Raising a Glass to Our Partners

The chair of the Vancouver International Wine Festival board, Randy J. Kaardal, Q.C., presented Bard on the Beach artistic director Christopher Gaze with a “cheque” for $235,000 at the opening night of The Merry Wives of Windsor. This represents the net proceeds of the 2016 festival, the majority of which was raised through the spectacular Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, chaired by Jana Maclagan.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival became VIWF’s charitable partner in 2012 and the wine festival has raised $665,000 for Bard since then. In total, the Vancouver International Wine Festival has raised $8.7 million since 1979 for professional theatre in Vancouver, through our mandate to raise funds for the performing arts.

The partnership and funds help Bard maintain its high level of artistic standards while keeping it an affordable entertainment option for theatregoers locally, across the country and around the world. They also support Bard’s extensive education and community outreach programming.

Bard’s productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor are now playing on the BMO Mainstage with Othello and Pericles opening soon in the Douglas Campbell Theatre.

Salute Italia!

The 2016 festival welcomed wineries from 14 countries, but this year’s focus was on ITALIA! Sixty Italian wineries from nine distinct regions were featured in their own section of the Acura Tasting Room and took part in 32 special events, including sumptuous winery dinners, spectacular seminars, the sparkling Spumante & Co., and showstopping lunches – perennial favourite Dine Italia and the theme country celebration, Taste ITALIA! Thank you to the wineries and their agents for making the 2016 festival the biggest celebration of Italian wine and food in our history. Relive the 2016 festival here.

Earlier this month, the Italian love affair continued at the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri World Tour, which stopped in Vancouver at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel for tastings in the afternoon and evening. Nearly 60 top Italian wine producers presented an exclusive tasting of top-rated wines from the Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia 2016 guide, including many wines that received the coveted “tre bicchieri” (three glasses).

For a listing of Italian wines available at BC Liquor Stores, click here.

Celebrating Our Industry Partners

A festival the size and scope of the Vancouver International Wine Festival would not be possible without the support of our partners in the beverage and hospitality industries. We are grateful for their ongoing dedication and commitment to the festival.

British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB)
One of our key partners is the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, which brought all the wine poured at festival events to Vancouver. In addition, all the wines poured at the International Festival Tastings were available at an onsite BC Liquor Store, which offered free bottle check and delivery to the closest liquor store. And the LDB makes sure patrons Get Home Safe by offering free transit tickets at each tasting room session. The summer edition of Taste Magazine is online now and in stores.

Import Vintners and Spirits Association (IVSA)
The Import Vintners and Spirits Association represents the local wine agencies who import wine, beer and spirits for British Columbians. Members of the IVSA represent the majority of wineries participating in the festival, making it possible for our visiting vine stars to share their wines with you.

Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS)
We are thrilled to partner with the BC Chapter of CAPS on the Sommelier of the Year Award, recognizing the Best Sommelier in British Columbia, as determined through a comprehensive hands-on competition. This year’s winner, Alistair Veen of Tap Restaurant, represents BC in the competition for Canada’s Best Competition. He also received a trip to Italy, courtesy of VanWineFest, Delta Air Lines and Trialto Wine Group.

BC Hospitality Foundation
The BC Hospitality Foundation provides support for individuals within the hospitality community who are coping with a financial crisis arising from a health or medical condition. It also supports the industry’s next generation by providing scholarships to students enrolled in hospitality, culinary and wine programmes in BC. If you’re in the hospitality industry and require medical or education assistance, you can apply for support here. Congratulations to the winners of the BC Hospitality Foundation 2016 Sommelier Scholarships, announced at the 13th Annual Awards Lunch.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is supported by hundreds of individuals, companies and organizations.

  • Thank you to our 350+ volunteers.
  • Thank you to our host consulates and embassies.
  • Thank you to all our sponsors and partners.
  • Thank you to the  participating wineries and their agents.
  • Thank you to our tasting room exhibitors and Regional Tasting Stations.
  • Thank you to the Board of Directors and committee members.
  • Thank you to our partner restaurants and venues.
  • Thank you to our event chairs, speakers, chefs and judges.
  • And thank you to our ticket buyers.
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