Downtown Courtenay is launching a new event this April 20th and the whole community is invited! Earth Day Downtown is a day-long celebration of local food and backyard gardening and a great way to celebrate good green living. Live music, kids’ art activities, local business events, vendors and local non-profits will all be part of the fun as the community celebrates earth-friendly choices in the heart of our urban core.
The DCBIA is welcoming a wide variety of vendors and community organizations downtown from 10 am till 3 pm. Vendors are offering everything from compost makers and compost product, mushroom kits, seeds, seedlings, trees and berry bushes, seed bombs, kids crafts and much more! Vendors and groups will be set up in the lot at the corner of 5th and England
Families are invited to come down and learn about gardening methods, chat with growers and farmers and get inspired for their own backyard farming activities. Community organizations are also joining the celebration and talking about projects and initiatives that support local food production, urban famring and healthy eating!
Confirmed vendors to date include: Merville Organics, Natures Way Blueberry Farm, Weegasin Farm (mushroom kits), Sugar Shack Seeds, Comox Lazo Women’s Institute, Lake Trail Neighbourhood Connections, Lush Valley, Earth Art Studios - hands of kids art activities, Sunrise Rotary - Skyrocket Compost, CVRD Community Educator Gayle Bates, Tree Eater Nursery and Farm, Morrison Creek Alpaca, Fresh Earth Products - Speedibin Composter, City of Courtenay Green Team, Comox Valley Seed Savers and Fertile Ground.
Live music and hands on art projects will add even more fun! Performers include Luke Blu Guthrie, Alan Jossul and Annie Becker, with more surprises yet to come. Earth Art Studio will be offering hands on earth day crafts for kids.
Local shops and restaurant are also getting in on the action! Beyond the Kitchen Door is hosting a special “Meet Your Maker” cooking demo with Chef Laura Agnew owner of As You Like it Catering. Chef Laura will be working with products from local food producers from noon till 4 pm including Abuelo’s (tortillas), Clever Crow Sea Salt and Spice Mixes, Eatmore Sprouts, Ironwood Farms (produce), Tree Island Yogurt, Simply Divine (honey) and Island Bison.
Restaurants are offering special “Earth Day Fresh Sheets”. Union Street Grill is getting into the spirit of things offering Bison Tacos with local Abuelos Corn Tortillas, Pattison Farms and Eatmore Sprouts Greens, Sunflower Sprouts, Island Bison Blade Roast (slow roasted with Pattison Farms Tomatillos and fresh rosemary right out of Danielle’s garden from home) and topping it off with Union Street Pico de Gallo and Smoked Crescendo Pepper Tree Island Yogurt.
Earth Day Downtown is a reflection of the many ways that Downtown Courtenay is defining itself as a community destination as well as a retail one. “Visiting Downtown Courtenay has to be a ‘value added’ experience” says DCBIA President Mark Middleton. “We can’t always compete with pricing but we can always compete with personalized service, unique selections, atmosphere, quality and a strong sense of community.”
In fact, the development of strong community partnerships has been at the heart of efforts to add vibrancy to Downtown Courtenay. The DCBIA has taken on several exciting new initiatives over the past year. These include sponsoring the development of the innovative new Elevate Arts Festival, partnership with the local multi-cultural society on a Lunar New Year celebration, collaboration with the local Arts Council on Market Day and Local Colours, development of the new WinterFest Celebration and working with the BIABC, Fortis BC, and the Vancouver Island Aids Society to promote energy conservation and collect warm weather clothing for the homeless.
Through partnerships with the community the DCBIA is adding value to Downtown Courtenay for retailers, restaurateurs, visitors, shoppers and even residents of local neighbourhoods. These collaborations are powerful. Community partnerships create a ripple of awareness and participation as friends and families of community partners join the fun. Add to that the power of social media and Downtown Courtenay can have a competitive edge that can’t be beat!