When it launched in 2011, The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival was the first city-wide festival of its kind in the world. This January it returns for its 7th year, bigger and better than ever, with Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes, gelato and ice cream makers coming together to make the humble hot chocolate hotter than it has ever been before.
We invite you to use this new website to read about our vendor participants, download walking maps to discover the exciting flavours featured at their various venues, and to enter our social media contest. In the damp and gloomy days of our Westcoast winter, you’ll find our motto to be true: “Chocolate Makes You Happy!”
This Festival is a fundraiser for the Downtown Eastside women’s job training
program of the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters.
East Van Roasters was designed to provide training and employment to the women residents of the Rainier Hotel. Until it lost its funding in January of 2013, the Rainer operated a small but radical new approach to treating addiction for marginalized women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It offered full spectrum programming, reflecting ‘best practices’ in addictions treatment for women with mental health diagnosis and substance dependency.
Before coming to the Rainier nearly all residents reported attempting treatment in other programs with little or no success. In the Rainier’s comprehensive treatment program, over 130 women made achievements in recovery and many say it saved their lives.
“At East Van Roasters, we employ women from the Rainier. We help them get back into the work force, gain confidence, build their skill sets, and enjoy working in a supportive, dignified, and positive environment. Over time and through the success of the café, we hope to return funding to the Rainier’s ground-breaking program and to be able to train and employ more of its residents.”