VegFest London to take place this Saturday

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: MATT SCHWAB
About 7,500 individuals attended last year's VegFest, and this year there is hope over 9,000 will be at the event.

The general public will have the opportunity to learn more about vegan-friendly organizations and listen to guest speakers at this year’s VegFest London.

“The festival is an opportunity for like-minded businesses to come together and share the vegan message with everyone,” VegFest committee member Matt Schwab said. “It’s a great place for people to come and get an education about the lifestyle of veganism and be inspired.”

The annual festival will take place at the Metroland Media Agriplex on Saturday Nov. 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. According to the official VegFest London website, Krista Kankula founded the event in 2014 after attending similar festivals in the Toronto and Niagara Falls areas.

Schwab explained the festival only had 30 vendors and 2,000 attendees in its first year. Now in its fourth year, the festival will have over 150 vendors and Schwab said the festival is aiming to have over 9,000 attendees this Saturday.

The website states that, in addition to the various vegan-friendly food vendors and beauty product booths, the festival also aims to educate the public on the vegan lifestyle through cooking demonstrations and guest speakers.

One the cooking instructors that will be at the festival is Chef Yoda Olinyk. Chef Yoda is the owner of Yoda’s Kitchen, a catering company and provides customers in the London area with vegan-friendly food options for their events. At the festival, Chef Yoda will be demonstrating how individuals can incorporate more vegetables into their diets through live cooking demonstrations.

Vegan-friendly food vendors will also be at the festival for people to have the opportunity to try out some new dishes.

Animal rights activist James Aspey will be one of the guest speakers at the festival.

According to the VegFest website, in 2014, Aspey took a vow of silence for 365 days to raise awareness regarding compassion for animals. Currently, Aspey travels the globe to give speeches to crowds about animal rights in order to give animals a voice.

A new addition to the festival this year is an animal rights activism panel.

“We want people to be able to come to the festival and walk away feeling like they know more about the vegan lifestyle and feeling inspired to make more compassionate choices. I think that we have seen through the growth of the festival that people are more interested in where their food is coming from, how it effects the environment and how it effects their health,” Schwab said. “These are all questions that are becoming increasingly part of the conversation and VegFest is a great place for anyone, no matter where they are in their journey, on answering those questions.”

Admission to the festival is $5 for youth and adults with children 12 years of age and younger getting in for free. A photo booth sponsored by Purdy Natural will also be available for attendees throughout the day.

“It’s a day of inclusivity. It’s a day for anyone […] who is interest in their health, the environment, animals and food in general,” Schwab said.