25 July, 2017

Vancouver International Soccer Festival – A Fair Trade Event

by James Milligan and Ian Brown

The 13th annual Vancouver International Soccer Festival took place July 7-9. A designated Fair Trade Event since 2013, and the only ongoing Fair Trade sporting event in Canada, the VISF is a great example of collaboration between Fairtrade Canada licensees and Fair Trade Programs. 

VISFOrganised by a dedicated staff and volunteer team, the VISF is primarily supported by James Milligan of Volo Athletics and by many other licensees, including Camino, Discovery Organics, Ethical Bean, Traditional Medicinals and Tubify, as well as many other national and local community sponsors. After several years at the event the players have become used to seeing and consuming Fairtrade certified products and it wouldn't be the same without them there.

As for the tournament itself, this year’s highlight was the participation of the Tibet Women’s Soccer Team who competed as special guests and Ambassadors of Peace. This is the first Tibetan women’s team of any sport to compete internationally. Tibet Women’s Soccer Team and VISF received significant media attention, including CBC, and many other Canadian and International broadcasters.  

Other participants included Team Syria, Team U.S.A, First Nations Teams, Canadian Law Enforcement teams, Peace Officer Team, hundreds of International, national, diverse players from across Metro Vancouver, Alberta and Ontario, as well as international participants from ESL Schools.

In addition to creating an awesome free admission inclusive event, the event raised significant funds to pay for team Tibet’s living expenses in Vancouver. The VISF also created awareness about three additional worthy causes: Cops For Cancer, Canadian Blood Services, and the East Vancouver Newcomer Camp.

Please visit www.oneteamunited.ca/media.php to read inspiring stories about the 2017 VISF, and visit their Facebook page to see dozens of images from the weekend. 

VISF is already excited about 2018 VISF coinciding with the 2018 World Cup in Russia!

Photos by Julian Fok.