A Message to our dear Devour! Partners, Friends & Fans [May 4, 2020]
We hope you are safe, healthy and with and connected to your loved ones. Everyone is feeling this everywhere and especially in the industries that we bridge at Devour! The Food Film Fest – food & beverage, film, tourism, agriculture, education, travel and large-scale events and festivals. As the world shut down to combat this pandemic, we have watched festival and event giants fall (from SXSW to Coachella to the Olympics and so many more); a truly extraordinary thing to witness understanding the work that goes into our business.
Natural social-distancing at its finest in the vineyards at Benjamin Bridge Winery at one of our most popular events,
Beyond Terroir in 2018, in collaboration with the Glooscap First Nation. Photo credit: Phototype.
This message is simply to keep you abreast of a couple of our themes for this year in the hopes that we can count on your support to not only keep Devour! going but help us celebrate our milestone anniversary. We will be letting you know in the coming weeks and months as the shape and form of Devour! 10.0 becomes clear and we better understand the global event environment.
All of our global satellite events this spring have been cancelled or postponed. During this time, co-organizers Michael and Lia have been diligently working away planning, researching, programming and writing grants to support the event. As we are just under six months away from our event, our plan as of this moment is to mount a scaled-down version of our 10th anniversary festival on our planned dates from October 20-25, 2020, taking all precautions to keep our team and our audiences safe.
To celebrate ten years, our hope is to bring back some of our beloved Festival Favourites – the filmmakers, chefs and industry guests that brought exciting, dynamic, and engaging programming to previous editions of our festival. These Devour! alumni have a proven track record of attracting audiences and have acted as our champions around the world. Whether they will appear virtually or in the flesh remains to be seen – but either way – they will be on-hand to educate and entertain as always.
Each year, Devour! focuses on a social justice theme to bring relevant and timely issues to the fore; we have always been an issues-based film festival that tackles the world’s problems with an eye to changing the way we think, act, and react. Climate Change is at the forefront of virtually every global conversation about what is affecting us all, whether directly or indirectly related to the food chain, food production or consumption; we are focusing on film and workshop programming that enlightens us with regard to these relevant issues – be they money and economics, pollution or global health as is so evidenced by the current global pandemic.
In 2019, we welcomed 14,500+ visitors and saw a deep dive economic impact study commissioned by the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage indicate many important statistics about the festival including an economic impact in the Province of Nova Scotia surpassing $2 million. We organized more than 100 events at the expanded week-long flagship festival and produced 17+ other satellite and profile events across Canada and around the world, promoting Nova Scotia; its cultural, culinary and agri-food exports, and promoting inbound interest in the province’s history, culture and attractions. With regional events growing across the valley, we are building community pride and regional resilience into the fabric of the festival. We are expecting a very different picture this year.
This is truly an unprecedented time. While we were poised for an epic anniversary year and our largest festival to date, we have had to take a step back and figure out just how we will re-emerge and present the best version of what we do in a safe, new way. In the meantime, stay connected, look out for each other and focus on that point in the future that will have us all together again building a meaningful and fun festival, and in a time when people will need it more than ever before right at home in Nova Scotia.
Michael & Lia
Michael Howell, Executive Director – Devour!
Lia Rinaldo, Managing Director – Devour!