Flourishing in a Green Economy Trade Show April 26 in Qualicum Beach

The cancellation of similarly-themed shows in the region translates into a jam-packed event coming this weekend

It’s one thing to stand up against what you don’t want, but Communities to Protect Our Coast (CPOC) is going a step further and hosting the Flourishing in a Green Economy trade show Sunday, April 26 to promote what they do want.

CPOC organizer Sheri Plummer said the group started in Parksville Qualicum Beach three years ago in opposition to oil tankers on the B.C. coast, “then in the summer of 2014 we started to think it was important to do the flip side, what do we want to see?”

The initial concept was a little event with a guest speaker and a few local green-oriented businesses, “but the idea just kept growing like seeds,” she said.

“What we’ve seen so far in our organizing efforts has been a microcosm of the bigger picture,” she said. “As soon as we announced the event concept, people started contacting us to get involved. The overwhelmingly positive response was faster and bigger than we’d expected at the start. It really shows how we’re pulling together to make a difference and highlight the kind of healthy future we all want.”

Nanaimo Green Solutions trade show organizers decided not to do an event this year and instead offered to throw their support behind the CPOC event in Qualicum Beach. Then a similar fair planned for Courtney did the same and before organizers knew it they had dozens of exhibitors lining up, including many big names in the industry they hadn’t expected to be able to get, Plummer said. There will be more than 40 displays in and outside the civic centre covering everything from heat pumps and solar panels to innovative coal-based insulation and local food growers and experts.

There will be some marquee attractions including a tiny house from Nanaimo and some electric cars including a Tesla S, the full-size 416 horse power electric sports car which is leading the electric car wave.

With major sponsorships from the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce, Mid Island Co-Op and Black Press, the one-day fair will cover everything from alternative energy and conservation to food security, “showing that green industries are not only good for the environment, but can be valuable contributors to the economy,” Plummer said.

There will be more than a dozen speakers in numerous sessions throughout the day including green jobs and education in B.C., First Nations’ perspectives and all the latest on green technologies and business opportunities.

For a lot of detailed information on the exhibitors visit www.facebook.com/flourishinginagreeneconomy. The free event runs 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, Sunday, April 26.

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