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What’s On the Table?

Bring together your friends, colleagues or strangers over some good food and talk about what matters most to you. This is a BC wide event, where you’re in charge. Whether it’s a meal, snack or coffee break, On the Table encourages individuals or organizations to take the time and connect with one-another face-to-face.

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How to host an On the Table


  • What is On the Table?

    On the Table is an invitation from Vancouver Foundation for people, organizations, and communities across BC to come together, share some food, and have conversations about what matters most to them. All the topics that are discussed will be collected and shared—giving us an exciting snapshot of what’s on people’s minds across the province right now. It’s a fun, meaningful opportunity for people everywhere to meet, gather, and share!

  • Do all events have to take place on September 26th?

    Most On the Table events will take place on September 26th so we can focus our collective energy toward one launch day—but registration is open for the full week so if you’re too busy on that day, host your event anytime within the week up until October 3rd.

  • Where should On the Table events take place?

    You can host On the Table in any place that inspires people to talk. It could be your local library or office breakroom, a neighbourhood restaurant or a nearby park, church, or recreation centre. Many people will host at home, around their own kitchen table. What matters most is that people come together, share some food, and have a conversation.

  • How many people should I invite?

    As many or as few as you like. We recommend about 8 to 12 people per table. This way, everyone has a chance to listen and contribute to the conversation.

  • Does it have to be a meal?

    Not at all! People should have something to eat, but it doesn’t matter what. You can serve something simple like coffee and cake or chips and dip. Put together a four-course meal if you want to—or even ask your guests to bring something and make it a potluck.

  • What is the theme of the conversations?

    As a host, you choose a topic you’re interested in sharing with others. This will help you decide who to invite to your event.  If you’re interested meeting new people outside your network that share a passion about your topic, you can create a public event. Alternatively, choose a very general topic and allow the conversation to flow organically from the group around the table.

  • Who provides the food?

    Each On the Table host provides the food—or asks their guests to bring something to share. It’s entirely flexible, and up to each host how big or small they want their event to be.

  • Can I serve alcohol at an On the Table event?

    You can. As the host of your event, you choose how to set the table and the tone of your gathering. As a host, the law is clear that you have responsibility when serving alcohol to guests, and that is no different for an On the Table event, so serve wisely.

  • What kind of information is required to register?

    Registration will take place through the On the Table website, and will require the host’s name, email address, and postal code. Registration is now open at

  • How can I let my guests know about my event?

    Ensure your guests know about your event early by downloading and emailing them our “Save the Date” card. There’s a colourful card for every day of On The Table. You can find a card for your event date in the Resources section.

  • Why is Vancouver Foundation doing this?

    One thing we’ve learned through our work is that people are longing for a deeper connection to their neighbours and community. On the Table gives us all a chance to do something about it. Great things happen when we come together, share food, and have a conversation.

  • How can I spread the word?

    We encourage you and your guests to share your thoughts and experiences with us before, during and after your event using the hashtag #onthetablebc.

  • I'm hosting another event on September 26th, can I combine On the Table with it?

    Yes, of course! If you already have an event planned for September 26th feel free to include On the Table as part of it! Just ensure that the On the Table portion of your event is not used in anyway to generate a profit (eg. fundraising).

  • Can I host more than one On the Table event?

    You can! However, our web registration system only supports one event per account. To host more than one On the Table event this year, you will need to register a separate account, using a different email address, for each additional event that you are hosting.

  • Can my On the Table event be open to the public?

    Definitely! On the Table is the perfect platform for interacting with a public audience. Set a venue, topic and open your doors to everyone. If ticketing is required to cover the cost of food provided at your event that’s ok. Just ensure that a profit is not made from your On the Table event (eg. fundraising).

  • Can I have some help with the On the Table invitation system?

    If you need some help with getting a handle on creating and sending invitations or with managing your guest list, please contact us at

More Questions?