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Rural events and attractions

2019 Food Aid and Mayor’s Rural Expo – Friday, June 7

2019 Food Aid and Mayor’s Rural Expo 

Friday June 7, 2019
11 am to 2 pm
Marion Dewar Plaza and Jean Pigott Place
Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West

Come out for fundraiser BBQ cooked by THE WORKS, enjoy live entertainment and discover what rural Ottawa has to offer!

The Ottawa Food Bank and City of Ottawa are pleased to present the Ottawa Food Bank’s Annual Food Aid and Mayor’s Rural Expo. This exciting annual event brings together an important BBQ fundraiser with the flavour and uniqueness of rural Ottawa within the City’s core area.

The two events came together in 2013, when the Mayor’s Rural Expo was first introduced as part of the Food Aid event. Mayor Jim Watson and the Executive Director of the Ottawa Food Bank saw an opportunity to combine Food Aid, which promotes and features locally grown beef, with a one-of-a-kind rural tradeshow. According to Mayor Jim Watson, “this event supports a worthy community cause, while providing an opportunity to showcase rural farms, businesses and attractions within the downtown core. I encourage those in the area to come out for lunch, enjoy the entertainment and visit the rural vendors on site that day.”

Event Schedule:

  • Food Aid BBQ, hosted by THE WORKS (11 am to 2 pm)
  • The cost of the BBQ lunch is $10 and includes a burger, side and drink
  • Entertainment provided by Ottawa’s New Country 94 (12 noon)
  • Celebrity cow milking competition (12:15 pm)
  • Rural tradeshow starting at 10:00 am, featuring farmers, businesses and organizations promoting unique goods and services.

Last year, the event raised $50,092 in support of Food Aid—a program run by the Ottawa Food Bank to purchase beef from local farmers. One hundred percent of proceeds collected are used to buy quality, local beef to help the 37,542 people who turn to a food bank every month in Ottawa.

Below are some facts about the program, which has been in place since 2005.

  • Food Aid has raised over $1,000,000 since 2014 alone!
  • Pounds of Local Beef Purchased*: 938,091lbs
  • The Ottawa Food Bank provides meat, eggs, milk, and produce to its 114 agencies to distribute to their clients.
  • We work in partnership to create a healthier city by empowering people, increasing access to healthy food, and advocating for systemic changes that reduce food insecurity.

“We are proud that our Food Aid BBQ is in its 15th year and that the community continues to come together to help us provide nutrient-rich protein to people in need,” says Michael Maidment, Executive Director, Ottawa Food Bank. “This event is always a great day where rural and urban groups come together to help people in need while having some fun along the way.”

Those unable to attend can still make a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank by texting “BEEF” to 45678. For more information about the event contact the City’s Rural Affairs Office at 613-580-2424 extension 24541.


Rural event guidelines

Does your event qualify?

To be eligible, an event should:

  • Be organized by a not-for-profit community group or association.
  • Have a strong agricultural or rural focus and/or be primarily directed at residents of rural Ottawa.

Events may include fairs, festivals, leisure activities, fundraisers, public meetings or cultural and recreational events.

Rural special event resources

Find out more about planning a special event in your community.