Like Organics? You’ll love the 6th Annual Organic Okanagan Festival.

oook contributor Katie Brennan recently sat down with Wendy Wright, who is a member of the Okanagan Green Society to learn more about the upcoming 6th Annual Organic Okanagan Festival.

oook: Who is the Okanagan Greens Society? And how did it come to be?

WW: The Okanagan Greens Society is a non-profit, non-partisan collective of citizens and community advocates, based in Kelowna and supporting projects in British Columbia’s Southern Interior. We formed in 2005 and officially incorporated as a non-profit society in February 2008.

oook: What are the goals of the Okanagan Greens Society?

WW: Our mission statement is: “Working together in our community for a healthy environment, happy people and a sustainable local economy.” We achieve our community outreach by producing unique events and vibrant celebrations focused on Okanagan environmental, social and economic awareness.

oook: There seems to be a an emphasis on collaboration with Okanagan Green events and intiatives. How does collaboration assist / work with OGS events and intiatives?

WW: The Okanagan Greens Society chooses to support and/or partner with organizations and initiatives in the Central Okanagan Valley which positively reflect our mandate and are non-profit. If the project is local and raises environmental awareness and action it will be considered.

The Okanagan Greens Society is structured with no membership fees and by hosting the Kelowna Green Drinks gatherings every month we regularly communicate with over 450 OGS members at large.

oook: How is does this kind of community collaboration work within your upcoming 6th Annual Organic Okanagan Festival?

WW: The Okanagan Green’s showcase event is the annual Organic Okanagan Festival – The Okanagan’s Finest Green Living Exposition. We host a dynamic and accessible event and aim to educate with entertainment, showcasing vital information and growing green initiatives in the Okanagan community. Participants learn and engage in an exchange of goods, ideas, art and inspiration, which in turn nurtures a healthy community life-cycle.

oook: I’d actually never hear for thie Organic Okanagan Festival until this year, how has the festival grown and changed over the years to become what it is today?  

 WW: The OOF  is celebrating its 6th anniversary this year and has grown from the 1st in 2006, with 25 exhibitors and 300 guests, to an anticipated 1500 guest this year, with all the exciting developments listed below.

oook: What can Organic Okanagan Festival visitors expect at the Summerhill Winery and Okanagan College locations?

WW: Well, here’s some fascinating 2011 OOF facts to give people taste of what to expect:

1. We have an unprecedented 72 exhibitors in 2 locations!

2. We have chartered 1 school bus to bring 48 guests at a time from Okanagan College to Summerhill Winery and back, every 20 minutes on a free day-long loop!

3. We are expecting to raise 2500 lbs. of food in 1 day for the Kelowna Community Food Bank!

4. The BCSEA is raffling tickets for Electric Vehicle test rides and hoping to raise $800 for the solar hot water system at the Habitat for Humanity house in West Kelowna.

5. At 2010 OOF we diverted 90% of our waste from the landfill into recycling and composting and will do the same or even better this year.

6. We have 8 surprise Okanagan celebrities in our Community Consignment fashion show!

7. We have 15 incredible presenters & entertainers including Lucy Sharratt, Andrew Hay, Ari Neufeld and 1 eco-elf!




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