Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks celebrate 10 years of local food with Sustenance Festival

This September marks the 10th annual Sustenance Festival, a food, art & culture celebration which brings community groups, artists, and advocates together who use food and art to cultivate dialogue, celebrate traditions, and push for social change.

Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks have been longtime supporters of Sustenance Festival and are excited to participate again this year as community partners.

Feasting for Change includes stories from the community about how Neighbourhood Food Networks have impacted their lives. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

The 2019 Sustenance Festival program features the Feasting for Change exhibit at Roundhouse Community Centre. Centring Indigenous perspectives and curated by Dawn Morrison of Wild Salmon Caravan, this art exhibit explores themes of regeneration in relation to wild salmon and holistic perspectives on food, culture, and healing.

Feasting For Change features visual art by csetkwe. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

Last week, the Sustenance Festival launch and Feasting For Change exhibit opening followed traditional Coast Salish protocol to honour the work of contributing artists, community groups, and matriarchs from Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. Volunteers served food by Kurdish- and Ugandan-Canadian women as guests appreciated drumming led by Sto:lo elder Eddie Gardner and original music by local singer-songwriter Ava Caldwell.

Art installations include Wild Salmon Caravan bike floats. Photo by Ian Marcuse.

The exhibit gallery also features work from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks. It highlights the VNFN’s 25-year history of community food initiatives and stories of change from people in our local communities.

Kaitlyn, Erica, and Ian from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks at the Feasting for Change exhibit opening.

In recent years, Sustenance Festival has worked hard to uplift issues of food justice which persist locally and impact a wide range of marginalized communities in Vancouver. Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks’ work brings an important neighbourhood-focus to local food issues.

This year, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks events at Sustenance include:

Other upcoming Sustenance Festival events at Roundhouse Community Centre include a workshop on cooking with Chinatown dried goods and a panel discussion exploring cultural perspectives on food waste.

Sustenance Festival runs from September through October. All programming is free or low-cost and led by non-profit community groups and community centres. See the full program of events at

Sustenance Festival is an annual initiative of the Arts, Culture & Engagement team at the Vancouver Parks Board which features food, art, and culture events such as family-friendly celebrations, workshops, and dialogues. This festival centers community food traditions alongside artists, activists, community groups, and social service organizations across the City of Vancouver.