The founder of the Wellness Show, Jeannette Savard, can only marvel over what an institution her annual event has become.
On February 2 and 3, she will celebrate its 27th anniversary at the Vancouver Convention Centre with 250 exhibitors and almost 100 presentations on five stages.
More than 20,000 people are expected to attend.
“In the first year, I think I had about 80 exhibitors,” Savard recalled in a phone interview with the Georgia Straight. “I had experienced working with different trade shows. I thought it would be a fine idea to have all of this under one roof.”
Some of the city’s most celebrated chefs—including Hidekazu Tojo (Tojo’s), Clement Chan (Torafuku), and David Mueller (Bauhaus)—will share their expertise on the cooking stage.
There will also be a presentation by Naz Deravian, author of Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories.
The fitness stage will feature everything from yoga to Pilates to high-intensity interval training.
On the living-well stage, there will be discussions about women and heart disease, stress reduction, allergies and chronic disease, the effects of collagen, and pharmacogenetics, among other topics.
‘’The whole purpose of the show is to come and try and sample and learn and figure out what you like and don’t like—and what you want to incorporate into your own lifestyle,” Savard said.
There’s also a stage focused on healthy families that offers eight free 75-minute massages, courtesy of the Vancouver College of Massage Therapy.
Another stage focused on women and wellness features a presentation on how mindfulness can cultivate sexual desire. It’s offered by UBC professor and internationally recognized sexuality expert Lori Brotto.
There’s even a table-tennis area and a Bodhi meditation garden.
And for the canna curious, there are opportunities to learn more about cannabis and health.
On the living-well stage, the founder of the Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc., Terry Roycroft, will offer a session comparing opioids to cannabis. And on the women and wellness stage, Aurora Cannabis’s director of regulatory affairs, Annaliese Kibler, will speak about women and cannabis.
For the fifth consecutive year, Nesters Market is hosting an organic marketplace at the Wellness Show. If you love freebies, this is a must-see destination.
“There will be many products for people to sample,” Savard said. “Nesters actually doesn’t sell on-site, but there will be lots of deals if people want to buy them in-store.”
Prizes include two-night wellness retreats at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise resort and at the Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler. Two-night packages will also be given away at the Long Beach Lodge Resort, the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa, and the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort.