The 3rd Annual ICC LOCAL FOOD FESTIVAL: Defending Our Backyard is one of the highlights of Vancouver Island’s festival year. Chefs from some of the finest restaurants on Vancouver Island are working together to raise public awareness of the importance of local food and supporting local farms. Defending Our Backyard celebrates Island food, farms and flavours at the picturesque Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites in Colwood.
Despite the high overcast and intermittent light drizzle we still had over 1200 people join us at our 3rd annual Island Chefs Collaborative “Defending our Back yard” Food Festival, wow…quite a mouthful in itself…
This is the major fundraiser for our Farmer Grant Program. All proceeds from this event go towards grants for our local farmers. So far we have given 20+ thousand dollars in grants to our local farm community. This year we will be giving away another 10 thousand dollars to deserving farmers, we will be announcing these recipients at our ICC Bastion Square Market on July 1st. - Ken Nakano, Executive Sous Chef, Fairmont Empress
Defending Our Backyard is aimed at the growing audience of people interested in food issues and increasingly seeking local food. In the first year, Defending Our Backyard brought together over 600 people.
They've expanded the event to feature more local food, information and activities. Defending Our Backyard focuses on personal experience and, in addition to sampling some tastes of the Island, participants will also learn about growing more of their own food, composting, the ethical harvest of seafood, local wineries and breweries, the work of food-related special interest groups and farmers’ markets.
The Island Chefs’ Collaborative (ICC) is a community based, social profit organization dedicated to supporting sustainable food and agriculture on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Over the last five years, the ICC has provided $22,000 worth of equipment to 16 small farms on Vancouver Island — helping to make those farms more sustainable. The ICC’s inaugural Defending Our Backyard raised funds to provide $9,500 in grants to: Sooke School District’s WestShore Teaching Garden in Colwood | Haliburton Community Organic Farm in Saanich Silver Cloud Farm in Sooke | Holland Farm in Saanich | Kennego Farm on Salt Spring Island For more information, please visit: