Sioux-per Food Challenge

Sioux Lookout, ON – The Municipality of Sioux Lookout, in partnership with the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre and the Northern Foodways Development Network, is excited to announce a new initiative to celebrate and promote community-led local food innovation.

The "Sioux-Per Food Contest" encourages individuals and businesses within the region to create an innovative product or experience that showcases the region's unique culture, history, and heritage behind. Whether you have a creative idea for a new product, want to curate a locally-inspired experience at your restaurant, or want to partner with businesses for a collaborative gift box, this contest is for you! The winner will walk away with a $1,000 cash prize, a professional photo shoot and a video with a food photographer and stylist.

In addition, additional points will be awarded to those focused on making a social impact by focusing on bringing positive social, environmental, economic or cultural benefits to the Sioux Lookout community.

Jennifer Esposito, Economic Development Officer of Sioux Lookout, expressed excitement about the project, saying, "Our community is a wellspring of talent and unique experiences. This contest is a wonderful way to bring our neighbours together and celebrate the heart and soul of Sioux Lookout. We look forward to seeing the incredible submissions that will undoubtedly emerge from this initiative."

Contest Details:

Categories: Participants can submit their entries in various types, including but not limited to:

  • New Locally-Inspired Food or Farm Products
  • New Locally-Inspired Tour or Experience
  • New Locally-Inspired Crafts or Handmade Products

Eligibility: The contest is open to all Municipality of Sioux Lookout business operators. Entries must include Sioux Lookout’s name, history, culture, or geographic identity visibly in the product name, packaging and/or design.

Submission Period: Submissions will be accepted from October 16th to December 8th, 2023.

Judging: A panel of local experts from each partner organization will evaluate the entries based on creativity, relevance to the community, and overall impact.

Prizes: The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize to develop their product, a marketing package from the Northern Foodways Development Network, including a video and professional image to promote their product, community recognition, support and access to other resources from each partner, and the opportunity to showcase their work at local events.

Exhibition: Selected entries will be displayed at upcoming community events, allowing residents and visitors to appreciate the talent and creativity within Sioux Lookout.

Community Benefits: The contest aims to promote local food and farm producers, processors and food businesses while fostering a sense of pride and unity within the community.

The contest partners bring additional skills, knowledge and resources to support local food entrepreneurship within the community.

Corey Jones, Regional Business Advisor, looks forward to reviewing entries. He says, "The Northwestern Ontario Business Centre is devoted to catalyzing innovation in the northwest region, and this contest is a great opportunity to connect with Sioux Lookout entrepreneurs and introduce them to our services."

The Northern Foodways Development Network, an initiative of the Local Food and Farm Co-operatives, connects local food and farm social enterprises and organizations across Northern Ontario to advance food system development, bringing some niche expertise to the project.

"For over a decade, I have worked within the local food and beverage industry, specifically on local branding and marketing initiatives focused on people, place and purpose. I am excited to participate in a competition that will showcase the people strengthening our community economies in Northern Ontario and giving them the support they need to continue thriving."

Sioux Lookout invites everyone to join in this celebration of creativity and community spirit. Let's come together and make this contest a true reflection of what makes our community extraordinary. Entries do not need to be selected as the winner to receive product development support and recognition.

To participate or view the contest entry form, please visit

About the Municipality of Sioux Lookout

Known as the Hub of the North, Sioux Lookout connects 29 remote northern communities to healthcare and essential services. With the 4th busiest airport in Ontario and a major VIA Rail stop, its central location connects over 30,000 northern Ontarians in our surrounding communities to our state-of-the-art hospital, excellent social services as well as the rest of Canada. Living here means enjoying an excellent quality of life and the amenities of a larger city paired with the friendly support of a small town.

About Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre:

Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC) knows that Northwestern Ontario is a place full of intelligent people, where new and innovative ideas are thought up everyday. Their goal is to help the innovative companies of Northwestern Ontario to start, grow, and succeed. NOIC acts as a support system for innovation and strongly believes in collaboration and helping businesses thrive.

About Northern Foodways Development Network:

The Northern Foodways Development Network (NFDN) is an initiative of The Local Food and Farm Co-operatives. The network brings together social enterprises, co-ops, food hubs, and community-focused organizations to catalyze collaborative solutions that build equitable, resilient, and connected food systems.

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Esposito, Economic Development Officer
807-737-2100 ext. 2228 or [email protected]

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