backpack! $73

MOOLA Financial Coaches & Advisors: Custom Budgeting Session with a Financial Coach $350

Sailor Jack Consignment: Gift card $50

Reel Life Fitness: 20 classes Outdoor Baby/Toddler Boot Camp & 30 day online fitness coaching $330

USANA: Sense shower pack $57

Victoria Gymnastics: Free year of gymnastics at Westshore Victoria Gymnastics $600-$1200


Baby Races

Wee ones up to 11 months old will race in our crazy crawling competition. They’ll take off in intense heats of up to five babies at a time. First one to cross the finish line in each heat moves on to the next round. Then the winner of the final championship race takes home the Baby Race Grand Prize. Space is limited so register early! Registration starts 15 minutes prior to each race at the main stage.

There are four baby races with two identical Grand Prizes as listed below. It will be a surprise which prize is awarded at what race. Come down and see!

Baby Race Grand Prize 1 & 2 approx value $296
Lizzy Lee & Me Salon: Baby‘s first haircut package $25
Mia’s Moccs: Gift card for one pair of regular style moccs $26

Mothering Touch Centre and Birth Services: Gift certificate for one Djeco mobile of winner’s choice $35
Reel Life Fitness: Gift card for 5 classes of Outdoor Baby/Toddler Boot Camp $100
Smallprint: Magic inkless print kit $25
Urban Baby Boutique: Gift basket full of shop products $25
Victoria Gymnastics: Free month of gymnastics at Westshore Victoria Gymnastics $60-95

Baby Race Grand Prizes 3 & 4 approx value $281
Lizzy Lee & Me Salon: Baby‘s first haircut package $25
Mia’s Moccs: Gift card for one pair of regular style moccs $26

Mothering Touch Centre and Birth Services: Gift certificate for one Djeco mobile of winner’s choice $35
Reel Life Fitness: Gift card for 5 classes of Outdoor Baby/Toddler Boot Camp $100
TK Clothing: Pair of 9-18 month merino wool leggings $35
Victoria Gymnastics: Free month of gymnastics at Westshore Victoria Gymnastics $60-95

Full details at the fair. Good luck!

Weekend Passes for sale

 - by Shirley

A limited number of weekend passes are now on sale for $6+gst at the following locations:

Bellies In Bloom Maternity (Royal Oak Shopping Centre 4489 Viewmont Ave)

Momease Baby Boutique (Both locations: 1581 Hillside Ave & 5325 Cordova Bay Rd. atMattick’s Farm)

Mothering Touch Centre (975 Fort St)

Sailor Jack Consignment (424 Craigflower Rd.)

Thistle & Wren (1292 Gladstone Ave.)

TJ’s the Kiddies Store (3045 Douglas St. Parking off Larch)

Kinderbeez Children’s Consignment (2755 Beverly St. in Duncan)

You can also get your tickets at the door September 24 & 25 at Pearkes Arena for $10/Weekend pass or $8/day. Kids 12 & under are free! Entrance to the fair includes all the talks & performances on the main stage. See you soon!



Honouring Mothers

 - by Shirley

For some of us motherless mothers, the holiday of Mother’s Day is bittersweet. Is this a day to remember our moms? A day to celebrate our own motherhood? A little of both?

Here’s a lovely idea I wanted to share to honour our mothers: Capture the essence of her, whether alive or passed on & write a short story of her life. Starting with a photograph, a letter, a recipe or memory of your mom, write a few paragraphs or a couple of pages of facts you know about her life. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple.

If you are lucky to have a mom who’s still here, perhaps shoot a little video of your mom this Mother’s Day. Ask her a few questions about her life. Or for those of us who can’t do that, why not create a small list of interview questions and ask your kids what they think of you.  Video tape them answering or just write down the answers. Again, keep it simple and just do it. Life goes by so quickly and ideas fall to the wayside. It’s nice to have these kinds of memories to look back on and they are super easy to do.

You will be glad you did!

She’s Pregnant-Happy Birth Stories Please!

 - by Shirley

By: Shirley Broback, Producer of the Vancouver Island Baby Fair

When you are pregnant, it can feel like it’s open season for unsolicited advice & birth stories from other parents.

In the end of my pregnancy with my daughter (see photo below) it felt like I was as wide as I was tall. I was huge! Everywhere I went there were stares. Everyone wanted to know how a short woman like me could give birth to what seemed would be a gigantic baby or made comments like “looks like you could pop any minute!”  Although these comments started when I was only six months along.

Yes, I knew I had another big baby. (My son had been 9 1/2 pounds)

When the midwife palpated my belly she knew too.

But she was pretty confident in me based on my previous “uneventful” birth experience. (Right, like giving birth can EVER be “uneventful”!)

So all we could do was wait and see. And try to surrender to the labour that awaited me.

When people see a pregnant woman, it’s tempting for some to feel the need to warn her or provide their detailed stories whether she’s interested or not. It is likely that her birth experience will be much different than yours, regardless of the “helpful” advice you provide and even the best of friends might have different fears or make different choices about their birthing options.

Decompressing and sharing our birth stories is a really healthy, natural thing to do. It’s a life-changing experience we have just been through and most women want or need to talk about it, especially in the early postpartum days.

However, I think it’s important to not flood a pregnant woman’s thoughts with our own stories in those last couple months of her pregnancy.  She is busy getting ready for her own experience, physically and emotionally. This is her journey right now.

In the last trimester of pregnancy we need to plant the seeds of confidence in women. Share your own amazing moments & perhaps some good tips- if she’s interested- but save any epic battle birth stories for later during mommy bonding coffee dates.

A friend gave me a little pin to wear that said, “Happy birth stories please. My baby is listening.”

Baby Fair named Canada’s Top Mom Entrepreneur!

 - by admin

We just got some AMAZING NEWS! Shirley Broback, producer of this weekend’s Vancouver Island Baby Fair, has just been named the SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year! Here’s the press release going out to the local media today:

Vancouver Island Baby Fair Steals the Show – Named Canada’s Top Mom Entrepreneur in the SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award

For Immediate Release
September 23, 2009

VICTORIA, BC – Shirley Broback, the producer of this weekend’s Vancouver Island Baby Fair, has just been honoured with the 2009 SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year award. Broback was chosen out of 317 nominees from across Canada in the contest run by SavvyMom Media (

“Winning the SavvyMom Entrepreneur of the Year award is such a fantastic opportunity,” says Broback. “I’m looking forward to streamlining some of our processes, hiring some much needed help, and gearing up to expand our event even more.”

She found that participating in the SavvyMom Entrepreneur of the Year Award was a great reason to reach out to all of her contacts – suppliers, clients, friends and family alike – which helped grow awareness of her business in the critical time leading up to the 2009 show, which happens this weekend, September 26 & 27 at Pearkes Recreation Centre in Victoria. Since its inception in 2007, the Vancouver Island Baby Fair has grown to include an event in Nanaimo and Victoria each year, with the aim to “celebrate the growing family” by bringing together shopping, resources and entertainment for families ranging from pregnancy through preschool.

“Our event benefits not only women and their families who visit the fair gathering valuable resources and who are celebrating this fantastic transition in their lives, but it also provides a unique marketing opportunity to the businesses and organizations that participate, many run by other mom entrepreneurs,” Broback said.

Recognizing moms’ united desire to find balance in their hectic lives and provide what is best for their families, the SavvyMom Mom Entrepreneur of the Year Award celebrates moms’ ability to take matters into their own hands. “Each one of the nominees has successfully developed a product or service that fills a need in the marketplace – and despite the economic challenges of the past year, we didn’t see a drop in the number of nominees. The mom entrepreneur movement is still going strong,” says Sarah Morgenstern, co-founder of SavvyMom Media.

SavvyMom Media is the trusted resource for time-crunched moms across Canada, delivering tried and tested practical solutions to everyday dilemmas. SavvyMom’s bi-weekly email newsletter reaches 35,000 moms across Canada. More information on SavvyMom Media and its subsidiary programs can be found at and

Media Contacts:
Shirley Broback, Baby Fair Producer: 250-686-5693
Minnow Hamilton, SavvyMom Media: 416-418-6261

Underpants for a Cause: ‘A’ News coverage

 - by admin

Our friend Charlotte Wood-Dobson leaves today on a trip to Africa with Watoto. Over the past month, Vancouver Island Baby Fair producer Shirley Broback helped Charlotte reach out to the community for donations of new underpants for girls in Gulu village. Read the full story here.

‘A’ News reporter Astrid Braunschmidt (who also travelled to Uganda recently) did a story on Charlotte and Shirley’s efforts:

We’ve been nominated!

 - by admin

Vancouver Island Baby Fair has been nominated for an Early Years Community Appreciation Award, an initiative of Play Victoria. Parents and caregivers of children up to age 5 voted in an online poll to nominate their favorite places, organizations and businesses who they believe support them and their children. We were nominated in the category “Favourite Source of Parenting Information.”

We are so proud to be recognized as an important resource for the parenting community in Greater Victoria. Thank you!

For a full list of nominees, you can visit the Play Victoria website.