Last week when I wrote about the Agricultural Producers Competitions at the PNE I didn't have a complete list of winners-but now I do.
So, in no particular order, here are the winners of each of the competition's divisions beginning with "best berry jam." And the winner is- Karin Brauch for her raspberry jam. Brauch also took two second-place awards. Diane Kristoff's four berry jam won in the "low sugar" category while her cranberry/orange combination took first place for best "other fruit." Kristoff's cranberry/ orange mixture was also named Overall Champion Jam. Stephanie Rose took first place in the "stone fruit jam" category for her tequila, plum and mango recipe.
When it came to the artisan cheese categories, Farmhouse Natural Cheeses won in the hard cheese, fresh cheese and blue cheese categories. That same blue cheese was also named overall champion artisan cheese. Milner Valley Cheese Ltd. Placed first in the soft ripened cheese division.
Finally, John Johnson won for best dill pickles, while Roberta LaQuaglia, operations manager for Vancouver Farmers Markets, placed first for her pickled beets, which also garnered her the honour of overall champion in the pickle category.
The winners were determined two weeks ago at the Main Street Farmers Market by judges including Darlene Tanaka, Jackie Ellis, Tara McDonald and chef Andrea Carlson.
Vision Vancouver city councillor Tim Stevenson wants staff to explore the possibility of expanding civic status to at least three groups for their annual festivals and parades.
To date, the only Vancouver events with civic status include Remembrance Day, the Celebration of Light fireworks festival and the Grey Cup parade. By granting civic status, the city is committed to paying for services such as policing, parking, permits and sanitation. Stevenson would like to see those same services offered to organizers of the Vaisakhi, Chinese New Year and Vancouver Pride festivals and parades.
Stevenson told me Monday morning that providing those services for the Celebration of Light cost the city about $700,000 annually. Stevenson added when you consider that recent Pride Week festivities brought in an estimated $30 million in tourism revenue, it's a fair trade off. Organizers estimate more than 650,000 spectators lined the Pride Parade route this summer.
"Civic status is one important way the city can continue to build on its support for large-scale community events that celebrate our diversity, showcase Vancouver's vibrant character and create jobs by injecting millions of dollars into our local economy," says Stevenson, council's liaison to the city's GLBTQ advisory committee.
Stevenson said the annual Pride Parade has gained a reputation for being a fun-filled celebration of life.
"There's never any windows smashed and it doesn't cost us millions of dollars to clean up afterwards," said Stevenson in reference to the 2011 Stanley Cup riot. "There might be four older naked men who march in the parade, but I'd rather see them than thousands of rioters."
But, Stevenson added, the Pride event should not be awarded special civic status unless the Chinese New Year and Vaisakhi organizations are offered the same services.
"The time is now," said Stevenson.
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