Food fes­ti­val cul­ti­vat­ing a cul­ture change

Up­skilling takes place May 11-14 across CBRM

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

In an age when peo­ple are rapidly los­ing touch with the land, the Up­skilling Food Fes­ti­val and Con­fer­ence is try­ing to cul­ti­vate an in­ter­est in farm­ing by show­ing how it’s possible to pro­duce food lo­cally — all the way from the soil to the din­ner ta­ble.

The fes­ti­val it­self has grown in this its third year, ex­pand­ing from one day to four days, beginning with an open­ing re­cep­tion and film night on May 11 and cul­mi­nat­ing with the sig­na­ture Up­skilling work­shops on May 14.

“The Up­skilling Food Fes­ti­val is about cre­at­ing spa­ces to bring peo­ple to­gether to talk and learn about all things food-re­lated,” Ali­cia Lake of the Is­land Food Net­work, one of the or­ga­niz­ers, said in a news re­lease.

The open­ing re­cep­tion will take place at 6 p.m. at 173 Char­lotte St., Syd­ney (the old Bank of Mon­treal build­ing), fol­lowed by a screen­ing of the doc­u­men­tary “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story” at 7 p.m. A film for chil­dren will be shown si­mul­ta­ne­ously, so peo­ple are in­vited to bring the fam­ily.

An aca­demic con­fer­ence takes place May 12 at the Hol­i­day Inn in Syd­ney from 8 a.m.4:15 p.m. This event in­cludes round­tables, pa­pers and con­ver­sa­tions about food. Panel themes in­clude tourism and cul­ture; food and civic en­gage­ment; health; agri­cul­ture; and data. Peo­ple can join pre­sen­ters and at­ten­dees for an evening ceilidh at 5 p.m. in down­town Syd­ney.

There will be a fun-filled day of food tours from 9:20 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 13, in­clud­ing a tour of the Cape Bre­ton Farm­ers Mar­ket on Keltic Drive and a food se­cu­rity game at Bre­ton Brew­ing Co., fol­lowed by vis­its to two lo­cal farms. While chil­dren are not per­mit­ted in the brew­ery, there will be chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties at the mar­ket.

The heart of the fes­ti­val is the day­long work­shops from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 14 at Cape Bre­ton Univer­sity. Peo­ple can build food skills in six ar­eas — cook­ing, grow­ing, pre­serv­ing, dis­cus­sion, ad­vanced skills and cul­ture.

Peo­ple can reg­is­ter for event days sep­a­rately and pur­chase tick­ets by search­ing Up­skilling at Con­fer­ence de­tails and fu­ture events can be found at is­land­food­net­ or the Up­skilling Food Fes­ti­val Face­book group.

This year’s ex­pan­sion of the Up­Skilling Food Fes­ti­val is the re­sult of a part­ner­ship be­tween the Is­land Food Net­work and CBU.


The Up­skilling Food Fes­ti­val and Con­fer­ence will take place May 11-14.

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