Sustenance Festival

Vancouver Park Board celebrates 10 years of local food with Sustenance Festival

The Sustenance Festival gets people thinking about how and why we eat the way we do, in a fun and creative format.

Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon

September 18 2019 –

The Vancouver Park Board is celebrating food during the 10th annual Sustenance Festival.

The festival brings together community groups, artists, and advocates who use food and art to cultivate dialogue, celebrate traditions, and push for social change. 

Engage diverse communities

“The Sustenance Festival gets people thinking about how and why we eat the way we do, in a fun and creative format,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon. 

“What is so different about this festival is the way we engage with a range of diverse, underrepresented communities. Food is core to many cultural identities and ideas like reducing waste or conserving water are embedded in many cultural practices outside of a Western environmental paradigm.”

The Festival kicks off tomorrow with the opening of the Feasting for Change Exhibition at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.

The art exhibition explores themes of regeneration in relation to wild salmon and holistic perspectives on food, culture, and healing. This opening will follow traditional Coast Salish protocol to honour the work of contributing artists, community groups, and matriarchs from Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. Food by Kurdish and Ugandan Canadian women will be served, accompanied by musical performances. 

Free or low-cost events

Other Sustenance Festival events include workshops on exploring dried goods and their cultural role in the Chinese Canadian community, introduction to fermenting, and rethinking invasives, as well as a panel discussion exploring cultural perspectives on food waste.

The Sustenance Festival runs until October 18, 2019. All programming is free or low-cost and led by community centres, and non-profit community groups.

View the full event calendar and program details

The festival was conceived by the Park Board Arts, Culture and Engagement Team in 2009 to highlight diverse cultures, art, and histories, as well as celebrate and foster community practices and stories connected to food.