It is with regret that we must announce that after five successful years, Ottawa Veg Fest is indefinitely postponed. It is our hope that it will be revived for 2015, but the event faces several obstacles.
Veg Fest was founded and organized for four years (2009-2012) primarily by two key volunteers who are no longer able to continue to devote the tremendous amount of time and energy that’s required. It was revived in 2013 by another set of organizers who expanded the event.
However, the new organizers were unable to secure a suitable venue at which to hold Veg Fest in 2014. The Saint Paul University venue (2014) is not available for the next few years due to construction on Main Street, and other venues are already booked solid. That brings the organizers back to the drawing board where venue is concerned.
Identifying a new venue is easier said than done. Issues include location, suitability (i.e. capacity to have speakers, vendors etc.), price, availability, size, and food service contracts that do not permit Veg Fest vendors to sell food. All venues that were considered have at least one of these obstacles, if not several.
Another issue is our understanding of a city requirement that each food vendor purchase a nearly $200 food sales permit for the event. This was not enforced for years 1-4, and we were able to secure sponsorship from the Main Farmer’s Market for year 5 which negated the need for vendors to purchase this permit.
It is our hope that successful Veg Fests will occur in the future, but it is not realistic that these obstacles will be overcome for 2014. The National Capital Vegetarian Association hopes to continue its outreach efforts with smaller scale events such as the We Animals book signing at the Ottawa Humane Society. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com if you’re interested in getting involved as part of the NCVA’s Veg Fest 2015 organizing committee, or for other NCVA initiatives.
We are grateful to everyone for his or her support of Veg Fest over the past five years.