The Halifax VegFest is set to inspire change and wow attendees for its fourth year on Sunday.
The event, taking place at the Halifax Forum, is done by a locally-run, volunteer-run non-profit. Last year, they hit over 2,300 guests and hope to top that this year.
“We originally started as a small business, but to fit better with our mission, we moved to non-profit. We want this to be affordable for people, with a pay-what-you-can format,” said co-founder Jessie Doyle.
“We also want it to be easy for local businesses to have a booth. We have a board of directors and support a number of community partners.”
Last year they fundraised over $1,200 for North Mountain Animal Sanctuary, Wallflower Sanctuary and Feed Nova Scotia. They also took in food donations for Feed NS and the Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank.
“We will have presentations, activities, speakers, vegan food and beverages, body care products, beauty care products and clothing,” Doyle said.
They expect to have 3,000 people throughout the day, with more exhibitors, food trucks and activities like face painting and other activities. There will be a raffle draw, and they’ve ensured the Halifax Forum space is wheelchair accessible, with gender-neutral washrooms.
There’s also a cooking demo, kids crafts, swag, a live podcast, workshops and a ton more.
“We’ll also have a party hosted by the Foggy Goggle in the evening. People can come and foster connections, meet others and have a great time,” she said.
VegFest has seen a change in awareness around vegan food and healthier living in the general public, though she makes clear all are welcome at the event.
“There are lots of vegans, and we welcome those with more plant-based lifestyles for numerous reasons. But this is also a place to learn,” she said.
They will be collecting food donations for Feed Nova Scotia and the Parker Street Food Bank again, and hope to top the 30 boxes they raised last year.
Chefs Greg Balingit of Five Fishermen and Jane Crawford of Hopyard Halifax will be on-hand, as well as 10,000 Carrots Rescue.
The event is September 22, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Halifax Forum, with an after-party at The Foggy Goggle.