The West Nipissing Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) is used to handing out hardware to deserving businesses… but this time, they were the winners.
The Chamber took home the Ontario Culinary Tourism Award of the Year for their annual Feast on the Farm event. The award was won at the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario gala which was held virtually on Wednesday.
Feast on the Farm brings 500 people to Leisure Farms annually and is a showcase of local talents.
The event promotes local culinary businesses, featuring locally grown food prepared by local chefs.
The event has been an August highlight for many throughout West Nipissing for 6 years.
It also features local wineries, breweries, and musicians.
Joanne Valiere, past president at the Chamber and current board member, says the recognition from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario means a lot.
“For us here in West Nipissing… it does a lot. For our growers, our food and drink producers, for our farmers, chefs, restaurants, tourism… it touches everything. There’s no end to the good this brings us.” she said.
The event was never for recognition, however. It was always about encouraging farmers and local businesses and bringing the community together.
“The whole purpose was always to showcase what we have in West Nipissing,” she said. Just because we’re a small municipality doesn’t mean we can’t do things like this. It’s to show off our local people, and folks outside the area what we have to offer here in West Nipissing.”
“But now, we can label ourselves as West Nipissing’s premier food festival. An award-winning event. For a Sunday afternoon, to be this successful, it’s amazing. I want to give a huge thank you to Mitch Deschatelets and his family for being so involved in the event. Hats off to him for his dedication and allowing us to hold this event on his land.” she finished