If you’ve attended festivals and other events on the North Island in recent years, you may have enjoyed a delicious, healthy salmon meal served up by local community volunteers with the help of Mowi’s salmon barbecue team.
Non-profit groups use the salmon barbecue fundraisers to help provide much-needed services in the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port Hardy, Port McNeill and beyond.
It’s a valuable opportunity that since 2011 has raised over $193,000 for dozens of organizations, says Cori Wheeler, a Red Seal Chef and event co-ordinator for Mowi Canada West. As a way to support communities and give back, the long-established North Island aquaculture company built a “grab-and-go” trailer complete with two large grills, tent, refrigeration, sinks, prep and serving areas. One hundred per cent of event proceeds go directly to the host group.
“Originally we supported causes near and dear to our employees, but we quickly began receiving enough requests that we needed to implement an application process,” Wheeler says. “Now, having criteria for groups that apply helps us go where we’re most effective.”
Application process open now for 2020
From Canada Day celebrations in downtown Campbell River to Snow to Surf in the Comox Valley and FILOMI Days in Port Hardy, upwards of 500 succulent pieces of fresh farmed Atlantic salmon are grilled for hungry visitors, Wheeler says. That kind of effectiveness offers a great way for groups to raise funds, and by helping out as servers, a chance to boost their community profile.
Applications to host the Mowi salmon barbecue event trailer are open now. The deadline is March 6, but Wheeler encourages groups to apply soon. “They don’t have to be registered charities, they can be any kind of charity or society, from sports associations or groups that culturally enrich our communities, to local firefighters charities.”
Serving up healthy meal options
Mouth-watering, teriyaki-marinated grilled salmon burgers are just one healthy food option offered. Wheeler and the Mowi team have created everything from salmon noodle salads to soft fish tacos and taco salads. “People are looking for healthy alternatives, reducing carbs or going gluten-free, so we like to offer a couple of options.” The barbecue trailer is often the lone protein vendor at an event, which helps each community group raise as much money as possible, she says.
Check your calendar
The Mowi trailer operates between April and mid-September. Wheeler says they’ve done as many as 23 events in one season, so there’s lots of room to fit your event in. “We commit to certain events in that time frame, but we’re always open to looking at new groups that need financial support,” she says.
Mowi Canada West is a member of the BC Salmon Farmers Association and one of the largest salmon aquaculture companies on the Island. To learn more about them, visit mowi.com/caw or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.