See What’s on at the Health, Wellness, and Sustainability Festival

Wharf Street Production’s Health, Wellness, and Sustainability Festival keeps growing. Now in its third year and scheduled for the Victoria Conference Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 27, this “melting pot of healthy living options” showcases gluten-free food, acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal medicine, health-minded cosmetics and skin care, fitness, and much more.

Last year’s attendance grew by 30% and with the number of vendors’ booths up from 43 to 69 and the number of sponsors and partners like Pacific Rim College, Studio Robazzo, and the Oswego Hotel almost doubling. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better.

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps will again provide the welcoming address to a festival featuring an educative, all-day Speakers Stage. All speakers will have TEDx coaching (TEDx Victoria is another partner) and will not be selling from the stage.

Studio Robazzo’s design for the trade show space also includes an interactive Food Science Fair Exhibit that last year’s main speaker and author of the bestseller The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Katz called “the highlight of the festival for me. The tactile engagement made them among the very best food demonstrations I’ve seen anywhere, in museums, universities, schools, conferences or other festivals.”

f26The festival has also created an interactive web site that allows visitors to connect and   interact with vendors, sponsors, and speakers at The site also includes an informative 90-second video introduction to the festival.

This year’s main speaker is Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side. Her book explains how to choose, store, and prepare dozens of fruit and vegetables and how to get maximum nutritional value from the fresh produce.

“Only Michael Pollan would come close to her superbly researched work,” enthused television journalist and producer, Bill Kurtis. Robinson’s book is a guide to finding lost nutrients with simple measures like choosing nutrition-rich, smaller tomatoes, eating beet greens over beet roots, and cooking carrots instead of eating them raw. The Vashon Island-based writer is also a serious advocate of backyard gardening and raising animals on pasture.

Robinson’s featured talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, February 27 after the day’s festival. Tickets for the talk are $22 ($15 for early bird tickets from the web site before February 12), and $15 for students and seniors.

Tickets for the all-day event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are $7 ($5 for early bird tickets before     February 12) and $5 for students and seniors. There is also a special festival and feature talk package ticket for $25 ($15 for early bird tickets) and $20 for students and seniors. Call 250-686-6821 or write for more information. Tickets available on the website.

Another festival partner, Robbins Parking, is offering all-day parking at the Victoria Conference Centre: 720 Douglas St. for $4 (regularly $16) and $5 at their lot at 118 Kingston St.

“The festival is about education and empowerment,” explained festival director Ari Hershberg, “focusing on good food, finding the right health practitioner, and the right type of fitness for you. Health is for everybody, and our goal is to reach all age groups. We’re really reaching out to students this year. Next year’s focus will be our senior population. I was raised in a family and a community around healthy eating and sustainable food systems,” Hershberg continued. “I want to help create a community that’s truly cooperative.” —By Joseph Blake


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