Founded in 1945, the Toronto Vegetarian Association is Toronto’s go to resource for all things veg.

 

TVA Executive Director David AlexanderDavid Alexander
Executive Director
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As Executive Director, David works to strengthen the Toronto Vegetarian Association (TVA) so we can inspire people to choose a healthier, greener, more compassionate lifestyle through plant-based eating.

Since joining the Toronto Vegetarian Association in 2006, David has worked with TVA’s passionate volunteers and talented staff to introduce creative new projects such as the Tofu Haiku poetry contest, Veggielicious, the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-off, and more. David’s work enabled the association to meet the goals of a three-year Trillium Foundation grant for volunteer program development and has led the organization to be recognized as a finalist for a Green Toronto Award for Environmental Awareness in 2011. In 2014, he led TVA’s work with Leo Burnett Toronto to rebrand the Veg Food Fest. Under David’s leadership, the Veg Food Fest has cemented its reputation as the largest and most innovative vegetarian festival in North America.

David is a leading expert on all things veg in the GTA. He has given public presentations and interviews with media including The Toronto Star, CBC Radio, CTV, and Global TV on the health and environmental benefits of vegetarian eating, how to transition to a vegetarian diet, Meatless Mondays, and Toronto’s vegetarian business community. He has written about Toronto’s vegetarians in The Edible City, presented to the Culinary Historians of Canada, and curated a VegTOpia retrospective exhibit at Toronto’s 30th Annual Veg Food Fest in 2014.

Prior to joining the Toronto Vegetarian Association, David graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University where he helped to found the Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group. He enjoys dad jokes, poetry, and Hockey Night in Canada.

 

 

Barbi Lazarus
Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator
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As Donor and Volunteer Resources Coordinator, Barbi is responsible for maintaining and enhancing communications and relations with TVA’s dedicated donors and volunteers. In this role, she edits TVA’s electronic newsletter, eLifelinesand leads the TVA Volunteer Appreciation Team. She is also responsible for ensuring the efficient day-to-day operation of the TVA office, always keeping everything, and everyone organized and up to date.

Barbi graduated from York University, where she helped the York Animal Rights Group to introduce a Vegetarian and Vegan Directory for the Keele Campus. She has served as a dedicated member of community groups in her hometown of Thornhill, such as the Pomona Mills Park Conservationists the Thornhill Historic Society and the Markham Animal Care Committee. She currently leads the TVA social group, Vegetarians of High Park and is the rescue coordinator for Helping Homeless Pets, a coalition of rescue groups across Ontario and Quebec.

Having worked as a Resource Centre Assistant for York University’s geography department, a Library Assistant for the Ministry of the Environment, and a receptionist at the Zodiac Swim School and Family Centre, she brings to the TVA a strong sense for organization, and a desire to please and assist others.

 

Emily Thompson
Festival and Events Coordinator
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As Festival & Events Coordinator, Emily’s primary role is to oversee the coordination of Toronto Vegetarian Association events including the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off, Veggielicious, and the Veg Food Fest.

Emily studied Global Development and Sociology at Queen’s University where she focused the majority of her studies and advocacy initiatives on the food industry, environmental sustainability and social inequalities. Her passion for travel has led her to many places, including the Netherlands where she worked with the Cities Foundation to promote sustainable food transportation by connecting local businesses to the Amsterdam Food Centre with solar powered e-trikes. She returned to Toronto at the end of 2015 to work with Real Food for Real Kids cultivating healthy eating habits among future generatons.

Emily has explored plant-based living in many cities across the world. She has spent the past year in Toronto indulging in the vegan food scene and networking with likeminded individuals to promote the benefits of a vegan diet. Plant-based living has enhanced all aspects of her life: nourishing her yoga practice and half-marathons, cooking for family and friends, and aligning with her role as an environmentalist. Emily is excited to bring her enthusiasm for all things veg to the TVA community!

Kaylah Krajnc
Veg Food Fest Assistant
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As Veg Food Fest Assistant, Kaylah supports the Festival & Events Coordinator in planning and executing the 2017 Veg Food Fest. In this role, she will assist with event logistics and building relationships with new and existing vendors for the festival.

Kaylah studied Psychology and Conservation Biology at the University of Toronto (UofT), with a deep interest in the psychology behind behaviour change in environmental and animal advocacy. This interest led to a key role in starting the first UofT Veg Club. Realizing how much she enjoyed her position as President of the Veg Club, she explored leadership opportunities outside of the university and is now coordinating the 2017 Toronto Veggie Parade and chairing TVA’s Veggie Challenge Committee. One of her favourite things – volunteer management – is woven into all of her roles, as she loves guiding and supporting teams to achieve communal learning and growth.

Kaylah is excited to help plan this year’s Veg Food Fest because she enjoys event planning, and really enjoys guiding and encouraging people to adopt a veg lifestyle. She looks forward to planning a festival that will impact others as positively as it has impacted her!

In her spare time you can find Kaylah in fitness or dance classes, Zumba-ing, or reading with a cup of tea.