(written May 15, uploaded July 30)
I’d outlined a piece tentatively titled “Douglas, Deng and Diocletian” as I cycled to Vancouver’s new convention centre along the largely-empty downtown bike lanes. ;) But alas, attending the Epic Vancouver “green consumerism” show threw those plans off-kilter. Musings about historical figures are “evergreen” projects — they can be written up any time — but event-driven patter has a best-before date. (Which I am gleefully violating here, with a two-month-old upload. :) )
I was surprised that Cadbury didn’t have a booth at the conference; they were the first major confectioner to switch a major product line to all-fair trade chocolate a few years back (their flagship “Dairymilk” bars) and you’d figure they’d want to make sure everyone knew it. Heck, according to the Tommy Douglas bio I just finished, our Greatest Canadian hired one of the Cadbury heirs to help set up government-run enterprises (insurance, bus services) to help improve Saskatchewan’s finances so the province could finally move ahead with universal healthcare in 1962. Being able to tie the Cadbury name to Canadians’ most treasured institution, would seem like a marketer’s dream…!
The Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association had a century-old electric vehicle on display (model year 1912). I was shocked (ha) to see steering was accomplished with a bunch of levers — like a modern military tank. I guess the automotive Steve Jobs hadn’t yet reinvented the human-car interface with the steering wheel. (“We think this steering-wheel thing is going to be big — it’s insanely great!!“)
As is typical of these trade shows, the headline sponsors were environmentally-conscientious corporate behemoths, but the exhibitor mix went well into the “granola” spectrum. ;) One of these was the raw food society of BC, who seemed a pleasant if misguided bunch. Which isn’t to imply that the rest of us aren’t misguided — we surely are, just in a more mainstream way. ;)