Flavour Trail to grow next year

Organizers hope to repeat success of North Saanich event

“There was a minimum of 1,500 people on the Flavour Trail — maximum, who knows?”

An upbeat Linda Geggie was reporting on the success of this year’s North Saanich Flavour Trail, held over the Aug. 24 and 25 weekend.

Geggie, who ran the event under the auspices of the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR), said counting the people who attended the event is not easy, considering it’s an open event at various points in the community.

However, there were some very strong indicators of success during this, the first time the event has been run by a group other than the District of North Saanich in the last seven years.

“The North Saanich Summer Market reported they had 786 people — that’s a record,” Geggie said.

“The Roost said they also had record sales on the Saturday. That’s fantastic.”

She added Muse Winery and Bistro was at capacity during its Friday night Flavour Trail kick-off event — 120 people. Geggie said they had to turn away at least 50 people, yet by the next day, reported having some 500 people through their doors.

“It went really great. The weather held and there were lots of people.”

CRFAIR took over the event from the District of North Saanich this year. With the one-time seed money used up, Geggie said the steering committee will meet later this month to plan for the next Flavour Trail.

“We will be looking to bring additional Peninsula municipalities and other supporters on board to make up for what the District of North Saanich put forward this year,” she explained. “We will have some time to plan for next year.”

Expanding the Flavour Trail concept is the next step, she continued, following up on the idea of adding more events and locations from across the Peninsula.

Agricultural events do not end, however, with the fifth annual Saanich Peninsula Harvest Feast set for Sept. 21 in the main hall of the Saanich Fairgrounds.

Sponsored by the North and South Saanich Agricultural Society and the Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Marking Association, the Harvest Feast brings local food and drink together for a community event that will help support local 4-H activities.

Geggie said the Feast is part of an overall Saanich Peninsula Harvest Days umbrella — which includes a variety of other food and agricultural events and markets.

Those can be found at www.flavourtrails.com.