Wednesday, 23 April 2014, 4:53 pm

Niagara's ecofest a huge hit

Istafa Sufi and Kaitlyn Daw from Brock ECO Club at Eco Fest Niagara in Welland on Nov. 30. PHOTO BY MEAGHAN MITCHELLBy MEAGHAN MITCHELL
Staff Writer
Niagara’s green businesses and organizations got together this year to share projects and products that will make this a greener place to live.
Greening Niagara, formerly known as Climate Action Niagara, held its fifth annual Eco Fest Niagara at the Welland Community Wellness Complex on Saturday.
In the morning, Jane Hanlon, executive director of Greening Niagara and Welland Member of Parliament Malcolm Allen addressed 20 or more visitors already enjoying the exhibits.
The festival’s purpose is to bring the community together and provide it with a source for green products, education and a connection to organizations with green initiatives.
“This is pretty amazing. What we try to do is bring together some of the greenest businesses in Niagara and get excited about it,” said Hanlon.
The crowd applauded and cheered when Allen said, “Organics is the fastest growing sector in agriculture across this country,” information he received from Matthew Holmes, the executive director of the Canada Organic Trade Association.
In three large rooms of the complex, representatives were sharing information, offering memberships and volunteer opportunities with nature trail clubs, community gardens, local hydro services and groups dedicated to environmental issues. Canadian author Maude Barlow’s newest book, Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet, was for sale by The Council of Canadians, a group dedicated to environmental issues across Canada of which Barlow is the national chairperson.
Barlow was in New Brunswick to show support of anti-fracking protesters and meet with Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock.
Other vendors spoke about their products of raw foods, vegan and gluten-free goods, organic coffees and teas, children’s books and toys as well as green renovations and non-toxic cleaning products and services.
“We are always looking for volunteers who have a passion for fair trade,” said Ellery Penner, a manager at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Ten Thousand Villages store.
“They will learn a lot about social justice,” she said.
Throughout the day violinist Beth Bartley and guitarist Mark Clifford of Vox Violins, Uilleann pipe player Ray Caldwell, accordionist Neva Tesolin and guitarist and vocalist Danny Lamb performed a variety of strolling minstrels.
The day ended with a draw for prizes, a thank you to guests and participants and an invitation to next year’s festival.
For more information on Greening Niagara visit, www.climateactionniagara.ca.

 

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