Make black bean burgers and attend eye-opening workshops at this year’s edition
On Nov. 7, the doors of the Bonsecours Market will open, inviting Montreal’s foodies into a world of vegan yummy-ness. The second Montreal Vegan Festival will take place in the heart of Old Montreal, starting at 10 a.m, where entry is free.
The festival will feature unique guests that you won’t want to miss, from Pattrice Jones, the co-founder of VINE Sanctuary (an LGBTQ-led farm animal refuge), to Vegan Black Metal Chef who will be teaching festival-goers how to make black bean burgers. Other special guests will include doctors, dietary health specialists, foodie moms and psychologists who will make you question why exactly so many people still eat animals.
Last year, 5,000 people attended the festival. This year’s turnout is expected to increase by 30 per cent, according to the logistics organizer, Sameer Muldeen.
Muldeen said highlights will include conferences and a special party featuring Rise Kombucha. There will also be a 6 à 9 where local restaurant Aux Vivres will be doing food demos.
The Montreal Vegan Festival is completely volunteer-run, with over 150 people dedicating their time to bring Montreal an awesome gathering of vegan goodness at no cost for visitors. However, the after party, which starts at 9:30 p.m. is $10 per ticket.
Audrey Sckoropad, a naturopathy specialist and a featured speaker at the festival, spoke to The Concordian about her mission to help people, especially families, transition to a vegan lifestyle.
“I have been a vegan for seven years, and I discovered veganism through The China Study when I was 17,” she said. “It just changed me, and my whole family and I became vegan within a month. The health benefits changed all of us so positively.” The China Study is an American best-selling book about nutrition, particularly the vegan diet.
“I’ve never been this healthy,” she said. Although people have to educate themselves on vegan diets, more and more people are aware that it is possible, she said. The key is balance.
Sckoropad’s presentation will feature advice for vegan families and a recipe demo for chia pudding. Her presentation is mostly geared towards vegan families and bringing up vegan children. She said she aims to demystify veganism, especially concerns about protein, calcium and iron. “You can get those in plant foods,” Sckoropad said.
As for integrating new foods into your lifestyle, Sckoropad said the easiest stepping stone is to start with smoothies and juices. “I’ve been starting my day with smoothies for seven years,” she said.
The benefit is that you’ll get everything you need in the morning, and you can add it to whatever you’re already eating, she said. It’s a much healthier alternative to a routine of coffee and toast, both of which will dehydrate you and lack much sustenance, she explained.
As for the festival, Sckoropad said, “for once everybody is on the same vibe, and is there to support and inspire each other with more tips and tricks. Hopefully there will be more people who aren’t vegans and who are looking to plant the seed—that one small step will make the difference.”
You can learn more about the festival at festivalveganedemontreal.com
and Audrey Sckoropad’s work at antidotesmagazine.com