Some things in life are meant to be celebrated, and Pete Paradis said he thinks chocolate is one them.
Paradis, the founder of GreenSudbury, is organizing the city's first annual Sudbury Chocolate and Confections Show, Le Salon de Chocolat.
“Who doesn't love chocolate?” Paradis asked.
All things chocolate will be brought into the limelight at the festival, scheduled for Oct. 30 at the YMCA Older Adult Centre.
From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., the show will feature a long list of tasty treats that really aren't so bad for you.
“Chocolate is taking off as a health food,” Paradis said, adding that research has shown that chocolate is an antioxidant and can be used to help fight cancer and hypertension. "People are looking for healthy ways to take care of themselves." A number of chocolate experts will be on hand with their creations, ranging from gluten-free and dairy-free goodies to award-winning desserts.
David Castellan, a former Greater Sudbury resident and one of North America's “top artisan chocolatiers,” will headline the show with products from his Toronto-based chocolate and gelato shop, SOMA.
Though the show will be on intermission between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., people can drop in as many vendors will be still be on scene, and some evening vendors will be setting up, Paradis said.
While promoting the physically beneficial aspects of chocolate, the day-long festival will also look at where the snack comes from — which is not always a good place.
From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., chocoholics are invited to the Canadian premiere of The Dark Side of Chocolate. Paradis said the film is “an undercover investigation of child-slavery in the cocoa industry.”
After the film, guests will also be treated to a “fair trade fondue” and be given “reserve trick-or-treat” kits, which includes information about responsible chocolate manufacturing.
The Dark Side of Chocolate was produced by Danish journalist Miki Mistrati, who was investigating the use of child labour and trafficked children in chocolate production.
According to the film's website, his investigation took him to Africa, where children as young as seven work in plantations, undertaking the dangerous jobs of cutting down cocoa and carrying heavy loads. Most are trafficked children and aren't paid.
Tickets to the daytime portion of the Sudbury Chocolate and Confections Show cost $2. Free tickets are also available to people who purchase chocolate items from Cambrian College’s Fontaine Bleu, Tin Can Alley, Regency Bakery, YMCA Harmony Café, Walrus Underground, Fromagerie Elgin, Boulangerie on Elgin, Village International Sudbury, Little Montreal, Old Rock Café, Body Worxs, Bitter Bill's Ice Cream Parlour, Contact InterCultural and Northern Flavours.
Tickets to Free Trade Fondue and Film cost $20 and can be purchased at Black Cat, online at www.ticketleap.com or by phoning GreenSudbury at 705-521-2636. The ticket includes access to the daytime portion of the show.
NorthernLife.ca is giving away two tickets to Free Trade Fondue and Film. To find out how to win, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NorthernLife.ca.