Parks staff and partners are seeking to build on past successes engaging culturally diverse groups through Sustenance and strengthen it as a platform for cross-cultural connections and relationship building. Food is a universal need but also an exciting means of bringing people together. Approaches to this work include identifying barriers to participation, facilitating new project collaborations, and seeking out existing community food initiatives that have not been recognized as part of the mainstream food movement.

A key strategy for gathering this information is identifying and connecting with community leaders to hear their stories/insights/challenges/successes. This information will be used to determine how best to reduce barriers to participation in the Vancouver food system; to increase food-related initiatives at Park Board facilities and parks; and to connect programmers and staff to a stronger network of partners. This will also set the foundation for a collaborative, more inclusive approach to Sustenance in 2018 and onwards.

In order to move these objectives forward:

  • A Sustenance Interculturalism Coordinator was hired (Stephanie Lim): from Dec. 2016 – Dec. 2017, Steph will be building a contact/partnership opportunities list, meeting up and “interviewing” a cross-section of leaders/organizers from unrepresented groups, and providing recommendations for how to meaningfully include and support underrepresented groups on an ongoing basis
  • A $5000 Community Food Initiative Fund has been created to support groups underrepresented in the food movement
  • An Intercultural Advisory Committee has been formed which will help guide Interculturalism Coordinator’s work and provide direction for funding model and various other aspects of the festival moving forward.