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2022 Feast on the Farm cancelled

2022 Feast on the Farm cancelled

Most businesses weren’t able to participate, an organizer said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Organizers have cancelled a popular celebration of Ontario agriculture for 2022.

Feast on the Farm, put on by the West Nipissing Chamber of Commerce, was scheduled to take place Aug. 7 at Leisure Farms, a berry farm in Sturgeon Falls.

The event brings together eight local chefs, who are challenged to use local ingredients (from within 100 km of Sturgeon Falls) to create dishes for the visitors to enjoy.

Each chef would’ve received $1,500 to help offset the costs of cooking for about 550 people.

Other local businesses, including breweries and cheese producers, participate as well.

Since the event started in 2013, it won the Ontario Tourism Association’s Culinary Event of the Year in 2020.

But two years of COVID-related measures have put businesses in a difficult position, said Zack Lafleur, executive director of the West Nipissing Chamber of Commerce.

“I reached out to over 200 businesses in the North Bay, Sudbury and Sturgeon Falls area, and we only had three interested in participating,” he told Farms.com. “When I asked what the main barriers are, a majority of them said the lockdowns have challenged them financially, they have trouble with staffing and the increase in food prices have also been a deterrent.”

The focus now turns to 2023.

And early indicators show many of the businesses will be back next year.

“Most of the businesses I talked to said they’d be back in 2023 and that’s great to hear,” Lafleur said. “That lets us know that it’s not our event, it’s just the timing and the economic atmosphere.”

Anyone looking for information about Feast on the Farm can contact Lafleur at 705-753-5672 or by email.


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