Bringing Vegans and Non-Vegans Together

CapU’s first-ever VegFest was a massive success

Emma Lewicky // Contributor

Our first-ever vegan-inspired event, VegFest, was held right here at Capilano University recently. Presented by the Capilano Vegan Club on Sept. 27, planning for VegFest started in April, before the club was even officially formed. “We wanted to show people how simple it can be to lead a plant-based and vegan lifestyle and how fun and engaging it is,” said Breanna Blackwell and Maclayne Simone, the founders of the club. Whether you stopped by as a vegan, out of curiosity or to simply sample the free food, the festival was meant to show the University that there is a demand for plant-based food on campus and to display a community for other vegans.

Twenty amazing local vendors sponsored the event, sharing food, health and beauty products, including cruelty-free shampoos and vegan vitamins. The event, the ambitious new Vegan Club’s first, was not just a huge success but also had a great turnout, helping to promote the group. Blackwell and Simone, with the help of some dedicated volunteers, were able to enlist Amai Vegan Treats who showcased samples of coconut milk mousse as well as their pumpkin-spice “cococreme”, a dessert that was probably stolen from the heavens. HerbaLand promoted various vegan gummies that tasted like Maynards Swedish Berries, some of which are even supposed to strengthen hair, skin and nails. Along with the vendors, VegFest had 10 presentations throughout the event, including King Zoom the Vegan Kid, a 12-year-old vegan activist who spoke on the “What, Why and How of Veganism” and his own beliefs.

Both Blackwell and Simone want to promote the inclusiveness of the Vegan Club. “It’s about bringing people together and showing other vegans at the school that there is a community for them,” said Simone. The pair are very proud of the event’s success, mentioning how many non-vegans joined the festivities. “And the feedback was just incredible,” added Blackwell. More than 25 people signed up for the Vegan Club by the end of the event.

Simone asks people to give veganism a shot. “Just try, be open to it. You don’t have to make a long-term commitment, just do your best.” She explains, “It’s so easy in this day and age to live in a way that doesn’t hurt other beings.” Supermarkets all over BC will almost always have a vegan section. “It’s literally as simple as walking two feet over in the grocery store and just picking the vegan version”, Simone says.

As the founding members of the Vegan Club, Blackwell and Simone want to ensure VegFest becomes an annual event and that the club thrives long after they graduate. In order for this to happen they will need students’ support. “We meet once a month and have free food. It’s not intense. It’s just really good.”

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