2018 VIWF Facts

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40th Vancouver International Wine Festival – February 24-March 4, 2018

VIWF by the numbers (* indicates 2017 data)

  • 40th annual (founded 1979)
  • 8 days (Bacchanalia Gala, Feb 24; festival week, Feb 26-Mar 4)
  • ~ 25,000 admissions (2016 actual TBA; 98% of tickets sold)
  • 180 wineries*
  • 16 countries*
  • 54 events at 26 venues*
    • 40 for consumers*
    • 14 for trade*
  • ~ 50 participating restaurants, hotels, caterers*
  • 1,694 wines*, including
    • 778 at International Festival Tastings*
    • 160 additional wines at Trade Tastings*
    • 749 wines at special events (dinners, seminars, etc)*
  • 42,000 bottles poured and/or purchased*
  • 82,000 wine glasses used*
  • Tasting Room size (at VCC), ~53,000 square feet


Since inception, VIWF has raised nearly $9 million for the performing arts. Our beneficiary since 2013 is Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. The 2017 Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction raised a record $280,000 for Bard; total funds raised for the year will be announced by VIWF’s year-end (June 30). The festival was created in 1979 as a fundraiser for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Co., continuing as such for 33 years until the theatre company closed in 2012.

Featured countries or themes

  • 2018 Portugal and Spain

 Past themes/countries

  • 2017 – The Wine World Celebrates Canada, with 76 wineries, ~300 wines from NS, ON and BC
  • 2016 – Italia!
  • 2015 – Savour Australia
  • 2014 – France Bon Appétit
  • 2013 – California Wines
  • 2012 – Wines of Chile
  • 2011 – Wines from Spain
  • 2010 – Wines of Argentina & New Zealand Wines
  • 2009 – Celebrate British Columbia
  • 2008 – Vino Italiano: Innovation by Tradition
  • 2007 – Australian Wine: A World of Difference
  • 2006 – Wine Regions of France
  • 2005 – Taste the new South Africa
  • 2004 – Discover the Wine Regions of California
  • 2003 – Showcasing Wines of Chile
  • 2002 – Germany & Portugal
  • 2001 – Spain
  • 2000 – Italy
  • 1999 – Australia
  • 1998 – California
  • 1997 – Canada
  • 1996 – Bordeaux

Box office and key tickets-on-sale info for 2018
Box office 604-873-3311 or toll free 1-877-321-3121

  • Nov 1 – advance tickets (save $, limited #) on sale for:
    • International Festival Tastings
    • Gold Pass
    • Delta Air Lines Tasting Lounge
  • Dec 1 – Trade Days passes on sale
  • Dec 15 – Advance sale ends; regular rates apply
  • Jan 10 – all consumer events on sale
  • Jan 17 – all Trade Days events on sale
  • Feb 24-Mar 4 – 2018 VIWF



Vancouver International Wine Festival is Canada’s premier wine show and widely considered to be one of the best wine events in the world. With ~25,000 admissions and at 40 years of age, it is also among the biggest and oldest. Its slogan is “The Wine World is Here”. For the past four years, VIWF has been voted the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash.

The festival typically features ~55 events; about 40 are public events and the rest are for trade only. The heart of the festival is the Tasting Room, where the public can choose from ~780 wines at four International Festival Tastings (IFT), and industry professionals can sample those plus an additional ~170 wines at two Trade Tastings. The ~50 special events that orbit the tasting room (seminars, vintage tastings, winery dinners, lunches, brunches, wine minglers, etc.) serve ~750 other wines.

The concomitant Trade Days Conference offers the trade opportunities to grow their wine knowledge at seminars, tastings and lunches. VIWF’s Celebrating Excellence trade awards include Spirited Industry Professional (SIP Award), Sommelier of the Year, Wine Program Excellence and Vintners Brunch Pairing Competition.

This international festival typically serves wines from +/-15 countries. There is a focus on a different region or country every year; the featured country has its own section in the Tasting Room and offers thematic seminars and food and wine pairings throughout the week.

For 2018, wines from Iberian Peninsula neighbours Portugal and Spain are featured.

Where is it?

The festival is headquartered at the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) downtown. The Tasting Room, most seminars and trade events take place at VCC. Other special events (dinners, lunches, brunches, wine minglers and the Bacchanalia Gala) take place at some 25 venues all around the city, including many of the city’s top restaurants and hotels.

What’s the big deal?

 Vine stars – the rock stars of the wine world come to Vancouver for VanWineFest. As a condition of participation, every winery must have a winery principal (winemaker, owner, senior executive) present in the tasting room and at their special events.

Stove stars – the rock stars of BC’s vibrant culinary scene are here too. More than 50 of the province’s most celebrated restaurants and chefs, hotels, caterers and food suppliers participate.


VIWF has three primary mandates. It provides an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for consumers and trade, serves as a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry, and raises money for the performing arts in Vancouver.

For information, contact media@vanwinefest.ca


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