By Norm Macdonald
This April 6–10, Invermere will be hosting the Slow Food Canada National Summit, an amazing festival of local food that will raise the profile of the region, bring together growers, producers, and consumers, as well as a representative of Slow Food International from Italy where this movement began.
Slow Food is a vast network of millions of people from more than 160 countries; it started in 1989 as an antidote to fast food and the increasing loss of local food traditions.
Slow Food Columbia Valley was formed in 2006, as part of a region-wide movement to improve our food systems and increase access to quality food. Revelstoke, Golden and Kimberley also have groups and organizations that are promoting local food, and many will travel from across the riding to attend the Slow Food event in Invermere.
Food security has become a priority issue for people in this area. People know the importance of growing food locally, supporting local producers, and choosing more sustainable methods of food production. We are also aware of the need to retain traditional knowledge about food production in the area. That’s what Slow Food is all about.
This national event will include food tastings, agriculture tours, and presentations on indigenous foods.
Saturday will feature Slow Food Youth with a session called ‘The Future of Farming’. Many young people are choosing farming and food production as a career, and our communities are benefitting from these new businesses. One of the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in the area began at Edible Acres in Windermere. Operated by Lin and Oliver Egan, they have gone on to be great advocates for young farmers and sustainable agriculture.
This conference is taking place through the support of a range of partners including Columbia Basin Trust, the District of Invermere, the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute, Heritage Canada and Kicking Horse Coffee.
If you are interested in attending, you can find out more information at slowfood.ca. I am looking forward to welcoming attendees to this important conference.
Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River Revelstoke.