With the NCVA’s Veg Ball fast approaching (Dec. 10), I asked NCVA President Josh Flower for the inside story on this first-time event.
Q: So what is unique about Veg Ball?
A: Veg Ball presents an opportunity for people to not only help two worthy charities, and have an evening of fun, but also to sample the cuisine of a number of Ottawa’s finest veg dining establishments. Many local vegetarians and vegans will already know these places– such as Auntie Loo’s Treats, B. Goods Cookies, ZenKitchen, and Credible Edibles– but it will also be new for some of this audience. We want Veg Ball to be an event where a vegan or vegetarian can bring their non-veg friends or spouses, and introduce them to the fact that it really aint so bad to be vegan- even if only for the evening. The event will be educational for those who are just exploring the lifestyle, and what Ottawa has to offer, and will create a social setting in which vegetarians and vegans don’t feel out of place.
Q: Why Veg Ball?
A: Well Pamela, there are a number of reasons behind our decision to hold an event like this. First and foremost, we wanted to create a special holiday themed event for the veg and veg curious community. The holidays are a time of great food and company, and we feel it is an opportunity to offer something unique and fun at this magical time of year.
Another key reason is personal to our board, volunteers and association members. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone involved with the NCVA when I say that we are animal lovers. We wanted to find a way to tie that love for animals into a unique event. As a leading voice for the vegan and vegetarian movement here in Ottawa, we feel it is our responsibility to offer events that are unique and fun, but maintain a clear focus on compassion towards animals.
Also, as many people may know, the NCVA stopped holding our monthly potlucks several months ago. One of the main reasons for that decision was that we wanted to focus our energy on a more diverse range of events, that would attract new audiences. The potlucks were great, and a good way to introduce the NCVA to the community, but they had run their course. Since then though, we have held a summer picnic and BBQ, restaurant and cafe meet ups, a fall harvest potluck, and participated in the Great Glebe Garage sale and Pride Parade. Thus far we are achieving our goal, but certainly want to continue with an eclectic array of events.
Q: How did you choose which charities would benefit from Veg Ball?
A: Quite frankly, it was both an easy decision, and a difficult decision. There are a number of wonderful animal helping charities in the area, and it was painstaking for us to choose only two to be our benefactors. Ultimately, what it came down to was those charities’ connections with the NCVA. Both New Moon Rabbit Rescue and Rideau Valley Wildlife Centre were exhibitors at Veg Fest 2011, and several of our board members have fostered rabbits and/or wildlife for these organizations. If we do an event like this again, we will try to share the love with other worthwhile charities.
Q: What will be the highlight of Veg Ball?
A: It really depends on who you ask. I know that Corrie, the Veg Ball coordinator, would probably say DJ Sweetcheeks. Erin, one of our dedicated board members, would no doubt say the food. I am going to be a bit brazen though, and say that I think the highlight will be the one-time opportunity to sit on CarrotSanta’s lap. Yes, that’s right, the NCVA carrot mascot–decked out in Santa gear–will be on hand at Veg Ball to hear the Christmas wishes of all the good girls and boys. Seriously though, it’s just going to be a lot of fun, with a lot of great food and dancing, and all proceeds will support very worthy charities.
Q: Should people buy tickets now, or at the door?
A: Well, tickets will be available at the door, but only a limited number. It really helps us out with planning if people buy their tickets in advance, plus, that ensures your place at Veg Ball and it’s a few bucks cheaper. So why wait?
Veg Ball “tickets,” and more information, are available online.
Who: Put on by the National Capital Vegetarian Association
What: Ottawa Veg Ball
When: Dec. 10, 2011, at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Montgomery Legion (downtown)
Why: To have a good time, and raise funds for two worthy charities.
Carrot and Santa cartoon elements by Hana Schwarzová and Kristijan Hranisavljevic. Licensed through iStockphoto.