This year, Marine Harvest Canada assisted 18 Vancouver Island charities during their annual charitable BBQ season, and after 6 years of operating the event they have helped raise $123,000.
Marine Harvest's Charity Chariot
A BBQ trailer unit was originally built in 2010 for Marine Harvest Canada's staff summer barbeques. It was built by MHC warehouse staff with the generous assistance of local suppliers.
Once built, they knew they had something special when local groups began calling and asking to 'borrow it'.
"We designed it in-house to allow us to prep, serve, and clean up, all from the same place," said Owen Green, the Marine Harvest employee who originally conceptualized the "Charity Chariot". "It's a 'grab and go' unit that is much more convenient than our old set-up. It's one of a kind, that's for sure, and it's fun to see people's reaction when we arrive at events."
This specialized piece of equipment is inspected, approved, and permitted by health inspectors from the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).
Demand for the barbeque services - providing salmon lunches at local events for charities, community groups, and associations - grew exponentially, so the company formalized a process of application, scheduling and staffing in 2011.
All monies raised at each event go directly to the charity or group that Marine Harvest partnered with. A well-organized event, such as the Dragon Boat Festival that takes place annually in Campbell River, can take in nearly $2000 during a 2-hour lunch window.
The company provides all supplies and chefs, and the partnering charity is expected to assist in preparation, serving and money collection.
Barbequed salmon is most commonly served in burger form, but the company has also offered Asian salmon salads and salmon tacos as well. Each meal is sold at a reasonable price of $5.
"Our offer to assist local groups is open to anyone who can bring a hungry mass of people together all wanting to support a great cause," said Ian Roberts, Director of Public Affairs for Marine Harvest Canada.
The groups assisted over the past years include sport groups, registered charities and service clubs, says Roberts.
"Our staff live and work in the places where we partner with local groups that aim to improve the communities," said Roberts. "We are pleased to be in a position to assist these charities and service clubs who help build a great place to raise our families."
Applications for summer barbeque events are open every February, for charities and societies located on Vancouver Island.