Slow Food rules in the Paris of the Prairies

Version 2Bill Swan, Partnership Development with Adventure Canada, attended and presented at the Slow Food Canada National Summit April 19th – 22nd in Saskatoon.  

The ‘Paris of the Prairies’, as always, did not disappoint and served as an outstanding host for this event.

Surrounded by a thriving arts and culture scene and great restaurants, delegates met local farmers, teachers, students, chefs and Indigenous leaders.

Discussion revolved around local farming initiatives including their challenges as well as their rewards, youth in farming, plant breeding, urban agriculture, Indigenous food sovereignty, de-colonization and food as an integral element in First Nations cultures and reconciliation in Canada.

At the Summit Gala Dinner, A ‘Waste Not’ Feast was served, utilizing foods otherwise overlooked or discarded foods. Field tours included a dairy farm, fruit farm chicken farm and the University of Saskatchewan research greenhouses that were all very inspiring.  Delegates tasted many food items grown in Saskatchewan that included pulses, mustard, moose, yak (yes, yak!), Haskap berries, deer, elk, duck, wild rice & fresh greens; we were never hungry!  

Bill provided Gala Dinner attendees with an overview of Adventure Canada’s expedition opportunities and in particular, highlighted our new Slow Travel initiative and alliance with Slow Food in Canada and Slow Food USA as we prepare to embark on the Newfoundland Circumnavigation together in October, 2018.

Joining Bill, (note – sporting the new white shirt/AC vest look) – Ingrid Jarret, Vice-Chair, Slow Food Canada (right) Ashlyn George, Saskatchewan Travel Writer (left). 

Bonus points – what is the most important food crop (as measured in export sales) produced in SK? Leave your answer in the comments!

A taste for adventure: AC partners with Slow Food

Slow food: those two word conjure images of mindful enjoyment of mindful, enjoyable nourishment. Which makes Adventure Canada’s brand of mindful, enjoyable travel the perfect partner for Slow Food in Canada and Slow Food USA.

Beginning with our Newfoundland Circumnavigation voyage this October, Adventure Canada will be working to incorporate Slow Food’s message of clean, healthy, fair food into our onboard programming and cultural visits. In fact, it’s a natural extension of the work we already do—a wonderful alignment of shared values.

After all, food is central to every culture, and culture is central to ecology in the regions we visit. Adventure Canada’s cultural advocacy includes supporting country food in the Arctic—like sustainably harvested seal meat. And in Newfoundland and Labrador, we do our best to search out the local delicacies that make travel there so intriguing, from cod tongues to bake-apples.

richard-mccarthy2We are particularly excited that Slow Food USA’s Richard McCarthy will join us aboard our Newfoundland Circumnavigation this fall. “Slow Food is so excited to partner with Adventure Canada because Adventure Canada makes real the values of Slow Food,” says Richard. “It is a partnership where we will begin to venture into that space of slow travel: travelling light, travelling slowly, connecting people to the taste of place, and ultimately building a community of people who give thought and meaning to travel, to food, and to the integrity of a place.”

Cedar“We all want to sample an experience in the places that we’re going to, and whether that’s by food or by music or through language, we’re excited to work with Slow Food to get those creative juices flowing,” says our CEO, Cedar Swan. “Between ourselves, leaders at Slow Food, and leaders in the communities that we visit, we hope to come up with real viable ways to incorporate food into the travel culture that we very much want to share with our guests.”

Starting and ending in historic St. John’s, guests aboard our Newfoundland Circumnavigation will embark on an intimate experience of Newfoundland’s local food, lively culture and dramatic scenery via daily expedition stops, community visits and engaging presentations. We’ll visit Red Bay’s Basque Whaling Station (a where locals depend heavily on food from the land, just as the Basque whalers did), learn about North America’s Viking history at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, and enjoy a taste of the Mi’kmaq culture in Miawpukek First Nation. Later, we’ll explore the remote village of Conche and enjoy a community meal of ‘the best cod in Newfoundland,’ before visiting the French island of Saint-Pierre to sample its cheese and wine, all in the company of local artists, experts, and naturalists.

Watch the beautiful and inspiring video Slow Food in Canada: Scratching the Surface, an official selection of Devour: The Food Film Fest.

For information about sailing with Slow Food on Adventure Canada’s Newfoundland Circumnavigation expedition, visit adventurecanada.com or call 1-800-363-7566.

Adventure Canada co-founder Bill Swan will be on site at Slow Food Canada’s National Summit in Saskatoon April 19-22. Drop by and say hi!