By Tom Graham
The ever popular and eco-friendly Sustainability Fair is being planned to run April 24, 2022, according to organizers. Volunteers from the group Sustainable North Grenville (SNG) met recently to discuss the logistics of re-launching the Fair after a two-year break due to the pandemic. This will be the 13th Sustainability Fair since it began in 2008.
The event is to be held again at the North Grenville Municipal Centre Community Rooms and Arena. It is expected that many of the usual vendors and community groups who have exhibited at the Fair previously will want to participate.
“All of this depends on the COVID-19 situation at that time,” explained organizer, Jeff Goodman. “The Municipality has given us permission to book the space, so we’re moving ahead optimistically. But we all know it’s contingent upon conditions next spring.”
Many newcomers to the area may be unaware of the role SNG has played in raising awareness of environmental issues in the community. Besides hosting the Sustainability Fair – including the largest Electric Vehicle Show in eastern Ontario – members of the group have:
- Successfully protested the Energy East Pipeline Project (now cancelled);
- Attended climate marches in Ottawa and New York City;
- Made submissions to local Councils on composting, green energy, sustainable living and water protection;
- Produced a ‘Sustainability Report Card’ on how the Community is doing;
- Hosted ‘Give North Grenville’ – an annual social fundraiser with food and music;
- Hosted information and movie nights, composting demonstrations, written articles for the papers and shared other eco-friendly events.
“It’s amazing to look back at what we’ve accomplished,” said Clare Weissflog, one of the founding organizers of SNG and the Fair. “Given the increasing interest today in protecting the environment, adopting sustainable practices, and supporting local producers, it’s great to think SNG helped shape some of that.”
It is hoped that the 2022 Fair will be as successful as ever. Local food, local music, tables with local vendors, and community groups are expected. The usual space showcasing electric vehicles will be there, along with additional space this year for energy-efficient home renovation information – specifically addressing the climate change issue.
“The Fair draws a real mix of people,” said Carla Eamon, another SNG volunteer. “While some attendees are keen environmentalists, many are simply families coming out for a free, family-friendly event to see what they can learn. There’s something for everyone!”
COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be in place, such as proof of double vaccination, contact tracing, mask requirements, and other screening protocols.
Watch for more information in the new year, and follow the group’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sustainablenorthgrenville.