Big Wins with BlogJam Sponsor,

This year BlogJam was so thrilled to have the support of as a Keynote Sponsor. For us that was a DOUBLE WIN because it also included an afternoon keynote featuring the wise words of Candace Derickx aka the force behind the stellar blog, Life in Pleasantville.

Candace provided some valuable insight on the life of a travel influencer. She had the audience laughing at her confessions of how to capture the perfect beach shot and gave some great tips on what travel businesses like are seeking when they work with bloggers.

Of course, BlogJam attendees were on the edge of their seats when it was time to announce the winner of a trip for 2 to the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort and Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The lucky winner of the Sunwing prize was Lori Byrne. North Shore farmer and friend to all, Lori’s blog Farm Fresh Style is a BlogJam favourite. She was a presenter in our first year and took the stage again this year with another amazing woman, Heather Clarke of Heather’s Handmade Life.

In Lori’s words:

“We’re so excited and appreciative on winning this trip! We’ve never been on a trip south like this before and can’t wait to bask in the sun and skip a little of a Nova Scotia winter! Thank you Sunwing and BlogJam!”

Big thanks to Candace and for providing their invaluable BlogJam support and this incredible prize.

Pre-Conference Food Photography with BlogJam Sponsor, Fujifilm

This year BlogJam was so excited to offer a very special pre-conference workshop on food photography, lead by the extraordinary Michelle Doucette of East Coast Food Stories, and hosted by the delicious and generous, Gio restaurant at the Prince George Hotel.

While all levels of photographers were welcome – including smart phone photographers – we also had help from our very special sponsor, Fujifilm.

Gathered together on Saturday night, 25 bloggers tasted bites of delectable scallops, shrimp, vegetables, and amazingly fresh and fun salad ingredients.

The group was treated to a fun cooking demonstration, which included some beautifully prepared ingredients – perfect subjects for food photography!

These vibrant reds and greens were captured on a Fujifilm X-A3 camera.

Then the ever-skillful Michelle answered photography questions while teaching participants some tricks of the trade, including how to set up food for a flat lay, what types of lighting to use, and where to find some killer props.

Insider tip: You can brush dull and matte food with some canola oil to help provide an appetizing sheen for the dish!

We wrapped up the pre-conference event with some extra special foodie Jam Bags and a few bonus prizes from our generous sponsors like Fujifilm. It was a great way to kick start BlogJam and nice bonus chance for bloggers to meet before a full and busy day of sessions on Sunday.

Big thanks to those who came out to the first ever BlogJam Food & Photography workshop. Remember to share your snaps from that night so we can all remember the tasty fun!

Fujifilm generously provided prizes to be awarded to BlogJam attendees throughout the event, including an Instax printer, Instax cameras and film.



Afternoon Keynote: Candace Derickx with Sunwing

Candace Derickx has been working in social media for almost a decade now, as both an influencer and an influencer manager; helping brands find the best person to collaborate with. A passionate traveler, Candace has recently teamed up with Sunwing to help them find leading Canadian travel talent to partner with. You can find Candace writing on her blog Life in Pleasantville, talking travel on her What She Said Radio show, and on Facebook and Instagram at Life in Pleasantville.

Instagram: @LifeinPleasantville



Quick Pitch

This year at BlogJam we are thrilled to provide an opportunity to pair bloggers and brands for what we’re calling a Quick Pitch. This is your chance to have a brief chat about potential partnership opportunities in the future. Each pitch will be 10 minutes and bloggers are encouraged to bring their media kits, business cards, and great ideas.

Participating Quick Pitch brands are:

If you’ve never pitched a brand before, this is your chance to do so amongst friends. Ten minutes is a great amount of time to experience, ask questions, and explore opportunities. No foul balls can happen here!


If you’ve got your BlogJam ticket and would like to participate in the Quick Pitch, click here to sign up now.



Morning Keynote: Elayna Fernández, The Positive MOM

Elayna Fernández, known worldwide as The Positive MOM, is an award-winning storyteller, a master digital strategist, and an avid student of pain. Elayna helps moms transform their pain story into positive growth, step into balance, and create joy and success on their own terms — in all areas of life.

Elayna travels the world as an International keynote speaker and panelist in the topics of motherhood, mindset, and mompreneurship. Her guidance encourages, empowers, and equips millions of moms in 134 countries to increase their impact, income, and influence, without guilt, shame, or regrets in motherhood.

Elayna is Certified Guerrilla Marketing Master Trainer, Certified Passion Test Facilitator, Certified Success Principles Trainer, a graduate of the Steve Harvey School for Business Acceleration, and a web designer for over 20 years. She has been awarded as Best Marketer, Mom Entrepreneur of the Year, Best Latina Lifestyle Blogger of both 2015 and 2016, and the 2017 Best Family and Parenting Creator at the TECLA Awards, and she has been named one of the Top Latina Influencers in the USA two consecutive years., has been ranked one of 100 Top Moms Blogs Worldwide both in 2016 and 2017.

Elayna is often featured in global media, has spoken on prestigious stages, and has partnered with hundreds of brands in her 13-year mompreneur journey.

Born and raised in a slum in the Dominican Republic, Elayna now lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her loving husband and 3 homeschooled daughters.

Her philosophy is “BE Positive and You’ll BE Powerful!”

Instagram: @thepositivemom

Twitter : ThePositiveMOM_ 




Featured Speaker: Julie Elsdon-Height

Pitch Perfect

Ever looked at another influencer and wondered how they got that AWESOME gig? Julie will delve into the aspects of PITCHING!! Roll up your sleeves and let’s dive into branding, media kits, offers and finding contacts! Fantastic partnerships don’t just happen, Julie will share some insights to help you develop your own pitch perfect approach.

Julie Elsdon-Height is co-founder of SJ Consulting, a digital marketing firm and founder of Life Straight Up! is a popular Canadian lifestyle blog established in 2010. Known as @SoberJulie online, Julie has been studying the online marketscape for a decade and is a wealth of knowledge for influencer/Brand relationships.


Twitter: @SoberJulie

Instagram: @soberjulie


Featured Speaker: Ali Breen

How to not Start a Blog for a Whole Year – A Cautionary Tale

As a blogger, Millennials Career Coach Ali Breen is just beginning. And she’s been “just beginning” for well…um…a whole year now. Are you stuck at the start? Ali flips the how-to model upside down in this cautionary-tale session, offering an in-the-trenches outlook and tangible “try this instead” tips, worksheets and activities. Her funny, frustrating and real-life journey can help you avoid pitfalls, pitstops and procrastination on the road to starting your own beauty of a blog. Oh, and she’s all kinds of funny. Bring your laughing/crying emojis people! Also bring cake. Seriously, a cake offering is required to attend the session. JK…sort of. (We made her write “JK'” but she really wants cake & advises you to “make good choices people, just sayin”).

As a blogger, Ali is just beginning. As an award-winning writer, who has loved writing since she was a wee one, it’s bonkers that she hasn’t had a blog before now. Feel the same way? From “get lost in the tech weeds” to “be super jealous when all your blogger friends get invited to a flashy foodie event” she offers real-life tips on how to avoid ever starting your blog in this funny, refreshing beginner’s story.

Ali Breen is a Millennials Career Coach, avid #SupportLocal champion, Kinda/Sorta/Almost Blogger and all-around good time gal, bringing her bare-naked heart to BlogJam this year to share her strategies for first timers. Offering an in-the-trenches outlook and tangible “try this instead” tips, worksheets and activities, her journey can help you avoid pitfalls, pitstops and procrastination on the road to starting your own beauty of a blog.

Ali believes that your career can and should be a reflection of who you are and how you want to be in the world. She uses story-based, narrative coaching to help clients get clear about what they want and how & when they can actually get it. As a past corporate recruiter and bilingual career practitioner in non-profit employment centres, Ali has experience from both sides of the Career Management table. She offers a refreshing break and realistic divergence from the cookie-cutter career advice and tools that are outdated and (mostly) broken.

Her blog is a blend of career advice for young professionals, #howtodeal tips for parents of Millennials and epic wins from & for this often maligned generation. She has brought her energy and expertise as a presenter to Fusion Halifax, Clean NS, NS Career Development Association and countless workshop rooms. She co-founded the first bilingual career centre in Halifax, boosts up those around her, organizes and volunteers at epic events and is well…kind of a big deal.     


Twitter: @reachalibreen

Instagram: @alibreeninsta


Featured Speaker: Anita Kirkbride

Cooking with Gas: How to Use Social Media to Promote your Blog

Social media and blogging go together like peanut butter and jam (oh yeah, I used a jam pun). What good is all the work you’re doing to put your amazeballs content together if nobody is coming to read it? Social media gas to the rescue (I’ll leave the other kind of gas to Alison Knott)! Join me to learn how to use the most common social networks to get more eyeballs on your blog.

When the first generation of bloggers emerged in the late 90s, Twirp Communications founder Anita Kirkbride carved out her own digital space and promptly decorated it with cardstock and rubber stamps. Her blogging career expanded from there, and now she shares everything she knows about social media at

Twitter: @AnitaKirkbride


Instagram: @TwirpCommunications

Featured Speaker: Crystal Richard

Get Covered! How to Get Your Byline and Name in Top Digital Publications

If you’ve ever dreamed of getting your byline in Forbes or Huffington Post, this is the session for you. A publicist by day, blogger by night, Crystal will share her best tips, tricks, and secret sauces to getting your content and name into the hands of editors at some of internet’s top digital publications. Time to get covered!

Crystal Richard is known around these waters as the East Coast Mermaid (after her lifestyle + travel blog of the same name) but she’s also the Owner + President of Crystal Richard & Co., a digital marketing & PR consulting biz helping startups, entrepreneurs, and brands create and tell stories that will attract a tribe of raving fans. A global storyteller, Crystal helps passionate entrepreneurs from Cape Town to San Francisco get media coverage and bylines in leading online publications such as Entrepreneur, Forbes, the New York Times, Inc. and more. Over her career as a publicist, she has brokered HGTV pilots and landed her client on the Steve Harvey Show. This past summer, she founded her own side hustle the Sandy Toes Shop and her first book, Get Covered! hits the shelves in January 2018. She will be the first to admit that her cat with thumbs was Instagram famous first. Ask her about it at BlogJam!

Twitter: @crystalcrichard


Instagram: @crystal_catherine