The Delectable Details of the Devour Festival

This November 4-8th marks the 6th Annual Devour Food Film Fest. I met with directors of the festival, Michael Howell and Lia Rinaldo, to learn more about the festival, it’s origins, and what the event has to offer our community.

What is the Devour Festival?

Devour is a five-day annual food film festival, located here in Wolfville from November 4th-8th. The event features 75 films related to food and drink, as well as 78 diverse events surrounding cuisine; that is creation, critiquing, and of course consumption. he basic guiding premise of the events is to show a film, and to follow the film with food inspired by the cinematic piece. Notable chefs and film-makers alike travel from across the world to celebrate and indulge in all Devour has to offer.

Who created the festival?

Chef Michael Howell is the executive director of the Devour festival. It was his long time support and involvement in the Slow Food movement that lead to the onset of the first edition festival in 2009, then called the Slow Motion Food Film Festival. Lia Rinaldo is the managing director of the festival and first began work with the festival in 2013, her extensive background in film and cinema provides her with much experience in film. The pair developed the festival in to the second edition in 2013 to what is now Devour.

Why a Film and Food Festival in Wolfville?

The festival originally grew out of the Slow Food movement, following the same basic premise of good, clean, and fair food for all. Howell, who owned and operated former local restaurant ‘The Tempest’, indicated that the festival served also to increase economic activity in the Annapolis Valley during the shoulder season, and to attract diverse crowd through the use of food-oriented films. This year, the festival is entering it’s 6th year, and is projected to attract 8-10,000 attendees.

What events are recommended for students?

The festival boasts numerous budget and schedule friendly events:

  • For $20.00, a student film pass is available, which gives access to all films shown at the festival. Several films, such as The Great Chicken Wing Hunt and “Cheese Please” will have complimentary samples of food included with admission.
  • The always popular food truck rally on Thursday evening consists of 8 vendors, each who will offer one dish costing only $5.00. The single dish option will ensure shorter wait time, whilst still guaranteeing quality taste.
  • On Friday night, a $5.00 admission fee give entrance to a tasting of of 10 chef-prepared chowders at the Chowder Smackdown, with Food Network star judge Bob Blumer
  • On Friday night, $25.00 will get you admission and four drinks at the Cocktail Pop-Up Party, a great place to mixology-and-mingle and enjoy some live music
  • Saturday night for $25.00, there is a Nova Scotia kitchen party, featuring Martime inspired food, drinks, and music
  • All 5 days, there are different food and drink-centered bus tours available as a part of Devour the Bounty. These include the Crafty Beer Bus, the Bubbles Bus, and Acadian Express, and the All you Need is Cheese Express

For the full list of events, and other information on the Devour Festival, visit DevourFest.com

Want to get involved with the Devour Fest?

There are volunteer opportunities available for this upcoming and future festivals. Email Jill Delaney at  [email protected] to inquire.

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