Celebrating Excellence

VIWF ANNOUNCES 2018 TRADE COMPETITION WINNERS
Spirited Industry Professional, Sommelier of the Year, Wine Program Excellence Awards

Vancouver, BC (March 2, 2018) – The Vancouver International Wine Festival announced the 2018 trade competition winners on Friday at Celebrating Excellence: 15th Annual Awards Lunch Featuring Wines from Spain & Portugal, presented by ContainerWorld. The Celebrating Excellence program is part of the three-day Trade Days Conference; the program honours those professionals who contribute to this region’s exceptional wine and food culture. Guests enjoyed a meal prepared by Vancouver Convention Centre executive chef Mark Massicotte, exquisitely matched with a selection of 40 wines from Portugal and Spain.

 2018 SPIRITED INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL AWARD

The annual Spirited Industry Professional Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The 13th annual award goes to Barbara Philip MW.

Barbara was the first Western Canadian to achieve the Master of Wine designation and is the only woman in Canada with this distinction. For close to 10 years she has managed the European Portfolio at BC Liquor Stores. Through Barbariain Wine Consulting, Barbara has been an international presenter, educator, journalist and judge. Since 2008, she has been the wine columnist on CBC Radio’s On the Coast. She has been for many years a judge for Decanter World Wines Awards, the largest wine competition in the world and also been Vice President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, BC Chapter.

2018 SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR

The Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes working sommeliers who consistently demonstrate an outstanding passion for marrying wine with food and a dedication to exceptional service. This year’s winner, Sean Nelson, sommelier at Vij’s, was selected through a hands-on competition organized by the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. As Sommelier of the Year, Shane receives Delta Air Lines vouchers valued at $2,000 USD from the festival.

Sean grew up in Greater Vancouver and entered the hospitality industry at age 16 with a job at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar. After being bitten by the wine bug, he completed his WSET Intermediate and Advanced certification with Distinction. In 2013, he became a sommelier at Vij’s restaurant and began pursuing the Master Sommelier Diploma. He completed the Introductory Sommelier Certification with 100% on the examination and became Western Canada’s youngest Advanced Sommelier in 2016. He plans to sit the Master Sommelier Examination in 2019.

2018 WINE PROGRAM EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS

Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout British Columbia and Alberta have been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The key judges were Tom Doughty, Jay Jones, DJ Kearney, Iain Philip, and Jason Yamasaki. The top restaurants were awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine Program Excellence Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.

METRO VANCOUVER

Platinum
L’Abattoir
Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
Burdock & Co.
CinCin Ristorante + Bar
Hawksworth Restaurant
Vij’s

Gold
AnnaLena
Chambar
Mak N Ming – Best New Entry
Mission
Mott32
Nightingale
Provence Marinaside/The Wine Bar
Savio Volpe
Tap Restaurant
Yuwa Japanese Cuisine

Silver
Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Fable Kitchen
Forage
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
PiDGiN
The Stable House Bistro
Wildebeest

Bronze
Le Crocodile
Homer St. Cafe and Bar
Tableau Bar Bistro
Tramonto at River Rock Casino Resort
Tuc Craft Kitchen
West Restaurant

Honourable Mention
Feast
The Mackenzie Room
Yew Seafood + Bar

 WHISTLER

Gold
Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar

Silver
Alta Bistro

Bronze
Basalt Wine + Salumeria

VANCOUVER ISLAND

Gold
Agrius Restaurant (Victoria)

Silver
Nourish Kitchen & Café (Victoria)
OLO Restaurant (Victoria)

Honourable Mention
10 Acres Kitchen (Victoria)
Artisan Bistro (Victoria)
Ocean7 AQUA Bistro at Kingfisher Resort (Courtenay)
Pacific Prime Restaurant & Lounge, The Beach Club Resort (Parksville)
Unsworth Restaurant (Mill Bay)

BC INTERIOR

Gold
Emerald Lake Lodge (Field)

ALBERTA

Platinum
Cilantro (Calgary)

Gold
The Lake House (Calgary)
Vin Room Mission (Calgary)
Vin Room YYC Airport (Calgary)

Silver
Buffalo Mountain Lodge (Banff)
Deer Lodge (Lake Louise)
Rouge (Calgary)
Vin Room West (Calgary)

Stay in Touch
For more information, go to VanWineFest.ca
Facebook & Instagram: /VanWineFest
Twitter: follow @VanWineFest for news on tickets and sold-out events. Join the conversation at #VIWF.

ABOUT TRADE DAYS CONFERENCE
The 12-event Trade Days Conference is the wine business component of the Vancouver International Wine Festival. The media partner is BC Business. For the last five years, Trade Days has been voted the “#1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Industry Event in Canada” by New York’s BizBash. 2018 events include masterclasses seminars about Spain and Portugal sponsored by Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Wines from Spain, Consejo Regulador del Cava, and Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto; Principals Welcome Lunch, presented by JF Hillebrand and sponsored by WineAlign; Celebrating Excellence: 15th Annual Awards Lunch featuring Wines from Spain & Portugal, presented by ContainerWorld; and two Trade Tastings, presented by ContainerWorld. Other Trade Days sponsors and partners include Vancouver Magazine, Vancouver Sun, and information technology company ITS Consulting Inc.; as well as the participating event wineries. Trade Days extends special thanks to the IVSA, Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and the BC Hospitality Foundation.

ABOUT VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL
Canada’s premier wine show marks its 40th edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 24 to March 4, 2018. The festival features Wines from Spain and Portugal and showcases 173 wineries from 15 countries (including 38 wineries from Spain and 20 from Portugal) pouring 1,450+ wines at 51 events to a projected 25,000 admissions. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction opened the festival on Saturday, February 24 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver; it is sponsored by Nicola Wealth Management. The Trade Days Conference runs Wednesday, February 28 to Friday, March 2. The festival has been named the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash for five years running.

The festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Since 1979, the festival has raised $9 million for the performing arts. Major sponsors are Delta Air Lines and the Vancouver Sun; major industry partners are the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, BC Liquor Stores, Import Vintners & Spirits Association, and Tourism Vancouver. The festival is made possible through the gracious support of our participating countries’ consulates and embassies.

ABOUT BARD ON THE BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
Celebrating its 29th season in 2018, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. It is presented on the waterfront in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, adjacent to Vancouver’s downtown core. Bard on the Beach offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and popular special events in two performance tents every June through September. In 2017, attendance was over 100,000 and more than 1.6 million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. This year’s Festival dates are June 6 to September 22, 2018, and the lineup includes As You Like It, Macbeth, Timon of Athens and a new Bard-commissioned adaptation of the Greek classic Lysistrata.

Bard also offers a range of education programs, including Young Shakespeareans camps and workshops for 8 to 18 year-olds at its Vanier Park site during the summer, and Riotous Youth for 19 to 24-year-olds. During the school term, Bard also offers workshops for educators and youth in schools and community centres throughout BC’s Lower Mainland, as well as at its administrative home, the BMO Theatre Centre (162 West 1st Avenue). Full details and education program information are at bardonthebeach.org.

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Media Contact
Anna McDonald, Milk Creative Communications
anna@thinkmilk.ca

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