Food, Festivals and Flavour in British Columbia

Food, Festivals and Flavour in British Columbia

June 28, 2018 Posted by Abby Pollen

British Columbia is globally recognized for high-quality food products and safety standards, and has rich production potential. Fertile growing conditions and a diverse geography and climate support a variety of commodities, from seafood and livestock products to soft fruits and flowers. For these reasons the province has developed a strong reputation for delicious fruits, seafood and wines, but lesser known products are gaining traction through gastro-tourism and food festivals.

Food festivals are a great way to explore the diversity and creativity of local cuisine. The BC Seafood Festival features a huge range of tasting stations, chef demonstrations, interactive displays, oyster shucking and chowder competitions, gala dinners, concerts and more. It’s the largest of its kind in North America and an important networking event for companies and investors. This year the festival has attracted visitors, media and buyers from Korea, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, United States, China, Vietnam and Thailand.

Other festivals include Devour! Osoyoos in the Okanagan Valley. Devour is a Food Film Festival that includes an evening reception, dance, chowder contest and Sunday Long Table Breakfast. The South Cariboo Garlic Festival has been running for 19 years and showcases a wide range of garlic products. A favourite for those who like a pungent palate, the festival also includes dozens of vendors with locally made clothing, jewelry, and wellness products. Brewery & the Beast features pairings of meat dishes and beers, and aims to educate guests about conscientious consumerism and buying local. They devote a portion of the revenue to fund culinary programs and organizations like SAITthe Island Chefs Collaborative and the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Program.

There are also organizations dedicated to foodie tours and tourism, including Vancouver Foodie Tours, Destination BC’s Culinary Tours and Food & Wine Trails. These industries are growing rapidly thanks to government programs like the Eat Drink Local campaign. It’s a joint initiative between the Ministry of Agriculture and the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) designed to encourage locals and visitors to share the best food and drink B.C. has to offer. The goal is to grow connections between restaurants, chefs, farmers, wineries, breweries and distilleries so that local businesses are collaborating, supporting and inspiring one another. Participants benefit from the growing awareness of high-quality, sustainable local foods, which contributes to the strong and stable economy and sector growth. The Ministry of Agriculture also oversees the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program, which supports agribusiness investment in British Columbia. 

Get into the exciting (and delicious) business of B.C. food and beverage by investing in the sector. Contact one of our B.C. Trade and Investment Representatives to discover opportunities for investment or to learn more about our services to help local farmers and food producers get export ready. You can also follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter to keep up with all things related to trade in British Columbia, or visit our events page to see which trade shows are coming up.


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