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Events to Plan for in the Lower Mainland: 2017 Edition

Want be in the know for Vancouver's amazing events this year? We find the best way for you to know about a client or project is to meet them in person, and the best way to do that is told an event, so everyone is hosting something. 


We have gathered all of the events in Vancouver and surrounding areas that we are aware of for 2017 thus far. The calendar is for planning purposes and will definitely change - so check back often!

January 20 - February 5: Dine Out Vancouver Festival

January 29: The 44th Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade

February 11: Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction

February 11- 19: Vancouver International Wine Festival

February 16 - 26: Talking Stick Festival

February 16 - March 13: Chutzpah! Festival

February 17: Winefest Edmonton Private Industry & Trade Tasting Session

February 22 - 25: BC Home + Garden Show

February 24: Winefest Calgary Private Industry & Trade Tasting Session

February 24 - 26: Winemakers Cup

March 2: Brunello di Montalcino

March 3 - 5: Festival du Bois

March 6: Chef's Table Society Curry Cup

March 7: BC Wine Institute Member Meeting & Dinner

March 7: BCWI Spring Town Hall Meeting

March 9: Flourish - VCC Foundation Gala

March 15: East Side Beer Fest

March 19 - 21: ProWein (Dusseldorf, Germany)

March 20: Victoria IVSA New Product Salon

March 21: Vancouver IVSA New Product Salon

March 20 - 21: Grocery and Specialty Food West

March 30 - April 23: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

April 1 - 28: Capture Photography Festival

April 4: Canada Media Marketplace: Closing Ceremony Celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday at the Grand Hyatt NYC

April 5: James Beard House Media and Trade Lunch and Consumer Dinner

April 6: BC VQA Wine Trade and Media Tasting at Terroir Tribeca Wine Bar

April 5: Okanagan Falls Winery Association Spring Tasting

April 8: BC Distilled

April 9: Barn Burner BBQ

April 11: Colour Your Palate

April 19: Meet & Greet with Distributors/ Importers, Media, Trade and Wineries Canadian Consulate Seattle

April 23 - 25: Harrison Uncorked Wine Fest

April 23: Sun Run

April 24-25: California Wine Fair

April 28: Wine for Waves

May 1: Rosé Revival at Bridge's Restaurant

May 4 - 14: DOXA Documentary Film Festival

May 10: BC VQA Spring Release Tasting & ChefmeetsBCGrape Calgary

May 16: In-Market Events (London, UK)

May 18: Dish 'n Dazzle for the BC Hospitality Foundation

May 23: Bloom BC VQA Spring Release Tastings & ChefmeetsBCGrape Victoria

May 25: Bloom BC VQA Spring Release Tastings & ChefmeetsBCGrape Vancouver

May 25 - 28: ART! Vancouver

June 3 - 4: Vancouver Craft Beer Week Festival

June 5: Wines of Portugal Grand Tasting

June 8: BC Wine and Seafood Collaborative Multi Chef Dinner

June 15: Night at the Aquarium

June 19: Wine Australia 2017 Roadshow

June 23 - July 2: Vancouver International Jazz Festival

July: Deighton Cup

July 6: Champagne and Caviar at the Vancouver Rowing Club

August 12: SeaWheeze Half Marathon

August: Diner en Blanc

October 5: Port and Chocolate at the Vancouver Rowing Club

October 14 - 15: Art of the Cocktail

September 23-24: Victoria International Wine Festival

November 6 - 11: EAT! Vancouver

November 7: Sensory Wine Tasting at Okanagan College

November 10: Deadline to submit to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement's Alcoholic Beverages Stakeholder engagement survey

November 23: Deadline to feature your orange wine in the Winter 2018 of Nuvo Magazine

November 28: The Perfect Holiday Pairing at Okanagan College

December 7: 2017 Winemakers and Viticulturists' Forum



January 8: Wine 31: Understanding Food and Wine Pairing (Kelowna Campus)

January 19 - February 4: Dine Out Vancouver and

February 20: Sparkling Wines of BC at Okanagan College

February 24: Grapevine Pruning Workshop at Okanagan College

March 5: Introduction to BC Wine at Okanagan College

April 12: History of BC Wine at Okanagan College

April 20-21: Harrison Uncorked

Meet Mary Halpen of Best of Bridge #WithTownHall

By Leeann Froese It’s a new week to introduce you to one of the fabulous personalities in the world #withTownHall!

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are).

We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them. This week #withTownHall, we introduce you to Mary Halpen.

Mary Halpen an original member of the eight friends that started Best of Bridge

Mary is one of the original eight friends who founded Best of Bridge.

In 1975, Mary, along with a group of friends who played bridge together regularly, decided that they would write a cookbook to celebrate the food they shared with each other when they'd meet. Their first book in 1976 led the way for more than 15 books between then and now.

These recipes, written by regular moms, have worked for families across Canada for decades. Best of Bridge recipes are staples at dinners, potlucks and gatherings, and the generation of children that was raised on these cookbooks is now cooking these recipes for themselves.

The original members of Best of Bridge, including Mary, are setting to retire; but they are passing on their legacy to new groups and Best of Bridge continues to live on.

If you have not tried any of the Best of Bridge recipes, then don't let the holiday season go by without giving one of these tried-and-true group friendly recipes a try.

And in honour of the trailblazing work that Mary and her seven friends did in starting Best of Bridge can you please give her a big hello!

Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Colour BC and ChefMeetsBCGrape To Showcase Okanagan Crush Pad

Okanagan Crush Pad On September 16th, the British Columbia Wine Institute will be hosting Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting and ChefMeetsBCGrape to showcase VQA wines of British Columbia.

On each day leading up to the events, we would like to introduce you to winery clients in attendance with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss. First, here is more information about the events:

Attendees will be able to thoroughly explore the world of BC wines with walk-around tastings featuring 90 of the top BC wineries (the full list can be found here)  with principals and winemakers on site to guide you, as you immerse yourself in beautiful flavours.


Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting

Who: Trade and Media

Where: East Ballroom, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

When: September 16th, 2015 from 2pm to 5pm

This trade and media invite-only event will allow trade to connect with others in the industry, from winemakers to wine writers to sales specialists (the list goes on and on), all while tasting an extensive list of BC VQA wines.

More information about Colour BC can be found here.

Trade and Media registration can be found here.



Who: All wine lovers

Where: East Ballroom, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

When: September 16th, 2015 from 7pm to 9:30pm

This event is open to anyone with a passion for wine and will showcase BC VQA wines and cuisine. Attendees will enjoy a walk around tasting while 11 of BC’s top restaurants prepare small plates focused on freshly sourced ingredients from local farmers and producers. Celebrity judges of the “Small Plate Challenge” will taste and evaluate each food and wine pairing throughout the evening and at the end of the night prizes will be awarded for the “"Best Regional Wine & Food Pairing" and "Plate of the Night."

More information about ChefMeetsBCGrape can be found here.

At Town Hall we like to be prepared, and with such an amazing and extensive list of wines being showcased, we have some tips to help you make the most out of your experience:

  • Find out which wineries will be at the event
  • Research the wineries beforehand
  • Make a list of the people, wineries, and products you want to see
  • Jot down questions you have for the principals and winemaker
  • Use the hashtags #BCVQA #BCWine and #ChefMeetsBCGrape to share your experience at the events
  • Allocate the total amount of time you want to spent at the event and at each individual booth
  • Bring your business cards, a fresh palate, and open mind to share your passion with like-minded wine enthusiasts

Today, we would like to introduce you to...

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, Summerland BC

Okanagan Crush Pad

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how Okanagan Crush Pad utilizes concrete tanks in their wine cellars to directly shape the taste profiles of their wines.
  • Learn how Okanagan Crush Pad recently received their “Certified Organic” certification allowing their organic grapes to truly reflect the terroir in which they are grown.
  • Enjoy tasting the 2013 Haywire Bub with 'the Bub' herself, Alison Scholefield.

Okanagan Crush Pad's commitment to making wines that celebrate the distinctive beauty and exceptional micro-climates and geology of their vineyards, makes them a true Okanagan Winery in every sense of the term. Owned by Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, the 10-acre Switchback Organic Vineyard site overlooking Lake Okanagan is home to Haywire Wines, Narrative Wines, and the Okanagan Wine Campus; where a mentorship program provides the person named Vancouver’s “Sommelier of the Year” has the chance to make a small lot wine using the grape variety and style of their choice with proceeds benefiting the BC Hospitality Foundation. As the first purpose-built custom wine making facility in the Okanagan, Okanagan Crush Pad nurtures their product from the field to the market, all while achieving winemaking excellence.

 To Learn More: | Twitter: @OKCrushPad | Instagram: @OKCrushPad

What you will taste:

  • 2013 Haywire Bub $29.90 - The Bub is bottle fermented and aged using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes gown on cool vineyard sites in Oliver and Summerland. A fresh and lively wine with nice warm bread aromas and a crisp green apple finish, which is a shining example of what the Okanagan does best - crisp, fresh, and delicious.
  • 2013 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris $24.90 - Switchback is the winery’s home vineyard with surrounding sage, bunch grass, Ponderosa pine, and fruit trees, hallmarking the site’s aromas. Fermented in egg-shaped concrete tanks, the wine takes on minerality balanced with fruit, incredible complexity, and a round, creamy mouthfeel.
  • 2013 Haywire Pinot Noir $24.90 - Loaded with lively ripe red-berry fruits, exotic spice blends, and earthy characters, this wine is best enjoyed with salmon, soft ripe cheeses, pork, or wild mushrooms. 
  • 2012 Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir $39.90 - This wine has the hallmark cherry fruit intensity of the previous vintage, with soft, lush tannins and will continue to improve and evolve with bottle ageing.  Pair with soft ripe cheeses, hearty stews and game meats.

Who You Will Meet:

Rebeka Eriksson and Amy Hollenbach from the sales team will be in attendance alongside brand manager Alison Scholefield, a.k.a. The Bub.

Meet Jeremy Schacht with Town Hall

By Leeann Froese It's Saturday - that means it's time to introduce you to one of the fabulous personalities in the world #withTownHall

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are).

We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them. This week #withTownHall, we introduce you to Jeremy Schacht.


I was happy to meet Jeremy last year when Sujinder and I visited Ampersand Distilling.

Ampersand Distilling Company is a new, family owned craft distillery located on a five acre organic farm in the Cowichan Valley.

Those who know me know I love #gttime, so when Sujinder and I were on Vancouver Island working we made a detour.

We were impressed by Jeremy and his talents with distilling, and the gin is delicious. Check it out at the Duncan Farmer's market or schedule a visit the next time you are visiting Blue Grouse Estate Winery.

Please help us and say a big hello. Leave a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.


Five Good Reasons to Visit VINEXPO 2015

By: Amy Chen Vinexpo 2015 Welcomes YouWith Vinexpo 2015 quickly approaching on June 14th to 18th, this year's show has been entirely revamped to offer you improved services, a new layout and an unprecedented programme of talks, tastings and networking events.

If that's not enough to convince you to visit this flagship international exhibition in Bordeaux, here are five good reasons you will want to attend:

  1. Be part of the biggest global wine and spirits event- 2, 400 exhibitors - 30, 000 brands from 44 countries
  2. Meet the major players, decision-makers and estate owners in-person and build a special business relationship
  3. Be at the heart of things and keep pace with the latest international market trends
  4. Take this opportunity to attend some of the 80 special events over 5 days (tastings and talks given by world-renowned experts)
  5. Take new contacts at Vinexpo's evening networking events at venues in Bordeaux city centre

Let us know if you'll be attending Vinexpo 2015 or if you have other good reasons to attend.


Meet Paul Brunner of Blue Grouse With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall.  This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although sometimes they are). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them.

This week we introduce you to Paul Brunner aka The Blue Grouch - owner of Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Can you please say hello?

Paul Brunner of Blue Grouse


Paul and his wife Cristina purchased Blue Grouse, a beautiful Vancouver Island winery, in 2012. He calls himself 'The Blue Grouch' but we think he is a friendly, funny and welcoming man, who isn't fooling us with talk of being grouchy.

The winery was originally established in 1992. But in 2015, plan your visit: a beautiful new winery building will be open to welcome you. And you will have to come and see for yourself if Paul really is a grouch.

Can you please say hello to Paul with a comment – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.




Meet Rayna Corner With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although they could be). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them. This week we introduce you to Rayna Corner can you please say hello?IMG_2591 Rayna is the proprietor of Quench! Wines  - a Vancouver Island & Gulf Island agent for boutique wineries and breweries from various regions of BC. She considers herself to be a wine nerd, word nerd. She loves cooking, reading & her dog, and is a fledgling runner. Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet Beverly Akhurst With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall

This week we introduce you to Bev Akhurst - can you please say hello?


Beverly Akhurst is a yoga instructor at Eastside Fitness on Fraser St. in Vancouver.

Though teacher is the title, she feels guide is a more appropriate term as her belief is that the teacher is there to guide each student to the places and experiences that speak most, to the individual journey, allowing the students to connect to their own internal teacher so that their practice more personally fulfills their needs.

Whether your desire is to follow a physical, mental or spiritual practice Beverly welcomes you to each class as the unique individual you are. Certified as a Hatha and Yin instructor she welcomes young and old, new and experienced to explore body and soul. She believes you should give yourself the gift of being there for yourself so that you can be there for others in your life.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Find the 30 Best Patios in Metro Vancouver

by Leeann Froese It's no secret that our team can get to hanging around with travel and adventure blogger Marc Smith #withTownHall. Recently, we helped Marc research a few locations for his latest blog series: #30BestPatios.

Sujinder, Leeann, Laurisha & Andrew flank Marc for a group patio hug

With the terrific summer weather we have been having in Metro Vancouver, reviews of patios are very helpful, and the nice thing about this blog series is that not everything is in downtown Vancouver, providing options for those of us who live and work in other neighbourhoods.

We were so inspired by Marc Smith’s #30dayadventures #30bestpatios series that we decided to create a map. We've compiled all the patios he has reviewed and indicated what area they are in, so that you could know where to go for the rest of the summer, and many summers to follow.

Check it...

30 Best Patios

Oh and we are even so kind as to give you a downloadable PDF version.

Who's on the list? We've gathered all 30 of Marc's posts. Click the links below to see what Marc experienced at each patio and why it made his list.

1. Adesso Bistro, West End

2. Bambudda, Gastown

3.  Black & Blue, Downtown

4.  Bridges, Granville Island

5.  Cactus Club, English Bay

6.  Chill Winston, Gastown

7.  Dockside Restaurant, Granville Island

8.  Joe Fortes, Downtown

9.  The Keg, Yaletown

10. Lift Bar and Grill, Coal Harbour

11. Local, Kitsilano

12. Mill Bistro, Coal Harbour

13. Reflections at Hotel Georgia, Downtown

14. Romers Bugers, South Vancouver

15. Tap & Barrel, False Creek

16. The Wine Bar, Yaletown

17. University Golf Club, UBC

18. Vancouver Art Gallery Café, Downtown

19. Beach House, West Vancouver

20. Beatniks, Fort Langley

21. Blue Canoe, Richmond

22. Flying Beaver, Richmond

23. Harold’s Bistro, Richmond

24. Hart House, Burnaby

25. Little District. North Vancouver

26. Longtail Kitchen, New Westminster

27. Pier 7, North Vancouver

28. Riverway Clubhouse, Burnaby

29. Steamship Grill, Victoria

30. Wild Rice, New Westminster

See to learn about more of Marc's adventures

Now get out there and enjoy!


BC Wineries to Watch For at the Vancouver Bloom Trade Only Tasting

Trade: celebrate the arrival of fresh, local, home grown ingredients and gentle weather, with the annual Wines of British Columbia Spring Release Tasting.With more than 80 BC wineries showcasing more than 300 premium BC VQA wines, the event is sure to provide a wonderful overview of BC VQA wines!

We encourage trade and media who are attending to stop by the tables of our clients, and we have provided you with a bit of intel about each.

Journalists: we can help you with any interview requests for the visiting winery principals.

Mount Boucherie's beautiful South Okanagan Vineyards

Winery: Mt Boucherie Family Estate Winery Located: Kelowna Who you will meet: Winemaker, Jim Faulkner and representatives Don Pfeffer and Mario Rodi What you will taste: 2013 Pinot Gris 2012 Family Reserve Chardonnay 2012 Family Reserve Gamay Noir 2009 Summit Reserve Syrah Need to know facts: this winery just quietly goes about its business making incredible wines which reflect their soft personality. All of their wines are 100% family owned and grown. Mt. Boucherie holds the province's largest acreage of family-owned vineyards - more than 300 acres. They sell their grapes to many others in BC since the 1970s, and keep a small and interesting assortment for themselves and their wine program.

The Patio at Okanagan Crush Pad

Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad Located: Summerland Who you will meet: Alison Scholefield and Rebeka Eriksson What you will taste: 2012 Haywire Syrah 2011 Haywire Canyonview Pinot Noir 2012 Haywire The Bub Sparkling Wine 2012 Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris Need to know facts: Okanagan Crush Pad is the first in Canada to extensively use concrete tanks, and wines that are fermented and aged in concrete carry the Raised in Concrete™ designation. See what differences you think the use of concrete makes. The Haywire sparkling wine, the Bub, is named after Alison Scholefield, who will be at the table.

SpierHead Winery's Gentleman Farmer Vineyard

Winery: SpierHead Winery Located: Kelowna Who you will meet: Owners, Bill and Marina Knutson What you will taste: 2013 Rosé 2013 Pinot Gris 2012 Chardonnay 2011 Persuit Need to know facts: This tiny relative newcomer of a winery flies under the radar for many, but keeps capturing accolades and awards in every competition enetered. For example, the Rosé, which the owners will pour at the table, was just granted 90 points from DJ Kearney in Wine Align.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery's tasting room, overlooking Okanagan Lake

Winery: Summerhill Pyramid Winery Located: Kelowna Who you will meet: CEO, Ezra Cipes and Winemaker, Eric VonKrosigk What you will taste: 2013 Organic Riesling 2013 Ehrenfelser 2011 Organic Pinot Noir Need to know fact: The Cipes Brut just captured the Best Sparkling Wine in Canada at the All Canadian Wine Championships. The winery recently released its first lower sulphite wines, on account of the use of a nitrogen generator in the cellar. Ask Eric and Ezra about it.


And... if you are NOT attending Bloom, but want to meet or know more about any of these clients, then contact us info at townhallbrands dot com.