Baker Street in downtown Cranbrook. Trevor Crawley photo.

Baker Street in downtown Cranbrook. Trevor Crawley photo.

Cooking up a storm for #EatLocalYXC Festival

In the COVID-19 era, public events are being held in unique ways.

Over the next month, the first-ever #EatLocalYXC Festival will be celebrating local food entrepreneurs in Cranbrook and Kimberley through a series of online streaming events and deals.

The online festival, running alongside Small Business Week, will showcase local restaurants, taking digital ‘festival-goers’ behind the scenes in order to get to know business owners in the region.

“Cranbrook is the retail centre of the region,” said Darren Brewer, Business Development Manager for the City of Cranbrook. “The #EatLocalYXC Festival dovetails nicely with Small Business Week. We have a lot of great businesses in Cranbrook and we need people to come out and support them. The biggest part of our economy is retail.”

The digital festival was born out of continual adaptation to ever-evolving public health orders as governments and businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a good audience. It is about getting people to change their business; you have to go online to help support your own business. This is where you will find unrealized revenue,” said Brewer.

For individual events, virtual participants can engage with business owners to learn tips, tricks and secrets. Some businesses will create favourite recipes, drinks and showcase menus and other aspects of business operations.

Brandi Boothman, who is working alongside FestivalSeekers to help spearhead the four-week event, says the region is home to many talented chefs and food artisans passionate about feeding locals.

“Because so many people get their information from social media, the #EatLocalYXC Festival Facebook Lives and festival offers are the perfect vehicle to engage with people and learn about their entrepreneurial neighbours along the way,” Boothman said.

Brewer added that shopping and eating local has been identified as the highest priority during COVID-19.

“Small businesses need our help. It’s a gap we can fill,” he said.

Here are some of restaurants and the times and dates they will be participating in weekly online Facebook Live events:

• Ella’s Café (Oct. 22, 3 p.m.)

• Bohemian Spirits (Oct. 23, 11 a.m.)

• The Nest (Oct. 29, 3 p.m.)

• Chaos Coffee (Oct. 29, 4 p.m.)

• The Heidout (Nov. 12, 3 p.m.)

• Sweet Gestures Chocolate Shoppe (Nov. 12, 10 a.m.)