Partner Up: Announcing the Pairings!

Oh, heck yes. Guacamule is getting hungry just looking at all the menu options our vendors have queued up for Virtual Tacofest! With a choice of meat or vegetarian options for all vendors, there is a taco kit calling your name. (Or maybe all of them are… guess you will just have to choose!)

Compare the menus for each here:

Tacofarm + Short Finger Brewing

Proof Kitchen + Wellington Brewery

The Bruce Craft House + Jackass Brewing

Bingemans @Home + TWB Co-Op

Graffiti Market + Stockyards Brewing

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Waterloo Region Record!

 

Wait… is that a hype post about Tacofest… IN PRINT? Oh yeah, you know it. If you have been picking up your local Waterloo Region Record over the past few days, you’ve found us in there, and for good reason: The Record is the media sponsor for Tacofest 2021!

Outside of their vital role in giving you the daily scoop in the tri-cities and townships, The Record welcomes the opportunity to “develop partnerships that will contribute to the betterment of our community and promote public engagement, charitable fundraising, and social innovation.”

Betterment of our community? That’s why Tacofest supports Community Support Connections. Charitable fundraising? That’s what Tacofest is! Social innovation? Hey, it’s not everyday you get so many delicious tacos and brews together in one place!

Sponsor Spotlight: Westmount Signs!

Need a sign that Tacofest 2021 is in good hands? How about that our print sponsor is Westmount Signs & Printing! Digital printing, interior and exterior signage, vehicle graphics – Westmount is a local leader in the field, and Tacofest is elated to benefit from their expertise for our lovely postcards, as well as the signage that will be appearing at each participating local restaurant!

But that’s not all. Westmount signs believes that community involvement is a social responsibility every great business should undertake. As such, they support over 30 local charities and non-profit organisations, including Community Support Connections (shoutout for amazing work realising their brand refresh!) – and, of course, Tacofest!

Sponsor Spotlight: Sylvia Pond Photography!

She’s the shutterbug with the Silly Kitchen. She’s Sylvia Pond! You know, if it were not for Sylvia Pond, Guacamule’s job would be easier – because he would not been staring at the mouth-watering photos of tacos she has taken over the years!

From headshots to lifestyle photos, event coverage to performance photography, Sylvia boasts quite the portfolio, and we’re thrilled she returns as Tacofest’s Photography Sponsor for 2021!

Oh, but it gets better. Not only is Sylvia a veteran of capturing all the local food, craft beer, and good times at Tacofest, but she has her own channel, The Silly Kitchen with Sylvia, where she captures culinary capers of her own. Now, for Tacofest 2021, she’s letting you in on the magic: With her own food styling and photography tutorial! That’s right: Tickets to this virtual event mean you can learn from a pro on how to stage your Taco for Two kits, then show off your foodstagram chops by tagging #tacofest2021 on your post!

Sponsor Spotlight: Heffner Toyota!

In Tacofests past, Heffner Toyota has stood by our side to ensure that you, lovely Tacofesters, always have a safe ride home after a phenomenal night of fiesta-feasting. While this year Tacofest may be virtual, Heffner Toyota still intends to be a driving force of the event: As our Virtual Platform Sponsor!

Thanks to them you’ll be able to party with the whole crowd, experience more intimate interactions with your favourite vendors, and stay connected to your friends in attendance, all from the comfort of your separate homes.

A long-time partner of Community Support Connections, Heffner Toyota is a supporter of their Transportation and Grocery Shopping services. In the pandemic, that means helping the agency’s clients get to critical medical appointments (including vaccinations!), and providing pick-up and delivery of groceries… over $148,000 worth in the last year alone!

Heffner Toyota believes in treating their guests as “Part of the Family,” and that extends to their commitment to supporting a vast array of local charitable organisations. Hats off to them for more than a decade of supporting Community Support Connections through Tacofest and other events!

Sponsor Spotlight: MTE!

 

MTE and Tacofest go together like tacos and beer: They’ve been inseparable since the beginning!

Both a regarded engineering consulting firm and a charity-minded workplace, MTE (More Than Engineering) has been partnering with Community Support Connections since the very first Tacofest nine years ago. At the core of everything they do, they strive to make an impact on their community — last year, they supported over 75 organisations with charitable support, including helping deliver nutritious, homestyle meals to local older adults and adults with different abilities through Community Support Connections’ Adopt-a-Route service.

“Delivering Meals on Wheels is a really easy way for me to give back to the community. We have a group here at MTE who does it. … We share the load, so it makes it really easy and fun because we get to go out with our co-workers and spend some time together outside work.” — Laurie, MTE employee

MTE not only believes in making an impact for today, but for the future as well. Last year, they engaged specifically in 35 “green deeds” to reduce the environmental impact of the area. We are elated to announce that MTE returns as our Green Sponsor for Tacofest 2021 — so you have them to thank for the collectable sample glasses that you are getting in your Tacofest at Home kits!

We’re Back.

The coolest event in Waterloo Region is back for 2021.

And this time, it’s going virtual.

Traditionally held in downtown Kitchener, Tacofest features pairings of numerous local restaurants and breweries engaging in a friendly competition, with attendees able to vote for their favourite tacos and brews alongside local celebrity judges. This year, Tacofest will occur via a specialized virtual platform on Friday, June 18, with tickets going on sale at noon on Wednesday, May 05.

Tacofest will feature virtual brewery tours, Q&A panels with participating chefs and restauranteurs, music, and interactive activities, with attendees obtaining a Tacofest at Home kit featuring tacos for two from a local restaurant, tall cans from a paired brewer, activity supplies, collectables, and more.

The spirit of the event is two-fold: It serves as a fundraiser for local non-profit Community Support Connections, as well as a celebration of the region’s local restaurant and brewery scene.

“We have developed some amazing partnerships with local businesses over the past nine years, and we are grateful for the profound impact their participation has had on enabling us to help people continue to live at home,” said Rosalind Horne of Community Support Connections. Tacofest has traditionally been the largest fundraising effort for the local agency, a non-profit that enables over 6,600 older adults and people with different abilities in the region to continue to live independently in their own homes.

“It’s support from individuals and businesses like those who participate in Tacofest that help us to continue providing for basic needs during this pandemic, like delivering Meals on Wheels, or the over $148,000 worth of groceries we have been able to deliver to those unable to get out of their house this past year.”

Tacofest at Home kits for two are priced at $100 and will include:

1) Access code to the virtual event

2) Tacofest at Home kit including:

  • Tacofest sample glasses and napkins, as well as supplies for interactive activities to take place during the virtual event
  • Cold taco for two kit to be reheated at home by attendee
  • Four tall cans from your paired brewer
  • Dessert prepared in our Meals on Wheels kitchen by Chef Paula Ross and her team
  • Optional add-on for kids’ activity kit so parents can focus on the party
  • Info about Tacofest vendors, sponsors, and Community Support Connections

Sponsor Spotlight: MTE!

Since Tacofest’s very first fiesta eight years ago, MTE (More than Engineering) has been beside us in supporting Community Support Connections. It’s one of the many ways they more than live up to their name!

A trusted engineering consulting firm that that’s been serving Southwestern Ontario for 35 years, MTE not only excels in their sector, they are a positive, charitable force in our community and consistently support local charities and social groups as part of their mission, including Tacofest and delivering Meals on Wheels with Community Support Connections’ Adopt-A-Route program.

“Delivering Meals on Wheels is a really easy way for me to give back to the community. We have a group here at MTE who does it. … We share the load, so it makes it really easy and fun because we get to go out with our co-workers and spend some time together outside work.” — Laurie, MTE Employee

This year, to celebrate 35 years in operation, MTE is engaging the community by participating in 35 “green deeds,” partnering with other agencies in reducing the environmental impact of the area. In this spirit, we welcome MTE as this year’s Green Sponsor for Tacofest! Check out MTE’s community page and see what all else they are up to!

Sponsor Spotlight: Amintro!

In honour of their second anniversary of operations, Amintro is forging a partnership with Community Support Connections — and has pledged their support as a Gold Sponsor for Tacofest!

Amintro, whose Canadian operations are based out of Toronto, is a unique social platform and information hub exclusive for persons 50+. The network’s focus on improving social circles for older adults carries the goal of reducing social isolation and connecting older adults with the resources they need to live longer, happier, and healthier lives. With selfsame goals, Community Support Connections is a natural fit for a mutually beneficial partnership!

Through this partnership, Amintro is focusing their efforts on promoting awareness of Community Support Connections’ Meals on Wheels program, a timely effort in light of the increasing difficulty for those aged 50+ to navigate food security concerns. And beyond good food, good beer, and good times, that is what Tacofest is all about, too! We are incredibly excited to welcome Amintro to the team, and for their support in helping local seniors and adults with disabilities live with independence and dignity. This week, we hope you’ll join the cause, too, whether by donating through purchasing some terrific tacos, or supporting Community Support Connections directly.

Something To ‘Taco-bout’!

Hey Tacofesters! We know you’re as disappointed as we are that we are unable to have our traditional Tacofest festivities as scheduled Friday June 12th, but guess who else was sad about it? Our vendors! So many of them have worked with us over the last few weeks to try and put together a number of different options to help use raise funds for our clients, while supporting these awesome local businesses at the same time. (No offense everyone, but special shout out to Nick at Taco Farm for taking a million of our calls to spitball.) 

At the end of the day, with restrictions on charitable events for the time being, a few of our friends are putting out some Tacofest specials of their own with a portion of their proceeds going to support local seniors served by Community Support Connections 

This means you can order some takeout, grab some brews or ciders from one of our local establishments, and have your own Tacofest at home the weekend of June 12 and 13th. We have vendors below who are donating a portion of their sales to support local seniors, but please feel free to choose any of our past supporters – you can always make a donation online to invest in our local Meals on Wheels program. 

Pay special attention as we highlight our friends this week on our social media channels with brewery tours, restaurant features, and other fun stuff. 

This pandemic and recent events have shown us how strong this community is, and what we can accomplish together. 

Thanks for your ongoing support.
 

Here’s to tacos, craft beer, and good times. 

 

Get your Tacofest specials in support of Community Support Connections here: 

Bingemans 

Proof Kitchen + Lounge

Swine & Vine Charcuterie

 

Or order from one of our other long time supporters: 

The Bruce Craft House

Café Pyrus

Ethel’s Lounge

Ignite Group

Taco Farm