Vancouver’s SUSTENANCE Festival

Celebrate Vancouver’s food history during the annual SUSTENANCE: Feasting on Art & Culture Festival at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre, this year from October 8 – 19. SUSTENANCE is a partnership between FarmFolk CityFolk and the Roundhouse that started in 2009; the festival considers food through the eyes of art and culture.

The opening reception on October 8 is the first chance to check out the art exhibits. Performances include Stringz Aloud, and tastings include local breweries and wineries alongside food from Gone Crackers, Chef Ann Kirsebom, Rocky Mountain Flatbread, Urban Fare, Terra Breads, Artisan Edibles and more. The art exhibit itself, “Celebrating 125 Years of Food and Agriculture in the City of Vancouver,” runs daily throughout the festival and features memories of food you may have sampled in your childhood in Vancouver at the same time as it looks ahead to a (hopefully) healthy food future in the city.

If you’re interesting in picking up a few tips, you’ll want to check out the Sunday workshop series, just $10 on October 9 and 16. Chef Quang Dang of West Restaurant will speak on plating and presentation; dining etiquette is on the menu with Dr. Jane Ruddick of La Chaine des Rotisseurs; and FarmFolkCityFolk’s Bonita Jo Magee and Bishop’s Restaurant’s Chef Andrea Carlson will discuss balcony gardening and kitchen herbs. Vancouver’s foodie celebrities tend to attend, so mix, chat and (later) impress your friends.

Performances include “Music of the World,” a lecture-performance with musicians from the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, and “Anu 9 – Survive,” an Interdisciplinary Arts Performance, on October 11 and 14, respectively.

Additional satellite events such as Strathcona Community Centre’s Harvest Festival and Grandview Woodlands Food Connection’s Healthy Eating Sustenance Workshop Series are also available. Here, a variety of topics are presented, including gluten- and sugar-free baking, sauerkraut fermentation and canning 101.

The final party, RIPE, is held October 16. This family-friendly celebration’s proceeds go to Vancouver Farmers Markets. For $50 per person, guests enjoy buffet-style market fare, and bid on auction items such as local wine and produce. Visit for details.

Image courtesy of Evan Leeson.

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