By Barb Brouwer
Music may feed the soul, but food sustains the body.
And there’s plenty to choose from at the annual Roots and Blues Festival.
For the past 13 years, festival administrator Cindy Diotte has been carefully crafting a sample of 28 food and 30 artisan vendors to reach a wide variety of appetites for eating and shopping.
Regular festival-goers will find many of their favourites offerings – Greek, Thai, Italian and more – but appetites might be satisfied by food provided by this year’s newcomers too.
Diotte, who does extensive research online to find new food vendors, says more and more people are getting into the food truck business, which allows her to add to the menu.
“It’s no longer just hot-dogs and hamburgers, people are trying everything,” she says, noting one new vendor this year will be Trio’s Extreme Mac ’N’ Cheese from Chilliwack.
Long a fan favourite at events, burgers and fries will be available, with another new entry – I Love My BFF from Summerland.
Tacos will be on offer at Shabang and Tasty Taters and Tacos, the first vendor from Vernon and the second from Kelowna.
Lake Country’s Beaver Tail Pastries will be serving, well, beaver tails, and Birdies Donuts from Enderby make their debut too.
CRAVE from Penticton will offer “stuffed food,” and the coffee pot will be on at The Perking Spot from Summerland.
“I look to include food from all sorts of cultures and allow up to two that are similar,” says Diotte, pointing out that many food vendors return faithfully every year and the addition of nine new ones is consistent with other years. “Many of them have to travel to get here and we are grateful they do, because the quality of their food is good.”
Things are pretty much the same in the artisan’s market where many regulars are happy to come back year after year, while newcomers keep the market interesting.
“I focus on bringing in artisans who have non-imported products,” Diotte says. “We get new applicants every year and I strive to bring in a variety of artisans – jewellers, leather makers, clothing designers.”
Making their debut at this year’s festival are DOSC, an Edmonton vendor that offers hand-dyed clothing, the glass jewelry of Winlaw’s Dragonfly Organic Art, as well as the bead and semi-precious jewelry of Formed by Fire, which hails from Boston Bar.
Hugs of Love from Williams Lake will offer jewelry and clothing while Vancouver’s Kaortik will sell geometric jewelry. Lace jewelry will be on offer from Calgary’s Stunning Creations.
Miss Bee from Gibson’s will have a selection of cotton and bamboo women’s clothing, Tappen’s Revive Leatherworks will offer up cycled leather bags and Sherry Kennedy of Alberta will have clothing that matches artwork.
Check out the Global Food Village offering a culinary collision of Western cuisine and ethnic delights! 🍔
#rootsandblues #explorebc #exploreshuswap #beautifulbc #foodstagram #thaifood #foodie #instafood https://t.co/DfdkQNJ77M pic.twitter.com/k9Quzv18Jj
— ROOTSandBLUES Festival (@RootsandBlues) July 16, 2019
Anyone with a passion for fairy wands and tutus will be welcome at Unleash Your Sparkle.
“Vendors are so excited to be doing the festival they come back such enthusiasm,” Diotte says, noting she gets emails from excited vendors who say they had so much fun. “Some of them don’t care if they make money – they just want to be part of the festival.”
Composting and recycling programs initiated last year will continue, with water stations across the field so attendees can fill their own bottles, and food vendors using only compostable dishes and cutlery at the festival that rolls out Aug. 15 to 18 at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds. For more information, visit www.rootsandblues.ca.