Halal Food Fest Toronto, the largest halal food festival in North America, returns for its sixth consecutive year between Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15, 2018 at the International Centre in Mississauga. With over 200 of the Toronto’s top halal restaurants, bakeries, manufacturers, specialty stores and artisan vendors, this year’s guests are in for a diverse range of flavours from around the world all under one roof, all halal.
Exhibitors are looking forward to getting their delicious creations into the hands of hungry guests. Unique menu items being served up this year include Fusion Bihari Kebab Pizza from Fusion Bites, Afghan Dumplings from Halal Fine Foods, Hand Pulled Noodles from Orient Express, Kunafa from Kunafa’s and Butter Chicken Poutine from BBQ Bros.
This year’s show expects to attract over 35,000 visitors from around the GTA and across the border. “The Muslim population in Canada is the fastest-growing religious group and the needs of this market continue to grow,” says Faizal Kagdi and Salima Jivraj, co-founders of Halal Food Festival Toronto. “Foodies, Muslim or not, are always excited to attend each year to see what new things they can try during the two-day festival.”
According to most recent Statistics Canada data, it is estimated that the country’s Muslim population currently sits at 1.4 million and is projected to exceed the size of Canada’s 1.6 million Chinese population by 2021. As this niche community grows, the food sector will need to work strategically to fill in the growing gap. Walking through this year’s Halal Food Festival will share a glimpse of the multicultural community while giving insight into the industry, sourcing and halal education.
This year’s opening ceremony will be hosted by Mark Strong, in-arena host for the Toronto Raptors on Saturday July 14 at 3 p.m. on the Redpath Stage. Keep an eye out for an insightful session from Halal Monitoring Authority (HMA) Canada on the value and importance of halal certification. Cake Walk is an annual cake decorating competition, and this year’s panel of judges include MasterChef Canada finalist Reem Ahmed and Michigan-based MasterChef contestant Amanda Saab.
The festival also features a 14,000 square foot Kids Zone included with admission, a baby lounge for families with young children, a dedicated shopping bazaar, and lots of free parking. The festival is dedicated to creating a fun-filled, family-friendly environment for all attendees to enjoy. With so much of the Muslim community being made up by larger and younger families, events like this make it possible for all ages to have a good time.
This year’s title sponsor for the festival, Sufra, an HMA-certified halal brand, will be hosting a children’s cooking class featuring Sufra products as well as providing complimentary food samples.
Launches this year will include Carne Jerky Co. with their new brand of halal, made in Canada Angus beef jerky and Centrale Bergham is making its first Ontario appearance with their quick-service franchise based out of Quebec. Redpath Sugar will host the main stage, complimented by a fully-designed IKEA kitchen for demonstrations. HFFTO is funded in part by the Government of Ontario.
*As projected by Stats Canada via alternative religious mobility
Date: Saturday, July 14 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday, July 15 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: The International Centre, Entrance 5, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga
Tickets: $5 each, ages 4 and older. Sample tickets available for purchase at event are $10 for 20 tickets.
SOURCE Halal Food Festival Toronto