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Buy Local. Eat Natural is excited to announce the inaugural BC-wide We Heart Local Awards launching July 1, running through August 5. This unique awards program invites British Columbians to recognize and elevate their favourite key players across our province’s food and agriculture industries.

Krause Berry Farms lavender

Rhonda Driediger, BC Agriculture Council Chair and founding partner of the We Heart Local Awards explains: “No doubt, there’s a movement underway to support and celebrate eating and buying local. The We Heart Local Awards will leverage this momentum in British Columbia and get people even more invested in lifting up their local favourites and sharing information with one another in meaningful ways with meaningful outcomes.”

Krause Berry Farms
 
“The We Heart Local Awards celebrate the passion British Columbians have for local, great tasting foods and the number of agricultural entrepreneurs that have turned their dream into a business here,” says BC Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm. “I encourage all British Columbians to eat local, shop local, and nominate and vote in the We Heart Local Awards.”
 
Chewies Steam and Oyster Bar

Elizabeth Quinn, Executive Director at the BC Association of Farmers Markets adds, “We’re excited to call ourselves partners in this awesome initiative. Now is the right time for a community-driven Awards that provides valuable recognition to the farmers, wineries, cheese makers, and all of the key players and supporters of local food in BC. We expect this to be a hugely popular Awards program across BC!”

Newport, Oregon seafood

The We Heart Local Awards is a partnership between the BC Agriculture Council, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, the BC Association of Farmers Markets, the Vancouver Farmers Markets, LOCO BC and The Georgia Straight.

Opéra: Joconde (almond/rum sponge) cake, coffee, buttercream, chocolate ganache layers
 

How the We Heart Local Awards works

Nominations are open from July 1 to July 15. You must reside in BC to participate.

One or more categories may be nominated in the following:
Favourite Local Farmers Market
Favourite Store to Buy Local
Favourite Local Meat or Poultry Supplier
Favourite Local Seafood Supplier
Favourite Local Cheese Maker
Favourite Local Sweet Treat
Favourite Local Advocate
Favourite Local Winery
Favourite Local Brewery
Favourite Local Food Truck
Favourite Local U-Pick Farm
Favourite Local Orchard/Fruit Supplier
Favourite Local Restaurant or Café
Favourite Local Chef
Favourite Local Florist or Greenhouse

Voting will take place from July 16 to August 5. BC residents can vote for their favourite nominees in the above categories by visiting Buy Local. Eat Natural’s facebook page.

Cheese assortment

Need a couple of incentives for casting your vote? All voters and nominators are automatically included into a prize draw for a chance to win 1 of 20 $100 gift cards to their local farmers’ market, as well as the grand prize: a weekend wine getaway in the Okanagan including two nights’ stay and dinner for two, featuring local, seasonal ingredients.
 

About Buy Local. Eat Natural.

Buy Local. Eat Natural is a not-for-profit community forum that aims to promote and bring together BC’s local food products, growers and producers. An initiative of BC Agriculture, Buy Local. Eat Natural is supported by both the BC Agriculture Council and the BC Ministry of Agriculture and is sustained through thousands of passionate local food enthusiasts. Follow the movement on Twitter using the #weheartlocal hashtag.

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