Northwestern Ontarians are at the low end of the provincial spectrum when it comes to their health.
The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is attempting to turn things around this spring, introducing Life Fest, a two-day health and wellness event to be held May 4 and 5 at the Sportsdome.
Show organizer Nancy Milani said Life Fest will include exhibitors from five key areas, including the Health Hut, Lifestyle Lane, Pet Park, Family Fair and Artisans Alley.
“There’s a real focus on families. Lots of interactive health professionals will be here. You can come in and ask an expert. There’s lots of information, it’s a wealth of information,” Milani said. “What we’re trying to do, really our end goal, is to create a healthier community.”
Life Fest builds on a smaller health and wellness show the Chamber has run in previous years, but Milani said now was the time to expand and make it a weekend affair.
First it fills a gap for Chamber members, she said, and the growing health field in the city and surrounding region.
“We also know from surveys done within the health community obesity is growing in children, as is diabetes, and there’s a number of things in our region. We have a very high rate of cancer. So we figure if we can educate and inspire people, we can help the community at large.”
The Health Hut, for example, will feature an advice-offering expert, a professional in the health field who will take questions and several interactive demos with other health experts.
Lifestyle Lane, on the other hand, will provide event attendees with an opportunity to get tips on changing careers, finance and will also include exhibitors in the fashion, travel, recreational activity and culinary fields.
Family Fair gathers together sports clubs and summer-camp sign-ups, maternity planning and will feature a baby contest and games for kids.
Chamber president Harold Wilson said they’re always looking to do things better. Life Fest is a perfect example of them taking an idea that had limited success, and trying to build it into something bigger and more appealing to the general public.
“We know the exhibitors were happy, but they always want to see more traffic, want to see more of the Chamber experience, if you will,” Wilson said.
“Ideas were coming in from all over the place, different things people wanted to see. But they all had this common theme. So that’s what we were really excited about … We’re excited because it meets a lot of the demand that’s out there, but also we’ll be able to incorporate a lot of our Chamber members, those exhibitors,” Wilson said.
“They’ve got a lot of things to talk about. There’s a lot of new things out there and this becomes that opportunity for them, in a very focused way, to present to the folks coming in. They’ll have a pretty good idea what they’re getting, but there always going to be some great surprises.”
Admission will be $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children 12 and under are admitted for free.
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