We are delighted to have Team vanRahan (Catherine Hanrahan and Ben VanVeen) as the 2018 Peterbough VegFest emcees!   

With extensive experience in radio, television, emceeing and public speaking, , Catherine Hanrahan and Ben vanVeen are now full time Realtors at Century 21 United Realty, and together make up Team vanRahan. They are also part time hobby farmers and are enjoying learning how to make the land work for them at vanRahan Acres outside Havelock.

You can find them online at, and FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter at @TeamVanRahan.




11:30 – 12:00 The Seasoned Spoon Presents: “Farm-to-Table Food Demo: End of Summer Cantaloupe Salsa”

12:30 – 1:00 “What a Fish Knows” with Jonathan Balcombe

Jonathan Balcombe has a PhD in ethology, the study of animal behavior. He is the author of four popular books on animals: What a Fish Knows (a New York Times best-seller), The Exultant Ark, Second Nature, and Pleasurable Kingdom. He is currently working on a book about flies, to be published by Penguin in 2020. Balcombe has also published over 60 scientific papers and book chapters on animal behavior and animal protection. He currently serves as Associate Editor for The Editorial Department, and for the journal Animal Sentience. He also teaches an online course in animal sentience for the Viridis Graduate Institute. In his spare time Jonathan enjoys biking, baking, birding, Bach, and trying to understand the neighborhood squirrels.

In this dynamic, illustrated presentation, Balcombe combines science with story-telling to explore the colorful lives of the most diverse group of vertebrates on Earth. Balcombe explores fish perceptions, cognition, emotion, social behavior, and cooperation, and wraps it in the context of our evolving relationship to fishes and their vital aquatic habitats.

For more information, visit his website, Twitter and Facebook, as well as the “What a Fish Knows” Facebook page.  

1:30 – 2:00 “Raising Vegan Kids” – Panel discussion/Q&A – Facilitated by Paul Elliott

2:30 – 3:00 “Fuss-Free Vegan Cooking” with Sam Turnbull

Join Sam in her energetic kitchen where she will demonstrate recipes from her new cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan. Vegan food doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive. Sam makes vegan cooking simple using easy to find ingredients to create drool-worthy recipes that will become your new go-to’s. Free food samples! Books will be available for purchase with a book signing at the end of the demonstration.

Sam Turnbull is the creative voice and vision behind the popular blog, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken, which receives 1 million pageviews monthly. She is the author of the
cookbook Fuss-Free Vegan which has over 200 5-star reviews on And Sam is also a new YouTuber, inviting her fans into her kitchen for the first time.  Follow Sam on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Growing up in a family of foodies, chefs, butchers, and hunters, (yep, it’s true), Sam was determined to prove that vegan cooking didn’t have to be weird, expensive, complicated, or limiting. Sam focuses on making her recipes quick and easy to prepare, using easy-to-find ingredients to make dishes that appeal to all whether you are vegan or not. Comfort foods favourites veganized- super satisfying, and total droolworthy, you won’t miss a thing when cooking vegan with Sam Turnbull.

3:30 – 4:00 “Getting Jacked on the Beanstalk” with Sam Shorkey

Samantha Shorkey is the first-ever VEGAN World Naturals bikini pro, author, blogger and podcast host of “Jacked on the Beanstalk” and coach to the winner of’s $200K 12-Week Transformation Challenge in 2015, beating out 345,000 other contestants worldwide.

Since launching “Jacked on the Beanstalk” in 2013, Sam has been blazing trails and breaking stereotypes in the competitive bodybuilding world proving just how possible it is to get JACKED ON THE BEANSTALK.

Check out Sam’s blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


4:30 – 5:00 “Learning and uplifting in sanctuary: From liberation to animal-personhood” with Yan & Sherry of Piebird Farm Sanctuary

Join Sherry and Yan of Piebird Farm Sanctuary for a conversation about sanctuary, as they explore what they have learned about love and liberation from some of the animal-friends who share life as an interspecies community.

Piebird is a farm sanctuary and vegan agri-tourism destination in Nipissing, Ontario, that just celebrated 13 years of “peacefully powered animal liberation.” The sanctuary, as an interspecies community, is currently taking the next steps and growing into Peacebird Vegan EcoVillage & Animal-Liberation Cooperative.



12:00 – 12:30 Catfish Willie

Catfish Willie has been entertaining audiences both young & old for over four decades with his light & lively repertoire of folk, jazz & country swing tunes.  Fun for the whole family.





1:00 – 1:30 Little Rapids

Little Rapids is the folk project of Toronto born musician Chantelle Pydyn. Little Rapids gets their inspiration from their time alone in nature and tries to convey a part of those experiences to others with their music. When they aren’t playing music they spend their time facilitating kids nature connection programs.They are currently living in Peterborough Ontario.


2:00 – 2:30 St. Homer

Psychedelic-jam-folk singer Scott Somerville, under the moniker St. Homer, is a simple man with a guitar, a rotary pedal, some songs and stories, and a deep love for music. Carrying on the spirit and traditions of the Grateful Dead and Pete Seeger, St. Homer offers that collective experience of bliss only music can provide.




3:00 – 3:30 Scarlett Grace

Scarlett Grace has been writing music for the past 15 years and performing for the last 5 years, covering almost every venue in the region and gaining a steady social media presence. She has over a quarter of a million views on Youtube. She has two EPs under her belt and is currently recording her first full length album. Scarlett’s original sound was a darker infusion of heavy guitars and rock background but the artist has since warmed more to the pop genre and her new material will see a more electronic and upbeat sound.


4:00 – 4:30 Mary-Kate Edwards

Mary-Kate Edwards is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario. The child of a piano teacher and storyteller, the marriage of storytelling and music is instinctual to her. Her music is dynamic and emotional, striving to write about feelings difficult to describe. Mary-Kate released her debut EP, Blueberry Pie in March 2017, it is available on Itunes, Spotify and more.