Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ecofest Barrie 2012 focus on water

As June arrives, Barrie’s third Ecofest is upon us. I look forward to participating, as this year promises to again be even more exciting than the last. Find out more at, or read on.
As always, the event is right on the lakefront, and this year the Ladies of the Lake have got some amazing things in store, hosting a state-of-the-art interactive multi-media display designed by university students which showcases future visions of a water center on Lake Simcoe.
Saturday evening you can even enjoy a deluxe 4-course meal right on the bay, including dessert & wine for only $40 per person! The menu, prepared by Unity Market Café, features local & organic themes. That leads into the third annual Trashfusion eco-couture design awards and both silent and live auctions. Auction items will have a focus on experiences and excursions, with trips, stays, meals, and activities to broaden your horizons.
This year’s Ecofest is also a 2-day folk music festival, in the “Twig Pod” wicker band shell. And if that peaks your architectural interest, other examples of sustainable portable structures will abound: a cloth yurt, a wooden geodome, a fully-equipped food-growing aquaponics trailer (sponsored by Homegrown Hydroponics) and the return of “Eco-pod” energy-efficient affordable housing.
At the Green Mile interactive “pit stop” you can learn, ride, share, and test-drive bikes, hybrids, electrics and more! Check out the other vendors, showcasing sustainable and affordable alternatives to business-as-usual.
This year’s theme is WATER. Our water is to be celebrated and protected, yet is still under threat. Special guests TVO’s Water Brothers will share what they’ve learned from their travels and studies, and representatives of the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce will update us on what’s happening with the Mega-quarry proposal to the west of us.
Engage with the Root of the Idea discussions. Saturday’s topic is bottled water with the Council of Canadians, while Sunday will feature a panel of local leaders discussing the creation of sustainable communities around Lake Simcoe.
Be sure to visit the Awareness Hub, a series of large tents filled with displays and presentations by local non-profit and educational organizations. The weather will be no obstacle; even if water falls from the sky, you can stay safe & dry inside the big tops.
This event will help teach us all just how to save our planet, our health, our money, our food, and our water which is the lifeblood of each and every one of us. So come down to the shoreline and learn how to do the simplest things to change your life and pass a healthy, vibrant planet and future along to our kids and grandkids. It’s the best gift we have to give.
Published in my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner as "Ecofest offers much in the vein of sustainability"
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of the Ontario School of Economic Science and Earthsharing Canada

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