Muskoka’s first vegan festival comes to River Mill Park this August


In the last few years, veganism has gained an entirely new level of popularity in the Western world.

Have you ever wanted to learn about a plant-based diet and the lifestyle that comes with it? Muskoka’s very first VegFest will be held on August 11th at River Mill Park in Huntsville.

“Muskoka needs a vegan festival,” said organizer Randi Paradis. “There is no other festival of this sort within 200 kilometres of Muskoka. We wanted to bring this to Muskoka to enrich the community, support local business and share the love of a lifestyle that both serves the community and focuses on important aspects going on in the world.”

While this will be Muskoka’s first ever vegan festival, Toronto’s Veg Food Fest has been running since 1985 and now brings in 40,000 visitors.

“Every single member of our five-person volunteer team is vegan, and we’ve all had our own journey to get there—whether it is health, environmental or a love for animals,” said Paradis.

The Muskoka VegFest organizing committee comprises five Muskokans who have a passion for conscious living, wellness and sustainability which they say all play an important part in their choice to be vegan.

“Our mission is to show people how easy and rewarding it can be to be veg in Muskoka by showcasing local businesses that are veg-friendly,” said event organizer Leanna Zylstra-Bigwood, “We are promoting a family-friendly experience where anyone can attend and see what a veg lifestyle is all about!”

Admission to the event is free.

We want to show Muskoka what vegan looks like—to experience first-hand that they can enjoy the same food and products they always have, while taking into consideration their health, animal welfare and the environmental issues that hugely face our world today.
Muskoka VegFest organizer Randi Paradis

The VegFest will feature live music, a market, a line-up of educational speakers as well as a kids’ area. Speakers will include Josh LaJaunie, who was featured in Runner’s World Magazine and has gone from weighing 410 pounds to becoming a marathon runner; and educational YouTube star, Mic the Vegan, who has more than 200,000 followers. There will also be a morning yoga class with nutritional educators Mary-Ellen and John Landry, followed by a breakfast food demo by Amy Longard Nutrition from Ottawa. Rounding out the line-up is artwork by chalk artist Tim the Chalking Vegan and music by North Bay’s David Dino White.

You can also expect tons of delicious vegan food including vegan cheese companies, award-winning vegan pizza from Toronto’s Apiecalypse Now, vegan burgers and hot-dogs, healthy raw foods, fresh juices and much more.

In addition to food, the market will also showcase vegan body products and environmentally friendly products for your home.

For more information about the festival visit You can also contact the committee with any questions about both attending and volunteering at the festival

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