Toronto Veg Food Fest + Vegan Influencer Panel - VIDEO!

Presented by the Toronto Vegetarian Association, Veg Food Fest is the largest event of its kind in North America.

This past fall, I had the wonderful opportunity to curate and moderate a Vegan Influencers Panel at Veg Food Fest. This festival is one of my favourite Toronto vegan events, and 2019 will mark it’s 35-year anniversary! Veg Food Fest is attended by 40,000 visitors at Harbourfront Centre, with over 160 vendors, and more than 40 hours of presentations, and workshops with popular speakers.

The Vegan Influencers panel discussion included a look at effective vegan advocacy strategies for social media, trends within the growing online vegan community, and a Q&A segment for audience questions at the end. I was grateful to be joined by incredibly inspiring vegan influencer panelists, who are all doing big things to help progress the vegan movement and raise awareness about animal rights issues.

Panelists included: renowned fitness expert and public speaker John Lewis AKA Bad Ass Vegan, cookbook author and YouTuber Candice Hutchings of The Edgy Veg, social media influencer and YouTuber Maddie Lymburner, vegan athlete and animal rights activist Anne-Marie Campbell of Meat Free Athlete, blogger and YouTuber Lisa Le of The Viet Vegan, and award-winning music producer ZALE.

All about the panelists:

John Lewis AKA Bad Ass Vegan, is a renowned fitness expert and public speaker. John Lewis has spent over a decade in the health and fitness industry and played Division I College basketball. John is highly passionate about not only his own health and fitness, but that of others as well… Which are evident through his motivational messages either through his international public speaking engagements or simply through his social media outlets. In addition to his extensive knowledge in body sculpting and contouring, what makes John one of the top national fitness consultants is his creative ability to understand and live a vegan lifestyle while maintaining a physique that is commendable. In essence, he is able to cater to a diverse group of individuals and his services are highly sought after as he masterfully creates and develops personalized, unique and healthy life changing plans.

Maddie Lymburner is a 22-year-old vegan, social media influencer who has a deep passion for inspiring and motivating others to move toward a plant-based & healthy lifestyle. She is dedicated to helping others discover a compassionate, active, healthy lifestyle through creating content on all her social media platforms (YouTubeInstagram, Twitter, and such as workout videos, vegan lifestyle videos, recipe videos, and her digital cookbook “What I Eat for Life”. Maddie is based in the GTA, and travels with her boyfriend Kyle to places all over the world to experience the culture, and immerse in nature, all whilst documenting it on YouTube. Maddie has spent the past 5 years committing her time to pursue her passion for plant foods, and the past 3 on social media.

Candice Hutchings is host and co-creator of The Edgy Veg, a YouTube phenomenon with over 200,000 subscribers. The Edgy Veg is a delicious vegan and vegetarian movement catering to the forward-thinking meal-creators of the often-boring veg community. Instead of salads and smoothies, Candice Hutchings chooses to re-purpose familiar favorites, by recreating childhood cravings for an audience with sophisticated palettes and food-nerd obsessions. Decadent desserts, trendy dishes, and fast food favourites-- nothing is off-limits and everything is vegan. Every recipe can be enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike–they’re Carnivore Approved! As Founder, Creator, Chef and Resident Mad Food Scientist, Candice is the brains and creativity behind The Edgy Veg. Candice develops all of the food creations and is the main on-screen YouTube talent bringing delicious vegan recipes to the world. Candice resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Anne-Marie Campbell is the Founder of the free vegan lifestyle website, which she launched in 2012, and the Creator of, an awareness apparel brand, where a portion of each sale is donated to animal charities. She is a vegan athlete & animal rights activist from Toronto, and has been a competitive athlete for over 20 years. She is a hockey player, and a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Her mission is to help people go, or stay, vegan. 

Lisa Le is the creator behind The Viet Vegan, a vegan and ethical lifestyle food blog and Youtube channel. She documents her plant-based life; sharing about delicious food, her eczema-healing journey, and mental health. Lisa always aims to advocate for veganism with an intersectional approach: creating vegan content with an environmentally-conscious, LGBTQ+ inclusive, self-critical and feminist lens.

Zale is a Grammy Nominated and Award Winning Song Writer and Producer, who advocates for the vegan lifestyle, and animal rights.  To date, Zale has produced for Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Eminem Nicki Minaj, PartyNextDoor and many other highly regarded musicians and artists. His work has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and Juno Awards. In 2015, Zale was awarded a SOCAN Award for Pop Song of the Year.

Exclusive offers mentioned in this video from local companies include:

  • Urbivore: use code "LOVE" for a FREE Upcycled Yoga Mat Strap + FREE shipping in Canada! The mat strap (valued at $14.00 USD) will automatically be included in your purchase as a gift when you apply the code at checkout. Visit the Urbivore website here!

  • Jewels By SJB - use code "LOVE" for 10% OFF your next purchase. Cruelty-free jewelry, handcrafted using genuine gemstones, sterling silver, and 14k gold. Browse the Jewels By SJB collection here!

  • BIO RAW - use code “LOVE” for 25% OFF every meal plan order you place on Vegan and Certified Organic meal delivery across the Greater Toronto Area.

Thank you to the Toronto Vegetarian Association for the opportunity to organize and host this panel, and a special thanks to all of the panelists!

Much love,


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