Combining great food and wine with the confines of a small film festival has proven to be a recipe for success.
The world’s largest culinary film festival, called Devour!, is set to return to Osoyoos for the second consecutive year and ticket packages are now on sale.
Last year’s festival was offered by management at the Watermark Beach Resort and this year the resort has teamed up with Destination Osoyoos, the town’s tourism marketing and economic development agency, to offer an expanded weekend of short films, fine food and great wine, said DO executive director Kelley Glazer.
The original Devour! Festival was organized in Wolfville, Nova Scotia five years ago and now attracts more than 11,000 visitors over five days, said Glazer.
“It’s an incredible event,” she said. “It’s going to take us some time to get to that level, but we’re very excited about our second event here in Osoyoos.
“The Devour! brand is now being franchised across the country … with each region adding its own unique touches and we’re looking forward to putting our own South Okanagan focus and making it spectacular.”
This year’s festival will take place from May 5 – 7 and Devour! Osoyoos will feature a diverse mix of culinary events at restaurants and wineries throughout the region paired with a selection of special festival-exclusive hotel rates and packages.
The event was created by Chef Michael Howell in Nova Scotia and business partner and film industry veteran Lia Rinaldo as a celebration of cinema, food and wine culture.
Ingrid Jarrett, general manager of the Watermark Beach Resort, is excited about the event.
“As founding partner of Devour! Osoyoos, we recognize the importance of showcasing the overall destination as well as our incredible local culinary scene,” said Jarrett. “It was an absolute honour to host the inaugural event at Watermark in 2016 and we are so excited to be a part of the festival’s continued expansion this year.”
Howell said he is very much looking forward to returning to Osoyoos in early May.
“The first Devour! at Watermark Beach Resort was a huge success, and we are thrilled that this year’s festival has grown to incorporate the surrounding area,” he said. “The South Okanagan is one of the top food and wine destinations in the country, and provides the perfect backdrop for celebrating Canada’s excellent culinary and film offerings.”
Devour! Osoyoos will highlight the South Okanagan’s spectacular food and wine scene, offering guests an opportunity to enjoy creative food and drink selections from celebrated local and visiting culinary talent, said Glazer.
Top events include a film-inspired gala dinner featuring leading B.C. chefs, tasting tours, cooking demonstrations, a champagne brunch, cocktail reception, and more.
In addition to artsy attractions, festival-goers can also soak up the stunning surroundings of the lakeside destination at various properties by taking advantage of special Devour! Osoyoos packages and rates that are now on sale.
“Devour! is another example of community collaboration in Osoyoos where businesses come together to elevate festival experiences, year after year,” said Glazer. “Destination Osoyoos and its tourism and hospitality partners look forward to showcasing Devour! to locals and visitors who love the South Okanagan as much as they love food and film.”
The target market for Devour! is Vancouver and the Lower Mainland as well as Calgary and Edmonton, but she also expects many people from Penticton and Kelowna to attend as well, she said.
Glazer is confident Devour! Osoyoos will be a great success this year.
For more information and to book hotel and resort packages, go online and visit www.destinationosoyoos.com/devour-osoyoos.