Medley Food and Drink Festival

 

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman giving props for Medley Food & Drink Festival

The Mayor of the City of Barrie, Jeff Lehman lakeside showing his support for the Medley Food & Drink Festival now less than a week away! See you there July 20-22 Mr. Mayor! #barrie #medleyfest #foodfestival #musiffestival #lakesimcoe

Posted by Medley Food & Drink Festival on Sunday, July 15, 2018

 

Medley is the brainchild of Phillip Moore and Jeff Atley, friends and business partners sharing 30 years of experience in marketing and hospitality. The conversation began, unsurprisingly, over a couple drinks and what was initially a thirty-minute catch-up grew into a three-hour business development. It’s clear they’re just as excited to enjoy the festival as the guests attending.

Photo Jeff Buchanan

 

The pair has created an experience targeted at small-to-medium- sized Canadian cities, opening to retailers high-earning individuals that may not typically travel to existing food and beverage festivals. Moore & Atley also want to redefine what these festivals encompass: beer and wine, sure, but also music and spectacle. They want to make a statement: ‘we’re appealing to people who are enthusiasts of food & beverage culture but want something bigger.’

Medley has partnered with award-winning Canadian chefs, Dario Tomaselli and Anita Heidema of Passion is Cooking, to include in its programming presenter masterclasses and smaller, more intimate workshops. Passion is Cooking is about bringing couples, friends, and family together through food to foster a meaningful connection and reconnection. Together, they integrate their culinary and mindset techniques to foster healthier lifestyle eating habits, better relationships, and more positive lifestyle choices. Their mantra of ‘cook & eat together to stay together’ is born of a simple mission: to encourage people to go back into the kitchen, connect with food to reignite the experience of sharing a meal, and your time, with one another.

Guests can interact with industry experts, learning how to take home cooking to higher degrees of proficiency. The festival treats cocktail preparation with the same reverence and enthusiasm as it does food, offering flare bartending events, a primer on Caesars, and a cocktail competition. It truly is a food and drink show.

Dario Tomaselli and Anita Heidema of Passion is Cooking

 

Even the way the fare is presented is unique. Organizers preserved some of the staples of food and beverage festivals, such as exhibition-style food vendors and meat-and-cheese pairings, but have done so with a Food Truck Corral-complete with 1800s-style wagons-and Charcuterie Cave, respectively. There’s absolutely no pretension here: it’s extremely accessible for both retailers and guests.

Regardless of when you arrive and how long you stay the festival is designed to allow guests to enjoy it in their own way.

It’s important to the organizers that there is an effortless flow and each guests’ experience can be unique. Lounges and other activations are strategically placed in order to facilitate the dichotomy of families and singles or couples. The former set will enjoy buskers and a kidsí zone, guests should look forward to axe throwing and car shows.

One of the festivalís signature non-edible offerings is the 20 min Chill Zone; An Air Conditioned Yurt where guests can cool down with a cocktail to escape the heat for up to 20 minutes that usually accompanies Canada’s July weather. Guests will also have access to one of the largest private collection of antique wooden boats in Ontario being displayed by Heritage Boats. These, in addition to the lakeside venues and other not-so-subtleties like Muskoka Chairs, cuts to the heart of what organizers believe to be Canadians’ fondest memories of Summer: an eagerness to enjoy the natural beauty of this country.

Medley Food and Drink Festival is an opportunity for markets to showcase local producers-distilleries, vineyards, and restaurants chief among them-but also national ones. This means guests can get reacquainted with products and services offered by their neighbours and also get to know companies that have traditionally operated outside their borders.

Executive Chef Ryan at Urban Dish is serving it up for Medley Food & Drink Festival

There are incredible Chefs coming to Medley Food & Drink Festival and bringing their amazing skills and passion for food and drink with them for all of us to enjoy some tasty times! #medleyfest #urbandish #foodie #foodfestival #celebritychef #barrie

Posted by Medley Food & Drink Festival on Monday, July 16, 2018

 

It’s a matter of broadening guest’s horizons. “We want to keep our network diverse-a good balance of big and small vendors.”

Though Moore and Atley are principally responsible for the festival’s being, they have abstained from managing vendors’ directives. According to the pair, their clients already have great ideas-brands just need a big enough platform to make them happen. In fact, Medley and its clients have a symbiotic relationships-each has grown the other into something bigger, more spectacular.  Medley Food and Drink Festival will be the new forbearer of Canadian Summers, signaling throughout markets across the country that it’s time to embrace what unites us: our rich and varied landscapes, our indomitable cuisine and libations, and our family and friends. To purchase tickets, or to become a partner, visit medleyfestival.com

 

By Kolter Bouchard

 

Medley Fest Vendors:

Cravings

Wood Fired Pizza Pie Joint

Burger Royale

Urban Dish

duBreton

Donaleigh’s

Eva’s Original Chimneys

Smoke’s Poutinerie

D&D Meats

147

Cool Runnings

Dr. Oetker

Green Mango Tree Thai Fusion

Happy Twist

The Italian Bakery

Mustache Burger

Flaxy

Just Nuts MYLK

Sizzle Sauce

Crooked Tree Fine Foods

North Shore Pies

Southern Sundayz

Stonetown Artisan Cheese

St. Louis Bar & Grill

Taste of Xinjiang

The Pop Stand

Zhong’s BBQ Squid

ESKA Spring Water

Hill Street Beverage

Heritage Estate Winery & Cidery

Redline Brew House

Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling

Georgian Bay Spirit Co.

Clear Lake Brewing

McClelland Premium Beers

Bacardi Limited

Black Fly Beverages

Crafty Elk

The Flying Monkeys Brewery

Hitch Hiker Beverage Company

Kavi Whisky

Muskoka Lakes Winery

Muskoka Brewery

Reif Estate Winery

Rheault Distillery

SoCIAL LITE Vodka

Willow Springs Winery

Market Brewing Co.

Smash House Clothing

Barrie Boat Show

Christmas Cheer

Tangle Creek Golf

Moksha Yoga Barrie

Renewal by Anderson

Ripe Juicery

Wireless Wave

LA Fitness