Bite of Nanaimo returns community support

NANAIMO: Portion of the price of each ticket sold goes to Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank

The Bite of Nanaimo Gourmet Food Fair is growing gracefully with age as it reaches its 20th milestone.

TheatreOne’s annual fundraiser and a longstanding Nanaimo tradition, the fair takes place Oct. 19 at Beban Park social centre.

From modest beginnings, the Bite has grown to be one of Nanaimo’s biggest community events and a much anticipated annual celebration of good food.

To mark 20 years of success, this year TheatreOne is donating a portion of the price of each Bite ticket sold to the Loaves and Fishes  Community Food Bank.

“The Bite owes its success to the Nanaimo community – to the participating restaurants, the many people who have made the Bite evening a tradition, our sponsors and the volunteers whose efforts make it possible,” said Wendy Smitka, TheatreOne president. “This donation recognizes the work Loaves and Fishes does and also contributes, through them, to the community that has given us so much support over the years.”

Peter Sinclair, Loaves and Fishes  executive director, said the food bank really appreciates the community support.

“In fact, we are entirely dependent on it. There is a great need in Nanaimo,” he said. “So far in 2012, 5,300 different individuals have come through our doors. That’s one in 20 people in Nanaimo who would otherwise go hungry. We get really excited when other groups get behind us.”

As its major fundraiser, the Bite is critical in enabling TheatreOne to bring high quality professional theatre to Nanaimo.

“But we are thrilled to see that it has wider benefits – for the participants, the restaurants and, through collaborations like this, the community,” said Smitka.

This year’s Bite takes place from 4-9 p.m. Eighteen local establishments will be offering sample ‘bites’ of the area’s finest in food and drink, vying for ‘best in category’ trophies and plaques awarded based on ballots cast by Bite participants.

Featured participants include Acme Food Co.,  Amrikko’s Indian Grill, Baby Salsa Mexican Restaurant, Cactus Club Café, Dinghy Dock Pub and Floating Restaurant, Kelsey’s, Longwood Brew Pub, Masters Touch Catering, Montana’s Cookhouse, Rawmbas, Richardson Foods Group, Smokin’ George’s BBQ, Teresa’s House of Burgers, The Keg Restaurant and Bar, Thirsty Camel Café, Vancouver Island University professional baking program, Winston’s Tea Co. and Wolf Brewing Co.

Entry tickets to the Bite are $15 each, while food and drink tickets are available inside the event for ‘bites’ priced $1 to $4.

Entry tickets are available only in advance, from TheatreOne, Winston’s Tea Co. and from the participating restaurants.

For more information please call TheatreOne at 250-754-7587, e-mail info@theatreone.org.