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Last weekend saw the sixth annual EPIC Sustainable Living Festival pass through Vancouver. EPIC is a consumer-friendly event that brings environmentally-sound products and trends to the forefront.

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19 food trucks, a variety of sustainability-minded vendors, a beer and wine garden, and lots of music were all part of the popular event; for the first time, it was held outdoors at beautiful VanDusen Botanical Garden.

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Any summer event in Vancouver is always a crapshoot, but the sun gods shone down on the festival and made the weekend complete for many city dwellers. I attended on Sunday, just as the music was getting underway.

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Vancouver’s own art-pop songstress, Hilary Grist and band took the stage for some finger-snapping tunes, engaging the audience who were starting to fill up the lawn space facing the stage.

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The food truck alley was buzzing with Mom’s Grilled Cheese, Kaboom Box, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Pizza and others (located in two spots: one off to the side of the stage, the other inside the Sip and Savour Garden).

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Local brewers such as Stanley Park Brewing poured their Belgian style Amber and Pilsner beers while several BC wineries poured sampler-size glasses (5 tickets for $10).

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I liked the inclusion of the EPICurean Corner, where small bites were offered up for one or two tickets each (a strip of 6 tickets went for $10). Particularly tasty were the bites offered by The Reef Runner (plantain chips, meat pies, sweet johnny cakes). This newly-minted food truck courtesy of The Reef was featured on The Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here.

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[TD Canada Trust planted a Western Cedar in North Vancouver on my behalf]

Rain City Soups, Whole Foods, and Terra Breads were also onsite.

Other facets of EPiC included YYoga in the Park, Artists in the Garden, and gardening workshops. I unfortunately missed out on the hourly walking tour of the garden, opting instead to take some of my nibbles to a nearby shady spot to enjoy the music on the lawn.

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The venue was perfect for taking a break and strolling through the garden. Lots of shady spots and water refill stations made this an excellent venue, one that I hope EPIC will keep in mind for the 2014 edition. I was also pleased to see Choices Markets keeping their Zero Waste Stations manned for visitors to properly dispose of their waste during the festival.

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[The fully electric Nissan LEAF on display; neighbourhood test drives were available]

An afterparty was held on Saturday night with stops at Vancouver Urban Winery and TASTE. The package included transportation to both venues as well as an appetizer and drink at Vancouver Urban Winery. I’ll be watching for this event next year.

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