The first zero-waste vegan festival is coming to Squamish next month.
The Squamish Vegan Festival will be at Al McIntosh Loggers Sports Grounds from June 16 until 18.
While vegan food festivals have been happening in Vancouver and other major Canadian cities for years, this is the first of its kind for Squamish.
“It was so hard during the pandemic to not be able to come together and just to not share that joy and that celebration energy,” said event organizer Tosha Lobsinger. “To come together in a joyful way and celebrate veganism and create a positive, welcoming space for people who might be curious about sustainability or the plant-based eating lifestyle [is why I am doing this].”
A variety of food trucks — including Good Dogs, Squamish’s own Turnip the Beetz, and Good Flours — will be ensuring guests are well-fed.
Everything from gourmet hot dogs, to cupcakes and chili-cheese nachos will be available for hungry attendees.
Lobsinger is especially excited about the samples of vegan honey made from apples that will be given out.
All food and drinks will be served in reusable containers as a result of the festival’s commitment to a zero-waste event.
Squamish Vegan Festival goers will also receive a six-month reusable food container service subscription. So, attendees can implement low-waste initiatives past the weekend after putting it in action throughout the festival.
The Squamish Vegan Festival’s commitment to the planet extends past food containers. According to their website, all of the signage and artwork used throughout the festival is handmade from locally sourced, upcycled, reused, or repurposed materials.
It is important to Lobsinger that the event offers more than vegan food. DJ Drez, Marti Nikko and Andrew Maranata, among others all have sets throughout the weekend. Workshops on breathwork and yoga, aerial silks and handstands are also on offer.
“In the last couple [years], I've found it really important to focus on my own inner healing before focusing on healing the outer world,” said Lobsinger.
A full list of musical acts and vendors can be found on the Squamish Vegan Festival website.
The website states, “We welcome everyone and strive to be as accessible and inclusive as possible.”
Lobsinger noted the financial accessibility of the event – noting varying ticket options and the possibility of volunteering at the event in exchange for attendance.
In terms of physical accessibility, the food trucks are located on a gravel road which surrounds the stages and leads to the workshop area. The two stages are on grass. Lobsinger told the Squamish Chief there is a gravel ramp that leads to the top of a set of bleachers, which would give a good view of the stage to someone seated, she said.
“I'm very open to putting whatever people need. So, if I'm missing anything, people are more than welcome to [send an] email,” she said.
Tickets can be purchased through the Festival website.
“I want everyone to feel welcome, whether you're vegan, vegan-curious or not vegan. We just want to share all the love and all the amazing things that different vegan businesses and organizations are doing to make the world a better place,” said Lobsinger.