Epic Expo Recap – From Behind the Lens

Bryce Tarling gives us a recap on the events of The Vancouver Sun Sustainable Living Expo – from behind the lens of his camera to the front row with Strombo.

EPIC Expo was a huge success this past weekend as thousands of people flooded Vancouver’s Trade and Convention Centre to learn more about sustainable development and about what they can do to help project change. I thought I would show up early on Saturday morning, but when I arrived, the space was already flooded with people eager to experience the event. EPIC featured over 300 vendors and several guest speakers who shared their ideas and information concerning sustainable development.

FTV EPIC Strombo Show-44
For The Doughnuts! Strombo Mediates Fair Trade Banana VS Poverty Gorilla video featured below.

For me, working closely with Rebecca Peel (our social media director), I was kept busy. Since Rebecca learned that I own my own digital SLR, I become responsible for capturing Fair Trade Vancouver’s main stage presentation, getting shots of interviewees at the Projecting change booth — which happened to include at least one Canadian icon (George Stroumboulopoulos), and making sure to grab images of the events and activities around the Expo — one of which involved an EPIC standoff between The Fair Trade Banana and Poverty Gorilla. While all of this was happening, I also tried to get photos of the faces responsible for making the Fair Trade Pavilion a main attraction. But I guess that’s what happens when you work with Rebecca. From her team of promoters who provided Twitter updates all weekend, to the people involved in putting together some impressive video interviews, Rebecca and the people around her can be a force to be reckoned with. It wasn’t until my second day that I managed to sneak away and experience some of the great foods, fashion, and emerging products presented at the show.

Of course, I enjoyed every minute of working with Fair Trade Vancouver and Projecting change. It’s no wonder that both groups have been making waves in Vancouver and across the country. Both organizations are full of bright and energetic volunteers that all have a passion for projecting change. Walking up and down the pavilion, there were costumed characters dressed as Fair Trade Bananas, the infamous Poverty Gorilla, tea kettles, coffee beans, chocolate, and soccer balls. They were such a hit that they were asked to perform a fashion show in the Eco Fashion pavilion. And although they did a great job of looking good, they did an amazing job running events and activities and providing information on Fair Trade and supporting its vendors.

There has been a lot of growing support for Fair Trade in Vancouver and it was great to see so many people engaged in learning more about the different vendors and their products and how they were supporting communities around the world.

Fair Trade Vancouver also presented on the Main stage where a member of Common Ground held interviews with the personalities behind the Fair Trade movement. Members of different organizations that support Fair Trade had a chance to show their faces and share their voices in explaining why Fair Trade is important and how they’ve been successful. To close off the presentation, there was the always-popular Fair Trade Banana-dance performance and then a cake-cutting to celebrate the timeliness of World Fair Trade Day.

World Fair Trade Day Celebration – Cutting the cake with Avery Gottfried Andrea Reimer, Adriane Carr, Mark Abbott (from left to right)

Fair Trade Bananas doing the Banana Dance on the Big Stage at Epic Expo!

Checkout all the amazing Fair Trade vendor displays and freshly handcrafted Fair Trade mascot costumes in our Flickr album!

Tomorrow I’m going to break a window. Whatever the proverbial breaking of the window is, I think a good documentary should do that.

One of the biggest highlights for Projecting Change was the George Stroumboulopoulos interview conducted by Rebecca Peel at the Projecting Change booth. During the interview, Strombo stressed the importance of people getting up to support movements and the impact a festival like Projecting Change could have in creating those movements. It’s one thing for a few dedicated people to go out and create films about change, but it’s up to people and audiences to support these events and the ideas behind them. Catch the full interview Epic Moment With George Stroumboulopoulos.

Fair Trade Vancouver also got some video time with Strombo as he offered his services in officiating an arm-wrestling showdown between the Fair Trade Banana and the Poverty Gorilla. It was an intense event where both contenders were locked in an EPIC struggle where it wasn’t clear who would eventually come out on top. With perseverance however, the Fair Trade Banana was able to topple the Poverty Gorilla in a win that was symbolic for the efforts and the change made by Fair Trade supporters around the globe. Not only did Strombo show his support by stealing the prize of Fair Trade doughnuts, he also promoted Fair Trade and Fair Trade Vancouver in the opening to his main stage presentation.

For the Doughnuts!


While it was great to see a name like George Stroumboulopoulos tout such an event, what’s more impressive is that so many people came out to support and learn about sustainable development. The EPIC Expo was about giving people the opportunity to engage with new ideas and to share their knowledge. Thank you everyone who came out this last weekend to help make EPIC a huge success. This is the support that we need to create change. Be sure to come down to Projecting Change Film Festival to WATCH, ENGAGE and then of course ACT.

-Bryce Tarling – @brycetarling

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