Anthony von Mandl Named Honorary Gala Chair

Okanagan Winemaking Pioneer Anthony von Mandl Named Honorary Chair of VanWineFest’s Bacchanalia Gala

The Vancouver International Wine Festival and Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival are thrilled to announce that Anthony von Mandl, O.C., O.B.C., will be the Honorary Chair of the 2023 Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, presented by National Bank Private Banking 1859.

Anthony von Mandl’s roots in the Canadian wine industry date back more than five decades. His visionary efforts to transform British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley into a world-class wine-producing region have enhanced the reputation of Canadian wines internationally and made the Okanagan Valley a premiere tourism destination.

In 1981, Anthony risked everything to purchase a near-bankrupt Okanagan winery, one of only five in the valley at the time, renaming it Mission Hill after its stunning hilltop location. It took until 1994 when Mission Hill Family Estate won “Top Chardonnay Worldwide” at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London that he knew his dream had legs. Mission Hill Family Estate has since been transformed into an internationally renowned architectural landmark and has been called the “The Versailles of the Valley” by The New York Times. After winning “Canadian Winer of the Year” for the sixth time, Mission Hill Family Estate stunned the wine world by winning “Best Pinot Noir in the World” at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London.

The von Mandl Family’s collection of Estate Vineyards and Iconic Wineries also includes Martin’s Lane Winery, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Road 13 Vineyards, Liquidity Wines, Red Barn Winery at Jagged Rock, and CheckMate Artisanal Winery, the only Canadian winery to be awarded five consecutive 100-point scores. Each winery offers a unique representation of the diverse microclimates of the Okanagan Valley and joins the 451 licensed wineries in British Columbia with a portfolio of elegant fine wines that are receiving international recognition.

Anthony is a long-time supporter of both Bard on the Beach and VanWineFest and will be a tremendous ambassador for the Gala. “Bard on the Beach is the charitable beneficiary of the wine festival, and the vast majority of the funds that support Bard are raised by the Bacchanalia Gala auctions and raffle,” says Christopher Gaze, Founding Artistic Director, Bard on the Beach. “Having someone of Anthony’s stature as our Honorary Chair will raise the profile of the Gala and position it to bring the top wine collectors to the table, both literally and metaphorically.”

“The performing arts, just like meticulously handcrafting elegant fine wines, are a passion of the heart,” says von Mandl. “I’m humbled to serve as the Honorary Chair of the Bacchanalia Gala and proud to support two of British Columbia’s finest cultural institutions. This remarkable event will provide an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the performing arts alongside the most spectacular fine wines and elegant cuisine in the world.”

Anthony von Mandl is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Order of British Columbia; both honours recognize his innovative contributions to enhancing Canada’s international reputation in the wine industry. He holds five honorary doctorates and has been inducted into both the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame and American Marketing Hall of Fame. He was recently recognized with France’s Legion of Honour. Anthony is also Chairman of The von Mandl Family Foundation, supporting health, disparity, the arts, and environmental-based initiatives globally.

One of the most spectacular wine and food events in the city, the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, presented by National Bank Private Banking 1859, kicks off the 44th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The evening starts with a Champagne reception and features nine additional outstanding wines paired with an exquisite five-course menu prepared by the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s culinary team, led by Executive Chef David Baarschers. Live and silent auctions throughout the evening will feature unique and celebrated wines and epicurean experiences and are the province’s premier opportunity for wine collectors to obtain rare and older vintage wines.

As well, Delta Air Lines has donated two round-trip Delta One tickets to anywhere Delta flies for the 2023 Gala Raffle. Raffle tickets will be available in March.

All proceeds from the Gala support Bard on the Beach. Since 1979, the Vancouver International Wine Festival has raised nearly $9.9 million for the performing arts in Vancouver, including nearly $1.9 million for Bard on the Beach artistic and educational programming.


Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV, Champagne, France
Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Brut NV, Lombardy, Italy
McWatters Collection Brut 2017, Okanagan Valley, Canada
CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Jagged Rock Chardonnay 2021, Okanagan Valley, Canada
Bodega Garzón Reserva Albariño 2022, Garzón, Uruguay
Viña Errázuriz Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Aconagua Valley, Chile
Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2020, Mendoza, Argentina
MASI Costasera Amarone 2017, Veneto, Italy
Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port 2012, Douro Valley, Portugal
Grand Tokaj Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2013, Tokaj, Hungary

A limited number of individual Gala tickets are now available online or by phone. For information on full tables of 8, contact

Online: 24/7
Phone: 604-873-3311, toll free 1-877-321-3121 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
Ticket prices include wine, food, gratuities, taxes and service charge.

Stay in Touch
For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to
Twitter: Follow @VanWineFest for announcements, including e-news, festival updates & media releases. Join the conversation at #VIWF.
Facebook / Instagram: @VanWineFest

Canada’s premier wine show will mark its 44th edition of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from April 22-30, 2023. The festival will showcase 151 wineries from 17 countries, featured in 36 events over eight days. The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction is the main fundraising event of the festival and kicks off the festival on Saturday, April 22 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Trade Days takes place Wednesday, April 26-Friday, April 28. The festival is consistently ranked the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada by New York’s BizBash. 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 inception in 1979, the festival has raised nearly $9.9 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, and the Import Vintners & Spirits Association. The Vancouver International Wine Festival gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

Bard on the Beach was established in 1990 with a mandate to provide Vancouver residents and tourists with affordable, accessible Shakespearean productions of the finest quality. Bard is the second largest Shakespeare Festival in Canada, and engages hundreds of talented artists, artisans, technicians and year-round administrators. Bard’s primary focus is its annual festival in Sen?á?w/Vanier Park, which annually attracts over 100,000 people. Bard’s other key elements include education and training initiatives for both the artistic community and the general community at large.


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Ruby Gillett, Milk Creative Communications
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