Introducing Ottawa Veg Fest 2018’s Ambassador Team. The Ambassadors are local vegan leaders who embody the mission and spirit of this event.


Amy Longard (Nutrition) is a registered holistic nutritionist (R.H.N.) and plant-based chef with formal culinary training from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, based in Ottawa, Canada. As a nutritional consultant and health coach, she is passionate about helping people overcome health challenges and reach their goals. She works throughout Canada and abroad as a chef and speaker.

Website: Amy Longard Nutrition
Instagram: @amylongard



Samantha Shorkey is a vegan fitness freak who’s passionate about promoting a plant-based diet to the masses!  She is an ACE-certified personal trainer and certified Weight Management Specialist who not only “talks the talk” but walks the walk as a vegan bikini competitor. Her biggest claim to “vegan fame” was winning first place in the bikini-tall division of her first-ever fitness competition in June 2013 against all meat eaters.  Samantha is a proud member of the Plantbuilt vegan muscle team, brand ambassador for Purely Inspired Nutrition, a featured blogger on and a regular contributor to Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine.  She offers personal training in Ottawa, and online vegan coaching services.

Website: Jacked on the Beanstalk 
Instagram: @samshorkey


Georges Laraque is a sports commentator, politician, and former ice hocks player. Laraque retired from hockey on August 10, 2010; during his 14-year NHL career, he played for the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Montreal Canadiens. From 2010 to 2013, he was one of two deputy leaders of the Canadian Green Party. Georges went vegan in 2009 out of a deep commitment to animal rights, and is an investor in several vegan food companies.

Instagram: @georges_laraque


Pamela Tourigny co-founded Ottawa Veg Fest back in 2008, and co-organized it for its first several years. She recently took back ownership of the event. Pamela has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and has worked for 15 years as a writer, marketer, and public relations specialist, mostly in the vegan and health consumer products industry.   She founded Vegan Eats Ottawa as a public service to make it easier for people to find vegan offerings when eating out. Pamela served on the board of directors of the National Capital Vegetarian Association for eight years including four as its president, during which time she organized 48 vegan potlucks over 48 consecutive months.  She recently started a new role as executive director of the Plant Foods Council, which promotes and protects the interests of plant food manufacturers in Canada.

Websites: Pamela Tourigny   V Brand Management  Vegan Eats Ottawa
Instagram:  @veganpamela



Camille Labchuk is the executive director of Animal Justice, and one of Canada’s leading animal rights lawyers. As a lawyer, Camille seeks out cases that enhance the legal interests of animals, expose hidden animal suffering, and result in meaningful policy changes. As an advocate, Camille’s work includes documenting the commercial seal kill on Canada’s East Coast, exposing cruelty in farming, protecting the free speech rights of animal advocates, and campaigns against trophy hunting, circuses, zoos, aquariums, shark finning, puppy mills, and more. Camille is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Mount Allison University. She is a lecturer and media commentator on animal law issues. Camille shares her Ottawa home with a cat named Sadie.

Website: Animal Justice
Instagram:  @camillelabchuk  @animaljustice



Chedza Mudongo



Joelle Tremblay is a corporate cat with an extensive academic career and thirst for learning who loves everything vegan and lifestyle. She teaches yoga, and founded After living abroad, she wanted to help bring the vegan community together so she launched @VegansOfOttawa on Instagram where she bolsters and supports all things vegan in Ottawa. She also helps to keep the Vegan Eats Ottawa directory up to date with all the new vegan things.
Instagram: @VegansOfOttawa


Rob McLeod is a Red Seal certified chef and educator who resides in Ottawa. He worked for many years in the restaurant and hospitality industry, before becoming a school teacher. Today he periodically combines the two by offering vegan cooking classes, and he also serves as a consulting chef for businesses seeking to enhance or introduce vegan offerings.   Rob is renowned for his pizza and seitan making prowess, among other things (he has been featured on CBC All in a Day for his seitan pies!)  He is the current president of the National Capital Vegetarian Association.

Instagram: @robsvegankitchen