Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's Vegfest is a celebration of all things veggie

St. John's Vegfest celebrates veggies, vegetarianism, and veganism with more than 50 vendors and organizations.

From soaps to sorbet, all of Vegfest's goods are vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.

Winnie Lei is not just an avocado, she's a volunteer with St. John's Vegfest. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

The St. John's Farmers' Market building was taken over on Sunday by a different crowd of veggies.

St. John's VegFest hosted over 50 vendors and organizations in the venue, all selling and promoting vegan and vegetarian food, products and lifestyles, from soaps to sorbets.

Sunday was the third annual VegFest and people came from all over the province to attend. 

"We travelled six hours from Corner Brook to get here. It's amazing, it's really nice to see other people that are involved and support the same things we support —​ it's not a common thing [in Corner Brook]," said Chanell Hancock.

Chanell Hancock and Michael Watton drove six hours from Corner Brook to pick up some vegan snacks. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

She was particularly excited about all of the vegan desserts on offer. 

The green lifestyle has been gaining popularity in the province, according to some VegFest organizers.

"When I first came to St. John's five years ago there were no vegan restaurants, I knew maybe a handful of vegans," said Winnie Lei, a VegFest volunteer.

This was the third annual St. John's VegFest, and the first year at the new St. John's Farmers' Market location. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

Since then, she's seen a huge change, she said.

"It's more widely accepted, we're not as weird, and it's a great thing — more people are paying attention and considering switching to the lifestyle."

Organizer Jackson McLean said the event was set up so people who ate plant-based diets didn't have to worry about what might be in the products or food they're buying. 

Jackson McLean is one of the co-founders of VegFest. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

"We wanted to set it up so that people could go around to all the different vendors and wouldn't have to ask about the ingredients, they could just go and buy things and enjoy it," he said.

There was also a chicken on hand to welcome VegFest goers. 

St. John's Animal Farm Save brought a chicken to demonstrate their "Friends Not Food" campaign. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

The chicken was hanging out at the St. John's Farm Animal Save booth, where people could pick up "Friends not food" T-shirts.

"People of like-mind are here. People come here to check out the food, but also to check out the ethical aspect of animal rights," said Murray Noseworthy, who is a member of the group.

Murray Noseworthy is a member of St. John's Animal Farm Save. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

The festival is an annual international event that has locally organized branches.

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

About the Author

Alyson Samson is a journalist working with the CBC in Newfoundland and Labrador.