David & Pat Veljacic

Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ Founders

David Veljacic inaugurated The Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ in 1987. He was a Captain with the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service and Vancouver’s Firefighter of the Year in 1997. David, together with his wife Pat, ran this annual event until 2000 when Pat passed away. David passed on the same day in 2001 after battling breast cancer. The Festival is also known as the David and Pat Veljacic Memorial Cookoff.

David was a chef and a pioneer on the competition chili and BBQ circuit. In 1999 he published The Fire Chef, a collection of grilled and “low and slow” barbecue recipes. Hot Elements and In a Flash were other cookbooks he authored. David was also one of the first to market his own brand of BBQ sauces.