Okanagan Ice Pops has been cancelled as a VegFest Kelowna sponsor. (Okanagan Ice Pops)

VegFest drops Okanagan Ice Pops as sponsor

Controversy stirs over a bacon-chocolate flavoured popsicle

VegFest attendees will not be able to lock their lips on an Okanagan Ice Pop at this year’s festival after a short-notice phone call cancelled the festival’s partnership with the flavoured popsicle’s maker.

Robert McPhee, Okanagan Ice Pops founder, said he received a call from VegFest organizers Tuesday afternoon saying the festival’s board decided to discontinue its business relationship with the company.

According to both parties involved, the decision was made due to a limited edition bacon-chocolate flavoured popsicle Okanagan Ice Pops was commissioned to demonstrate at another festival earlier this month.

“I think it’s absolutely unbelievable what they’ve done,” said McPhee.

According to a member of the festival’s organizing crew, Moira Drosdovech, McPhee committed to going 100 per cent vegan after participating in last year’s festival; an important characteristic for the image the festival wants to uphold.

However, it was a commitment McPhee did not follow through with.

“We couldn’t justify keeping him as our sponsor,” said Drosdovech.

McPhee claimed VegFest was aware Okanagan Ice Pops’ menu is 80 per cent vegan, not “exclusively vegan,” and took exception to VegFest’s position given other sponsors include companies that sell meat products, such as Panago Pizza and Choices Market.

“I find it a very glaring example of hypocrisy because you can’t have it both ways,” he said, alluding to the idea his sponsorship was not as pertinent to organizers because he wasn’t funding the festival, only providing samples.

READ MORE: Kelowna event raises thousands for Central Okanagan Food Bank

Collectively Panago Pizza, Choice Markets and Nature’s Fare Market has provided $2,000 in funding, according to Drosdovech, money in which, kept organizers from going into “their own pockets.”

“To run this event, we can’t do it without large sponsors,” said Drosdovech. “We need that money.”

The event organizer also made sure to place emphasis on the fact that Okanagan Ice Pops was a “sole” sponsor for the declaration event at City Hall on Wednesday, which in totality, they felt carried heavier weight than being a part-sponsor such as Panago Pizza, Choice Markets and Nature’s Fare Market.

“I’m trying to carve a niche in Kelowna as a small business,” said McPhee. “Now I’ve lost the time and money and the exposure. And my staff members (will) lose out on two days work.”

The Kelowna VegFest will take place May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Immaculata High School. This will be its second annual event.

READ MORE: City of Kelowna defeats short-term rentals ‘for now’


@davidvenn_
David.venn@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

$30,000 donation for outdoor classroom in Salmon Arm to honour beloved teacher

Funds from Armstrong Regional Co-op to go to the Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

New South Shuswap community park proposed for Blind Bay

Regional district proposes the purchase of 9.5 acres now known as Centennial Field

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

Salmon Arm basketball star to be inducted into national hall of fame

One of Sargent’s many achievements is holding the Olympic record for most assists for 20 years

PHOTOS: Enderby grads paint the town — and themselves

Students spray painted the street outside A.L. Fortune on June 14 to celebrate graduation

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read