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Alberta farmer looking for love in Belgium

Alberta farmer looking for love in Belgium

Bjorn Bonjean is starring in a Flemish reality show

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An Alberta farmer will be a prominent figure on a Belgian television show until November.

Bjorn Bonjean, the 28-year old head winemaker at his family’s Spirit Hills Honey Winery in Millarville, Alta., is competing on a reality show that operates like The Bachelor.

Bonjean’s family moved from Belgium to Canada when he was seven.

The name of the Flemish (a Dutch dialect) show, “Boer Zoekt Vrouw,” translates to “Farmer Wants a Wife.”

Bjorn is one of the five farmers on the show. The others include a dairy farmer from Germany and an olive farmer from South Africa.

In contrast to The Bachelor, the Flemish show has no expectation for marriage at the end. Rather, the show is intended to give people the opportunity to meet, he told CBC yesterday.

Filming for the show took place last year on the family farm and in Europe.

Television producers visited the farm to interview Bonjean. His interview aired in Belgium, and about 150 women wrote letters expressing an interest in meeting him.

He traveled back to his native country to narrow his choices down to 10 people. Then he narrowed the list down to five.

“I had to do a group date with all five (women) all at once the next day. That was interesting,” he told CTV News.

Next, he chose three women to come back with him to spend time on the Alberta farm.

“They came to the farm, they did some honey extraction with us, we made wine, we went and picked some berries, we had all sorts of fun,” he told CBC. “I think I picked the girls who would fit mostly into the farm lifestyle.”

His father approved of his potential mates, too.

“I think he has good taste,” Hugo Bonjean told CTV News. “They were all women with substance to them.”

The trip to Belgium also proved beneficial for the family business, as Bjorn met with local wine importers who agreed to purchase Spirit Hills products.

Whether or not Bjorn finds love “remains a secret, until aired,” Katrien Geens, the show’s story editor, told The Globe and Mail in an email.

Bjorn Bonjean/CBC photo

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