Get ready, earthworms – London’s second annual Earthfest is coming back Downtown for Earth Day on Saturday, April 22! Heenal Rajani, co-founder of Reimagine Co. and one of the organizers of London’s Earthfest, delves into the local festival and what attendees can expect to find.

Promotional graphic for Earthfest 2023. Photo courtesy of Earthfest.

Quick History Lesson

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 in the United States. Environmental activists, students, and politicians came together to bring attention to the deteriorating health of the environment. By 1990, the day was commemorated internationally, with 141 countries (including Canada) participating in the movement. 

“The reality is that London has a lot of great environmental organizations doing great work, and yet not everyone is aware of them.”

Along with a group of environmental leaders from different London organizations, Rajani saw an opportunity to make something more of Earth Day. They wanted to celebrate the efforts from London’s environmental groups – and there is a lot to celebrate. Rajani thinks it is important to start by focusing on our strengths, rather than what we are lacking. “People don’t want to see something miserable,” Rajani explains. Hence why this year’s theme is “Celebrating London’s Environmental Community.”

Several attendees enjoying Earthfest activities in 2022. Photo courtesy of Earthfest.

Last year, the festival had a successful debut with about 600 people passing through. When asked about his favourite memory from the event, Rajani recalls the face paint set-up. Although face painting is typically targeted towards children, lots of people had fun with it – including his mother! Luckily, there will be face painting again this year, so be sure to check it out (and bring your parents along). Like with the face painting, Rajani explains that many of last year’s activities will be included in this year’s festival. However, it will be at a much larger scale this time around, hence the multiple locations.

“We separated it out a bit. We got speakers in one spot, the music in another spot – people kind of choose their own adventure. “

Earthfest 2022 attendees at an information booth. Photo courtesy of Earthfest.

There are many different ways that Earthfest 2023 will highlight the success from London’s environmental community, as well as educate attendees on how to get involved. For starters, the festival has three Downtown locations, all with unique and engaging activities for folks to enjoy. Rajani provides an overview of what each spot will offer: 

Dundas Place

Home to many great outdoor events and festivals, Dundas Place will be the outdoor spot for Earthfest this year. Activities include (but are not limited to) free tree giveaways, giant games, face painting, and live DJs in the afternoon.

Central Library

If you walk a bit further down the road to the Central Library, you will find some more Earthfest fun. Attendees can expect to see Reimagine’s Repair Café, an arts and craft zone with seed paper making and collage making, a live arts demo, musical acts, a kids’ zone, and a speaker’s stage.

Citi Plaza

Last but not least, Citi Plaza will have lots of engaging education opportunities for folks. There will be different learning zones set up, such as one for climate action, water, nature, gardens, local food, recycling, and climate solutions. On top of that, there will be a Water Ceremony that will take place here.

Whether you are able to make it for the full day or just half an hour, Rajani encourages folks to make their way over to show support. For those that cannot attend at all, sharing the word on social media is a great way to help, too! You can do so on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you’re interested in volunteering for Earthfest, please fill out the application form here.

Chalk drawing from Earthfest 2022 with the quote: “The Earth is what we all have in common.” Photo courtesy of Earthfest.

Pay it forward: Rajani’s favourite Downtown businesses

“One place I’ve been to a lot is Udupi Krishna,” Rajani answers. “I love that place. And I want to give a shoutout to Innovation Works. They just opened up Sidetrack Café which is super cool. I love Sidetrack in Wortley, and I love that it’s here Downtown now.”

Check back soon for the next blog post. Thank you for continuing to support the London community.