Niagara VegFest – 2015

Niagara VegFest kicks off the Vegfest season for me. I realize there is the Toronto Raw/Vegan Festival that same weekend, but driving down to the Niagara VegFest is always a nice opportunity to visit a few spots around Niagara Falls, NY too. The nice part about our occasional drives down to southern Ontario and northern New York State is that St. Catharines and the route to it and the area around it has become so familiar (in a good way.) We knew there was parking near the St. Catharines Farmers Market building just down the street at this massive (and free) public parking lot (so if it keeps happening in the same spot, and you didn’t know about this, now you do!) We arrived while things were already in full swing, and the first person I saw was photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur at her booth with cards and prints of her incredible work. She was also selling copies of We Animals, which is a beautiful and incredible touching heartbreaking powerful book I’m glad to have read the night it was launched. Jo-Anne is also working on a new project with Dr. Keri Cronin (who happens to be one of the founders of Niagara VegFest) that you should check out called Unbound – which is a  multimedia and book project that aims to recognize and celebrate the women at the forefront of animal advocacy – in both a contemporary and historical context. It’s a long term project, but you can follow along on facebook too if you want to. I know…

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Beechwood Doughnuts Grand Opening in St. Catharines

This weekend we drove down to spend the day in St. Catharines. Why? Mostly because Beechwood Doughnuts was having their grand opening, but it just worked out that we could do a whole bunch of things in St. Catharines (besides eating donuts.) Beechwood Doughnuts is run by several of the folks that made the donuts at Rise Above, but if you had them before, as I found out this weekend,  they’re even more awesome now. JC got to play Magic at Phoenix Rising, a game store conveniently located just a few blocks away from Beechwood Doughnuts, and I got to hang out with a few mugs of coffee at Mahtay Cafe  &  the internet. (& checked out the photo exhibit in the community room.) Plus, this visit allowed us the opportunity to visit with a friend that lives in the city, where I was reminded I don’t dislike all dogs, just some of them (Gilda being one of the exceptions.) Starting at around 10:20, JC and I stood outside Beechwood Doughnuts, along with the brave soul that started the line. Until she showed up, I had been sitting in the care waiting for more people to show up. And more people showed up. By around around 15 minutes to opening there was a line up down the street and around the corner. So 1. I was really glad to be ahead of the game. 2. I was really happy for Beechwood Doughnuts. To get to his game thing on time, around 5 minutes before 11,…

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Not Everyone Loves Marineland. – Marineland Opening Day Demo – May 18th.

Over a 1000 people joined in on the Marineland Opening Demo organized by Marineland Animal Defense this weekend. It felt like a pretty awesome show of solidarity with dozens of whistleblowers facing lawsuits, the captive marine and other animal life locked up in the jail/”amusement” park, as well as the community at large (please see GoHomeless.ca,) in addition to the various SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) they’ve thrown at organizers and the media and anyone else they don’t like (or threatened with lawsuits – even the OSPCA).

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Niagara VegFest 2012

Last weekend JC and I went to the Niagara region’s first VegFest at Robertson Hall, St. Catharines. It wasn’t really a surprise that it was packed, since so many exciting vegan things are happening in the area, but the crowds were a little overwhelming at times. According to the organizers 1250 people dropped by to check out the festival that day. Amazing.

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A quick jump over to St.Catharines

Sometime last week I decided that I should finally pay an extended visit to St. Catharines, ON and eat some donuts straight from the source at Rise Above. Sure I was meeting some friends there (in theory), but we all know why I really went. It’s surprisingly easy to get down to St. Catharines from Toronto and there are multiple but since I was trying to keep costs to a minimum I took the regional GoTransit (which is a little over 30 dollars round-trip) but the greyhound is 40 round-trip. Being able to jump on a GoBus or Train, to get to almost anywhere (fun/interesting/random) in Ontario, is awesome. I think my excitement is definitely influenced by growing up on the prairies and not being in easily connected cities, we’re not kidding about the wide open prairies. There is something soothing about riding on the train. I know people that commute on it daily don’t necessarily feel the same way, but I enjoy it every time I’m on there. I’d do it more often if it wasn’t so expensive. I had to snap a random picture of one of the transit stations in Burlington, ON where I had to transfer from the Train to the Niagara/St.Catherines Bus. Is it just me or does it look like a space station? For some reason the moment I saw it, I thought of a Pogo Ball. First stop in St.Catherines is a Mall in the middle of nowhere, and unfortunately, St.Catharines Transit is…

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