Gabriola Vegeteers

Gabriola Music Festival 2017 Wrap Up Message

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Original post and pictures available here.

An amazing all vegan Gabriola Music Festival.

It was so powerful that the entire event was vegan! It normalized veganism for the people who attended. Because it was a music fest – not a vegfest – most people were music lovers – so just happened upon the food incidentally and found out that it tasted great. It was a small but very successful event – probably 500 people – but those 500 people were all faced with the idea that veganism was the norm, not a weird thing.

All the food trucks and booths served vegan food, there were compassion signs up in various places promising that we would not harm other animals, the musicians and crew were served vegan meals made by Robert – our favourite restaurant owner – throughout the weekend and we didn’t even hear one complaint about it.

Crew from one of our important local farms spent the weekend serving really healthy veg kabobs on rice, served in a cabbage leaf bowl, topped with kimchi and sauce and they were run off their feet with customers. The farmers aren’t vegan and they never would have thought of cooking that way without this opportunity. But it gives them a new perspective on the idea of vegan cooking. They run a produce box program on the island and they provide recipes to go with the produce – that are never vegan. I’ll be interested to see if they start to send some vegan recipes along with the produce in future…we’d be surprised if they don’t.

There was a great raw food demo each day by some funky young women who run a vegan place in Tofino called Earth Mama Love Kitchen Collective – and Vesanto Melina (the dietician who is co-author of Becoming Vegan: Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina and various other plant-based books) gave a presentation each day and then she came and hung out at the Vegeteers booth with her books on display and talked to people about nutrition.
There were several compassion booths there – we had a Vegeteers booth of course, with many volunteers over the two days, there was a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) booth, RASTA Sanctuary had a booth.

We had so many people coming by our Vegeteers booth wanting to talk about changing their diet. It was very helpful that Vesanto was there as a knowledgeable dietician and could have conversations with people about B12, iron, legumes, GMO Foods, etc. She was lovely and I’m sure lots of those people will be putting the info they got from her to use.

We had a vegan gift basket at our booth that was worth about $200 dollars – mostly vegan food donated by our local grocery store Village Food Market – but also one of Vesanto’s cookbooks, a vegeteers “liberation is love” t-shirts, a $50 gift certificate from The Herbivore Clothing Company. Sixty-nine people entered the raffle, so at least that many people stopped at our booth long enough to have a chat and enter the draw. (We spoke to more people but some of the chatters didn’t enter because they were leaving before the draw, etc.)

It was powerful.

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