Get Ready Get Local

As the demand for local, fresh, and sustainable food continues to grow, dedicated organizations are working hard to help food producers market their goods.

We are extremely lucky on Vancouver Island to have an abundance of local food and naturally made products as well as producers who are committed to maintaining the highest sustainability standards. However, distribution of these products depends on the support of the consumer market and the desire to have continued access to local, healthy foods. Supporting our local economies and their small-scale producers requires networking, marketing, and educating one another.

This is where farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, non-profit groups, and even pick-your-own or on-site farm stands can help.

Fortunately, sustainable agriculture and the local food movement are on an uphill swing, thanks to organizations like the Capital Regional Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR), FarmFolk CityFolk, and the Island Chefs’ Collaborative (ICC) who are joining forces to present Get Ready, Get Local. A new food and sustainable agriculture expo for Vancouver Island, the Get Ready, Get Local event will showcase Island farmers, craft brewers, vintners, distillers, chefs, artisans, and industry professionals.

The event will take place on April 18, 2015 at the Victoria Conference Center. The marketplace will be open to the public from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Tickets are $5 with net proceeds going to support the non-profit organizers- CRFAIR, the ICC and FarmFolk CityFolk. There will be an industry-only reception following the event at 3:00pm – 5:00pm.

CRFAIR’s coordinator, Linda Geggie, says the coalition believes “Victoria is ready for this event; that we know having a robust local food supply is important for the health and sustainability of the region”. Geggie further explains that “by having the farmers and food producers showcase their work, the public has a chance to see firsthand the potential that lies in our region. There will be something for everyone; from sampling new spirits, to learning about food trends, to increasing your backyard bounty”.

Workshops and exhibitors coordinator, Jennifer Freeman (of FarmFolk CityFolk), says Get Ready Get Local is about “bringing the diversity of businesses together – the people that create our local food web, from edible landscape companies, to artisan producers to farmers and chef’s. It’s an opportunity for people of all ages to engage with our unique west coast flavours and their makers”.

With an entry fee of only $5 and open to all ages, the event is designed to be accessible to everyone. “The goal of Get Ready Get Local,” says Feeman, “is to increase our communities’ knowledge of local food, thereby boosting the interest to support and consume locally produced food.”

Participants at Get Ready Get Local can expect to meet industry folks, gain access to resources, and meet some of the producers of Vancouver Island’s local foods, while businesses will have a chance to meet others in the industry, to network, and to promote local, sustainable products.

Below is just a sample of the people event attendees will have a chance to meet:

Robin Tunnicliffe of Saanich Organics

“Saanich Organics is a farmer-run, local organic produce marketing business that has been thriving for over 20 years. We’re looking to meet folks who are excited about the potential for local organic food, and to make partnerships to get our produce into their hands. We enjoy working with chefs and grocers to tailor our offerings to their needs. We also do home delivery of produce for families. We’re always trying new things and we’re looking forward to showcasing the bounty of our farms.”

Jenny Horn, Vancouver Island University

“If you are a farmer, fisher, or food processor looking for education or training, or if you have some expertise that you would like to share (perhaps a potential field trip or internship site) then be sure to stop by and visit us at the Vancouver Island University (VIU) booth to enter our draw and explore the possibilities.”

“As the Cowichan Center for Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Security/sustainability takes shape, VIU is building its education and research programs and would very much value input from the community on topics of interest for students, and to identify the expertise that is resident in the Islands region. Look for the VIU or the Slow Food Vancouver Island banners that will mark our table at the event!”

Christa Atherton, The Apple Box

“We are so excited to be invited to this event! We will take the opportunity to step out of our commercial kitchen & retail shop on 1725 Cook Street & introduce ourselves; connect with all the busy people in Victoria that need healthy food on the go! Excited to socialize and meet more seasonal local farmers, producers, and growers, in turn bridging the gap between Victoria’s farms and tables with our frozen, locally-sourced meals!”

Chef Laura Moore, Good For You Gourmet Foods

Chef Laura Moore has turned her passion for wholesome, organic, health supporting foods into a career, offering the Good For You Gourmet Foods personal chef and catering services to Vancouver Island residents and visitors since 1999 ( Her participation in Madrona Farm Chef Survival Challenges reflects how she has converted her passion into activism, raising awareness and funds to benefit local farms and food security issues.

Singing Bowl Granola

“Singing Bowl Granola is a growing, Victoria-based company that is committed to providing a delicious and healthy breakfast and snacking option. It is a family-run business that thrives on producing and sharing our granola with people who care about what they eat. And we are all about connections. We are constantly reaching out to our customer community, as well as our suppliers.”

Ceri Barlow, Manager, Vintage Spirits

Choosing the right wine for your beautiful local food isn’t as challenging as you might think. Nature provides some clues as to how to do it right. Join Ceri Barlow, manager of Vintage Spirits, and Island wine makers to see how good food and wine are regional to each other!

Rebeca Wellman, Rebeca Wellman Photography

Learn how to make those great food shots – come to our workshop on “Food Photography: How to Make Great Food Stand Out” and join Rebecca Wellman, EAT Magazine’s top photographer, to get tips and pointers to make your favorite food shots even better. She will discuss examples of her own work as well as draw on photos from the audience (who can send their examples to with the subject line ‘Food Photography’). Our complete list of workshops will be posted on the event website soon!

Event Location

Victoria Event Centre
720 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC
(250) 361-1000

Event Date

April 18, 2015
11:00 – 3:00pm
Industry After-Event
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Tickets available online

Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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