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As a fierce cold-weather snap passes over Eastern Canada this week, it’s only natural to pine for bygone summer days. And Ocean Wise Seafood had A LOT of fun this summer. We attended sustainable seafood conferences, educated the public on freshwater fish options in Ontario, and took part in new and exciting events, like The Big Feastival.

Ocean Wise partner Chef Matt Dean Pettit cooks up sustainably farmed mussels at The Big Feastival.(Photo credit: Connor McDowell)

The Big Feastival is the brainchild of chef extraordinaire Jamie Oliver, who mixed a summer music festival with the local fare of a farmers market and added in a weekend camping vibe for a twist. A huge success in England, the Big Feastival made its first appearance in North America this year at Burl’s Creek, just outside of Toronto. Festival-goers purchased camp sites, along with their  tickets, and stayed on festival grounds for a long weekend of nomming on food- truck delights. Oh, and did we mention the event was family friendly? It was full of activities for parents and kids alike, as well as being a unique culinary experience. Get a taste of the action in the video below.

At the Ocean Wise booth, we provided educational materials to festival-goers, played the Match-the-Fish-to-the-Fillet game and supported our Ocean Wise partners by cooking up a sustainable-seafood storm. Some of these chef-partners included Matt Dean Pettit of Matty’s Seafood, Michael Hunter of Antler Kitchen and Bar and Vikram Vij of Vij’s in Vancouver.

Just one of many finds at the Rouge Park Bioblitz this past summer.

Another summer hit was the Canada 150 BioBlitz event, held at the Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto. BioBlitzs are held each year as a way to bring together citizen scientists and taxonomists to capture an area’s biodiversity. Participants record the organisms they find and this year they managed to identify over 567 species, 32 of which were fish. Ocean Wise Seafood was at the environmental pavilion during the Blitz, providing educational material on local seafood options.

Ocean Wise seafood was also indoors for a few events, like Kitchen Conversation at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The Canada 150 Anniversary event captured one vast country’s culinary traditions with different stations representing different regions. Ocean Wise chef ambassador Ned Bell was on hand, reppin’ British Columbia with delicious Pacific Salmon.

Ocean Wise Chef Ned Bell serves up Pacific Salmon for Kitchen Conversations at the Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto.

This past summer, Ocean Wise Life spread the mission of sustainable seafood, engaged with countless consumers and raised awareness about the importance of sustainably caught seafood. And we had fun doing it!  Now, back to huddling against the cold and planning out more ways to get sustainable seafood  on the minds (and plates) of all Canadians.

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