Don’t miss the NCVA at the Go Green Expo

By Pamela

The third annual Go Green Expo is this coming weekend (March 19 and 20) at Lansdowne Park, and for the first time the NCVA will be participating as an exhibitor.

This interactive two-day show is dedicated to providing consumers with the latest information, environmentally friendly products and services, and alternatives that are available for going green and helping the planet one step at a time. The NCVA will be there to promote the many benefits of plant-based diets, including the environmental ones. Even the United Nations is calling on people to adopt plant based diets to avoid environmental catastrophe (read this article for additional information.)

It’s a fabulous opportunity for us to reacher a wider audience, and benefit from the publicity leading up to the show. We are hoping to do our traditional vegan cookie outreach, so if you’re able to help us out swing by the table with your contribution so that we can show as many people as possible that vegan = delicious. Or, just come by to say hello, talk to NCVA volunteers, or become a member.

Erin O'Sullivan

In addition to exhibiting, the NCVA has two volunteers giving food demonstrations at the Taste of Green Cooking Theatre. On Saturday at 2:15 the NCVA’s Deb Gleason will demo Veganize Your Brunch: Learn How to Prepare French Toast, Omelets & Tofu Chocolate Cheesecake and on Sunday also at 2:15, Erin O’Sullivan will demo A Vegan Dinner: Spicy Peanut Soup, Curried Vegetable Pie & Orange Sweet Potato Cake With Raspberry Sauce.

Deb Gleason

Vegans will have a strong presence at the Taste of Green Cooking Theatre; Ottawa’s beloved Auntie Loo will also be presenting on both Saturday and Sunday at 1:30, and SimplyRaw’s Natasha Kyssa will be presenting on Saturday at 3:30. Auntie Loo’s demo is called Gluten Free Vanilla Lemon Cake: Cooking Without Dairy, Eggs or Wheat Products and Natasha’s is SimplyRaw, Simply Delicious…Finally Real Foods!

Admission is free, but donations to WaterCan in celebration of World Water Day are encouraged.

NCVA Launches Restaurant Outreach Program

After several months of planning, the NCVA’s Restaurant Outreach Program has officially been launched. This momentous occasion occurred last night when I handed over the first Restaurant Outreach info package to a server at Pubwell’s Restaurant on Preston Street at Elm.

The Restaurant Outreach info package

So what is the Restaurant Outreach Program? Basically, it’s an attempt to get Ottawa’s omni restaurants to be more vegan-friendly. Our ultimate goal: to produce a list of dozens of Ottawa restaurants at which vegans can order off the menu with neither fear of hidden animal ingredients nor extensive discussions with servers and chefs.

How does it work: First, we developed an information package that explains what vegans are, why accommodating them is good for business, and how to add vegan menu items or veganize existing items. The info package is available on the NCVA’s Web site here.

Now, the distribution phase has begun! I am starting in Little Italy since that’s where I live, and will move on to the Byward Market, the Glebe, Westboro and beyond.

With any luck, Ottawa restaurateurs will heed the call to participate in our program in order to receive our support and publicity. Keep your eyes on the blog for news of new participants, who will also be listed in the Restaurant Outreach section of the NCVA Web site.

Now here’s the part where I ask for your help. Individuals interested in hand delivering info packages to restaurants in their area are invited to drop me a line at I’ll get the packages to you. All you have to do is hand them over with a smile, and keep track of which restaurants you gave them to.

I also invite everyone to have a look at the info package and to offer any suggestions at all for improving our chances of making this campaign a success.

Come on, Ottawa veggies! This is your town. This is your food. This is your chance to make marginally more bearable your meals out with bone crunching moms and dads, siblings and significant others, clients and coworkers! Viva la vida!