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Cannabis Education at Town Hall Brands with Flower & Freedom

At Town Hall Brands we hosted (possibly the first ever?) cannabis lunch and learn…

Last year when we decided we wanted to pivot our business and extend our services into the cannabis industry, we knew that we had services to share, but we also knew we had knowledge that we need to gain first.

Over the last six months we’ve been working to gather knowledge and meet as many people as we can in the industry. This helps to build up our understanding so that when we put our experience forward with graphic design and publicity, we have a basis to put cannabis-related companies into the spotlight when legalization comes forth. In order to help our educational journey, we had maybe the first-ever lunch and learn for cannabis, for our team, hosted by Bethany Rae from Flower & Freedom.

Flower & Freedom is the brain child of Bethany, a fitness enthusiast and Australian living in Canada. When Bethany rediscovered cannabis as a health and wellness supplement in her early 30s she was inspired to create consumer education, build positive change, and promote a new approach to understanding cannabis. Bethany‘s mission is to educate people so that when they enter into the cannabis world they do so from a place of education, and they start slow and low, with micro doses, and try to go for the products that are going to be right for what they want, whether it be euphoria, relaxation, or pain management.

All nine members of our team attended the session, and we listened with rapt attention and notebooks out as she went over more than 10 different ways to consume cannabis and gave us a show and tell of the methods that are employed for consumption in the medical cannabis world. Many of these things will cross over into the recreational world when legalization occurs. No consumption took place; that is not the intention here. Bethany was very non-judgmental, and patient with the many, many questions we had.

There is still a huge stigma around cannabis, and much education (just like we received) is required. Letting people who are new to cannabis or afraid of it understand that it’s not all about getting blitzed out of your mind and going on a high trip, but rather can be part of a healthy lifestyle. For example, if you’re having deep anxiety, there's something to help you feel more calm; or if you have some pain in your knee or your hip, there are topicals you can apply on the spot; or if you’re looking to have some giggles, there’s ways to do that too.

Here is what our team had to say about the session:

“I want to thank Bethany for coming in and sharing her breadth of knowledge about cannabis with us. The presentation was thoughtfully executed, starting with the science behind this plant, to the different ways cannabis can be used, and then concluding with weighing out some pros and cons. I would recommend this presentation to anyone who is interested in learning more about this subject matter – I wish she could talk to my family! Bethany was able to break down a lot of stigmas around this industry within our team and inspired me to open up the conversation with those around me. Thank you, Bethany.” - Whitney

“I really enjoyed Bethany’s presentation! I would feel totally comfortable having Bethany speak to someone like my mom or nana about cannabis. I also enjoyed learning about some of the science behind cannabis. Bethany is very kind and relatable, and most importantly she dispels a lot of the misconceptions about cannabis culture.” - Maddie

“Bethany was knowledgeable, approachable and gave a fantastic overview of a beginner’s intro to cannabis. I liked her well-rounded self-care approach, that cannabis can be part of the solution to a healthier you, not THE solution. Starting small and slow was great advice. And I trusted her opinion as she seemed to very experienced with all the products she was talking about – good and bad. I appreciate her honesty and openness on this new and rather nerve-wracking topic.” - Felicia

For many people who are unsure about cannabis and don’t know where to start, having an in-home party hosted by Bethany or hiring her to come to your place of work like we did, offers a great way to learn and to demystify what cannabis is about.

Leeann Froese, Town Hall Brands; Bethany Rae, Flower & Freedom; and Whitney Law, Town Hall Brands celebrate cannabis education

Leeann Froese, Town Hall Brands; Bethany Rae, Flower & Freedom; and Whitney Law, Town Hall Brands celebrate cannabis education

Local Food Expert Angie Quaale Publishes Eating Local in the Fraser Valley

New book is a food-lover's guide to British Columbia's culinary rich region

 

News Angles: Local food guide, explore BC, family fun, places to explore, local farms, road trips, seasonal highlights, new book release, food and drink, Fraser Valley, eat and shop local, gift guide, spring gifts.

Note to Media:

Photo assets for Eating Local in the Fraser Valley and Angie Quaale available: bit.ly/2FX6n41 

To schedule an interview with Angie Quaale, contact Amy Chen, 778-998-0036. Preview copy of Eating Local in the Fraser Valley available upon request. 

[Langley, BC]  With decades of culinary experience in the Fraser Valley, local food expert and author, Angie Quaale of Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store, releases her first book, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley, that celebrates the bounty of Canadian food. Details below.

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Book Name: Eating Local in the Fraser Valley
Release Date: May 15, 2018 (Available in Canada)
Retail Price: $29.95 (CAD)
Details: A cookbook and guidebook combined that highlights the best of the culinary scene in British Columbia's Fraser Valley, a region located east of Vancouver and north of the United States. 

Pre-Order & Advance Pick-Up: Pre-order from Well Seasoned's online store and enjoy advance in-store pick-up on May 6. Pre-orders for in-store pick-up also receive 10% off. Angie will be onsite to sign your pre-ordered copy of the book. 

Book is available to order via Amazon.ca and Chapters Indigo starting May 15, 2018.

Save-the-Date: Book launch party at Langley's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store onSunday, May 6. Angie and select producers from Eating Local in the Fraser Valley will be onsite for book signing. Details to be released.

More about the book:

Featuring more than 70 locally-inspired recipes and 100 culinary destinations in the Fraser Valley, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley invites us to discover the culinary richness of the Fraser Valley that has been built by the dedicated farmers, producers and chefs who live in the region.

This book is not only a celebration of Angie's passion for local food and community, but also a way to connect us to the farmers, producers and chefs that bring food to our tables each day. Angie has opened the door for us to get to know the wonderful array of food and beverage makers that are in the community. 


Highlights of the book include, but are not limited to:

  • Road trip ideas to visit 100 food growers, providers and a vast array of culinary destinations in Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Surrey, Mission, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge.
    • Such as: Local farms and orchards, chocolatiers, bakers, artisan cheesemakers, hidden gem restaurants, farmers' markets, breweries, wineries and more. 
  • A taste of home: More than 70 unique recipes from the farmers', chefs', and producers' home kitchens. 
    • Such as: Krause Berry Farms' Bird's Nest Cookies, Township 7 Winery's Lobster Mac and Cheese, Chef Tracey Dueck's Bumbleberry Pie and more.

Open this book and take a road trip with Quaale to the Fraser Valley. From Langley to Abbotsford to Chilliwack, with stops in Surrey, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and Mission, Quaale will guide you through this undiscovered food-lover's paradise to share stories and anecdotes that introduce you to the people behind them. There's no doubt that you will fall in love with the people and food of the Fraser Valley. 

Suggested Tweets:

It's a #food lover's guide to #ExploreBC! Local food expert @AngieQuaale of @WellSeasoned1 releases book on "Eating Local in the Fraser Valley". PRE-ORDER & SAVE: bit.ly/2DIaj3I

Until May 6: SAVE on all pre-orders of book: "Eating Local in the Fraser Valley" by #food expert @AngieQuaale of @WellSeasoned1. A must read for every #food lover in #YVR. PRE-ORDER NOW: bit.ly/2DIaj3I

Inside secrets for a better tasting room experience

Now’s the time to start thinking about what you need to create memorable experiences for your winery visitors this summer! Below are some tips on giving your guests the best winery experience:

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1.     Highway signage: Don’t expect that a sign itself will lead customers to your door. Make sure the print is big enough, the directions are clear enough, and use symbols if necessary.

2.     Winery signage: Entice customers to your door. Use clever design and marketing content to drive traffic to your winery. What sets your winery and vineyard apart from others?

3.     Creative added-bonuses for non-wine drinkers: Is your winery dog-friendly? Perhaps you have a colouring table for kids while adults taste or you offer free non-alcoholic beverages for the designated driver. Make sure this is communicated clearly within your winery with signage or other marketing materials.

4.     Tasting Bar: Speak intelligently about your wines. Do you have a tasting sheet, or do you offer free tastings? Do you have a wine club and supporting materials to convert your customers?

5.     Wine Purchases: Marketing materials go beyond just paper and signage printing. Think about branded bags or something more that would enhance your customers’ experience. Maybe you offer free shipping. Make sure that is communicated in your materials. Or perhaps offer a promo card for their next visit.

There are many ways to both attract and retain customers. It’s imperative to think of a guest’s whole experience rather than just focusing on what’s happening in the tasting room. When it gets busy, not everything can be communicated verbally to every guest, so make sure you have the materials to support you. And don’t forget about your designers and printers! They need lead times to ensure you get your materials ready for the busy season.

Contact Town Hall Brands today for more great tasting room experience tips, or to start using the power of design to transform your visitor's experience.

Chef Alessandro Vianello wins the 5th Annual Curry Cup

Chefs Tim Evans, Alessandro Vianello, and Elizabeth Bryan with the Curry Cup. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Chefs Tim Evans, Alessandro Vianello, and Elizabeth Bryan with the Curry Cup. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

The Chefs' Table Society of BC awards a new Curry Cup Champion

The Chefs' Table Society of BC congratulates Gooseneck Hospitality's development chef Alessandro Vianello (Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco, and Bells and Whistles), as the winner of the 5th annual Curry Cup.

A delightful evening in Mount Pleasant

On March 13, 2018 a crowd of 185 Vancouverites attended the 5th annual Curry Cup competition at Heritage Hall. Eight acclaimed chefs from the Vancouver culinary scene faced-off to determine which curry would reign supreme. Attendees tasted and voted for their favourite curry, and also sampled wines from Evolve Cellars, beer from R&B Brewing and a special Jack Daniels cocktail.

The sold-out fundraising event, also supported by the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area, raised $1500 to support Project Chef, a program which teaches Vancouver elementary school students about healthy food.

Vianello's lamb belly curry on pulao rice earned him the Curry Cup, yet in this year's super-close race, only 12 points separated the top three. Chef Tim Evans of The Cascade Room emerged with both the Peoples' Choice and second place, and third place winner is chef Elizabeth Bryan of Dock Lunch.

The other competing chefs were:

•             Shelome Bouvette, Chicha Restaurant

•             Andrea Carlson, Burdock & Co.

•             Karl Gregg, Colony on Main

•             Mark Hills, Hills Foods

•             Alana Peckham, Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver

Fred Lee, columnist for Vancouver magazine and CBC Radio Early Edition, emceed the event. The tough task of judging was taken on by a panel comprised of last year's Curry Cup winner, chef Felix Zhou of Heritage Asian Eatery, alongside restaurateur Vikram Vij, food and wine writer Tim Pawsey (aka the Hired Belly), TIME Winery owner Harry McWatters, and inaugural Curry Cup winner chef Taryn Wa.

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia thanks everyone for attending the Curry Cup and invites everyone to save-the-date for the 12th annual Spot Prawn Festival, taking place on Saturday, May 12.   

 

Curry Cup chair Neil Wyles of the Chefs' Table Society of BC and Mount Pleasant BIA presents Barb Finley of Project Chef $1500. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Curry Cup chair Neil Wyles of the Chefs' Table Society of BC and Mount Pleasant BIA presents Barb Finley of Project Chef $1500. Photo Credit Charles Zuckermann

Learn About the Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia is a non-profit society comprised of BC's leading chefs and culinary professionals. It is a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals.

The Society supports innovative and sustainable programs that will inspire, educate and nurture BC chefs, producers and the local food industry. The Chefs' Table Society secures apprenticeships for and bestows bursaries to emerging local chefs and finances culinary education programs in BC schools.

Visit chefstablesociety.com for more information about the Chefs' Table Society of BC or to become a chef member or supporting member.

 

Town Hall Brands is proud to do the publicity for the Chefs' Table of BC. Note to media who want to schedule an interview with Curry Cup Winner chef Alessandro Vianello of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco, and Bells and Whistles), please contact Jessica Napier at SMC Communications Inc. 604-839-3743

Creating a Professional Brand for Your Winery

Do you know what you need to position your winery as a reliable brand? Here are some common starting points for a successful brand identity.

 

Brand DNA

The Brand DNA is the backbone of your brand. What is your main objective? What are your values? What kind of person identifies with your brand? This document communicates your brand’s story, and determines how your brand interacts with the world.

 

Brand Guide

The Brand Guide helps your brand stay consistent across different channels and touch points. It specifies what fonts, colours, language, and images should be used to represent your brand.

Brand Usage Guide for Mirabel Vineyards

Brand Usage Guide for Mirabel Vineyards

 

Logo Usage Guide

The Logo Usage Guide explains how to properly display the logo. How much space should be around the logo? How small can it be before it begins to lose legibility? The Logo Usage Guide ensures that no matter where your logo is placed, it always looks consistent and professional.

 

Creating a Professional Brand can be an overwhelming task, especially when you’re focused on the business side of running a winery. We can transform your grassroots/ homemade products into a streamlined brand. We can also determine gaps in preexisting brands, bring alignment, and determine your next marketing steps. Let us help you meet your brand vision and goals.

 

Contact us at today at info@townhallbrands.com to set up a free 30-minute consultation.

Farm Friends Event Raised $6,000 For BC Hospitality Foundation

Farm Friends, an event that was organized in response to the recent boycott on the importation of BC Wine to Alberta, raised $6,000 for the BC Hospitality Foundation on Thursday, February 22, 2018. The boycott has now been rescinded, fortunately and coincidentally so, on the day of the event.

Mastermind behind Farm Friends and BCHF chair, Christine Coletta (also owner of Okanagan Crush Pad Winery & Haywire Winery), noted that the BC Hospitality Foundation was a natural fit to donate proceeds to, "As one of the founders of the BCHF, I am passionate about the work we do. I urge other industry businesses to think of ways they can help. In this case funds will be used to support the next generation about to enter the hospitality sector through scholarships".

This event was proof that businesses working side by side to find solutions over political grand standing is the way forward. With attendees which included the public, trade, and media, guests enjoyed Alberta foods such as beef and bison made by chefs at Granville Island’s Edible Canada, paired with wines from some of BC’s top wineries listed below.

Participating wines at Farm Friends event.

Participating wines at Farm Friends event.

50th Parallel Estate Winery

Culmina Family Estate Winery

Dames Wine

Liquidity Wines

Okanagan Crush Pad Winery

Painted Rock Estate Winery

Poplar Grove Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Each winery generously donated $500 to the BC Hospitality Foundation, in addition to attending the event and pouring for guests. Owner of Edible Canada, Eric Pateman, proudly hosted this event to support the industry.

Congratulations to the brave hearts of our industry for reminding everyone that BC loves Alberta, and that we should always react with warmth rather than hate and opposition.  

Christine Coletta, organizer of Farm Friends and owner of Okanagan Crush Pad winery, with Lauren Skinner from Painted Rock Winery and Harriet Whitecross from Edible Canada, enjoying local BC wine while discussing details of Farm Friends event.

Christine Coletta, organizer of Farm Friends and owner of Okanagan Crush Pad winery, with Lauren Skinner from Painted Rock Winery and Harriet Whitecross from Edible Canada, enjoying local BC wine while discussing details of Farm Friends event.

Western Canada's Largest Grocery & Specialty Food Show Returns with Expanded Show and New Lineup of Speakers Under One Roof

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[Vancouver, BC] Western Canada's premier conference and exhibition, Grocery & Specialty Food West (GSFW) returns April 23 and 24 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building (1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC). 

Due to popular demand, this year's show has expanded its exhibition space and enhanced its programs to create an all-inclusive collaborative, networking and educational experience for everyone in the grocery and specialty food industries. In addition to workshops and keynotes, more than 300 booths of leading grocery and specialty food suppliers will be onsite to showcase their latest innovations and services to the 2,500 attendees.

As a fast-paced industry valued at $120-billion,  grocery stakeholders are always on the lookout for the latest innovations, insights and trends to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The GSFW show has become the trusted epicenter where thousands of key, decision-making retailers and manufacturers converge to discover insights and new products, share conversations and build relationships  

Highlights at this year's show includes, but not limited to:

  • Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
     
  • The role of artificial intelligence in grocery.
  • Technology's impact on grocery retailing.
  • Shopper marketing best practices. 
  • Market analysis: Present and future of grocery industry. 
    • Mark Petrie, consumer and market analyst, CIBC World Markets.
  • Consumer and grocery trends, such as meal kits. 
    • Katie Martin, editor, Progressive Grocer/Gourmet Retailer Magazine

Learn more about the full panel of speakers, conference details, New Product Showcasetips for attending the show and more.

"Based on positive feedback from Grocery & Specialty Food West attendees and exhibitors in previous years, we proudly say with confidence that whether you are a conference attendee or exhibitor, you will walk away with a new business insight or network. The GSFW show is thrilled to be the platform that bridges these new opportunities to ultimately support sales." - Thomas Barlow, president and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG)

 

Exhibitors:

With thousands of attendees expected, this is the only grocery and specialty food show to comprehensively connect you with like-minded grocery professionals while learning about the latest industry insights that supports your business. Remember, GSF is all things grocery and specialty food retailing. If it can be utilized in the day-to-day operations of the grocery store, you can find it all right here, under one roof. Exhibit now. 

 

Retailers & Buyers: 

Bring your entire team to this one-stop shop for anyone in the grocery sector. Be sure to take full advantage of GSF's trade show only Show Specials offered by numerous exhibitors (discounts and coupons for retailers offered only at the show). 

Full conference agenda available onlineRegister now.  

 

Media: 

For media accreditation (on assignment only), photo library and interview opportunities with experts, please contact Amy Chen for more information.  

Plan a Perfect Vineyard Wedding

Trends and Tips from the Experts on Planning the Perfect Vineyard Wedding

[Duncan, BC] A vineyard wedding offers the perfect earthy-chic ambiance, tied together with old-world charm. Planning it all can be daunting, so we spoke to seasoned professionals who frequently work with Blue Grouse Estate Winery for their tips and trends on how to host a dream wedding set among the vines. Follow these ideas for how to style your own.

Please browse our Blue Grouse Estate Winery photo gallery with photo credits to: Sweet Heirloom Photography

The Bride and Groom   share   a sweet moment on site at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit: Sweet Heirloom Photography  

The Bride and Groom share a sweet moment on site at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit: Sweet Heirloom Photography 

Food:

Taryn Stewart of Truffles Catering says to impress with cheese cake.

No, we're not talking about any creamy, sweet Cheesecake Factory confections. Cutting-edge, food-loving couples today are opting for fanciful, multi-tiered cakes made out of gourmet cheeses such as chèvre, gouda, and a host of savoury charcuterie board staples.

"The trend is ideal for those that are looking to incorporate unique and distinctive wedding elements to their special day," Stewart shared. The opportunity to pair this with an array of award-winning Blue Grouse wines is surely the topping on the "cake".

Charcuterie from a wedding at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Jeffrey Bosdet photo.

Charcuterie from a wedding at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Jeffrey Bosdet photo.

Rentals:

If you are getting married on Vancouver Island, the tenting, glassware, and more can be arranged by Dave Willie at Black and White Rentals. With more than 25 years of experience supporting Island weddings, Dave notes that gold cutlery, textured ceramic plates, chiavari chairs, and harvest tables are popular. 

Blue Grouse offers indoor and outdoor settings for a ceremony and reception. Here, Blue Grouse Estate Winery's Quill White awaits wedding guests. Sweet Heirloom Photography.

Blue Grouse offers indoor and outdoor settings for a ceremony and reception. Here, Blue Grouse Estate Winery's Quill White awaits wedding guests. Sweet Heirloom Photography.

Event Planning and Florals:

Most couples today choose to have their ceremony and reception at the same venue. This is affordable, and allows a seamless transition from the ceremony to photos, mingling with cocktails, and dinner into dancing. "Staying in one spot allows more time with guests, and less stress for all by reducing travel and logistics," discloses Christine Smart of Smart Events. With a venue as vast and versatile as Blue Grouse Estate Winery, transitions are simplified and complicated coordination is eliminated. 

"Blue Grouse Estate Winery offers a stunning contemporary building which allows traditional table settings and florals to become a focal point", she adds.

The colour tones of the setting at Blue Grouse Estate Winery are natural and very easy to complement. With this in mind, those getting married have creative freedom for picking floral arrangements that are true to their style. Pantone's colour of the year for 2018 is ultra-violet, so purple lavender and pink or cream-coloured roses or peonies are on trend, but any one of your favourite flowers can be incorporated beautifully. 

Rich, jewel-toned blooms blended with cream-coloured peonies and natural greenery carry an air of vibrant sophistication and elegance. Thorn & Thistle photo.

Rich, jewel-toned blooms blended with cream-coloured peonies and natural greenery carry an air of vibrant sophistication and elegance. Thorn & Thistle photo.

Venue

Next to engagement rings and the bride's dress, deciding on a venue is one of the biggest aspects of planning a wedding. Boasting 65 acres of stunning property, Blue Grouse Estate Winery is the ideal venue to make the dream of a vineyard wedding become a reality.

Sweeping valley views on the ceremony grounds at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit Sweet Heirloom Photography.

Sweeping valley views on the ceremony grounds at Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Photo Credit Sweet Heirloom Photography.

An outdoor ceremony at Blue Grouse Estate Winery can accommodate up to 130 guests, and can be tented. Alternatively, if you want to be indoors, the inside tasting room of the winery can accommodate up to 80 guests for a seated dinner reception.

Concerned about accommodations? The Grouse House offers a luxurious two-bedroom suite that is a convenient location to rent for pre-ceremony wedding party preparations and a beautiful post-ceremony rest. Upon booking your wedding, you will receive $100.00 off of your stay per night at Grouse House

For inquiries about booking a wedding at Blue Grouse Estate Winery and/or a stay at the brand new Grouse House, contact Jenny.

 

About Blue Grouse Estate Winery:

Family-owned, sustainably-farmed and award-winning, Blue Grouse Estate Winery is located in Duncan, in the heart of the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The winery and surrounding vineyards are a sought after destination not only for sampling the winery's award-winning portfolio of wines, but also for events, picnics and family adventures.

The inspired winery facility was built with many sustainable elements including locally-sourced construction materials, the use of geothermal energy, onsite water collection and treatment, as well as other features that reduce energy consumption.

More information, including tasting hours and upcoming events: www.bluegrouse.ca/ 

Farm Friends: BC Wineries respond to Alberta's BC Wine Boycott with Love

Wineries to host public "Farm Friends" event with BC wine and Alberta beef

And call for supporters to make March 2018 BC Wine Month

Feb 8, 2018 [Summerland, BC] Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced an immediate boycott on all imports of wines from British Columbia Tuesday, in what is becoming a growing inter-provincial spat over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

Instead of reacting with hate and opposition, a group of BC wineries has decided to remind everyone that they love Alberta.

Christine Coletta, owner of Okanagan Crush Pad, makers of Haywire wine, is calling for people to support their local wine industry during the month of March, while continuing to purchase Alberta products. 

The idea kicks off with a walk around food and wine evening featuring BC wine and Alberta food at Edible Canada on Thursday, February 22nd. Tickets, $55 are available here, and are expected to sell quickly. All proceeds will be donated to the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Participating wineries include 50th Parallel Estate WineryCulmina Family Estate WineryHaywireLiquidityPainted Rock Estate WineryPoplar Grove Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery; as well as Mireille Sauvé with the Dames Wineproject. Winery principals will be on hand to showcase their wines and talk to guests and celebrate the gains that the industry has made over the past two decades.

Their wines will be showcased along with Alberta foods such as beef and bison, and made by Edible Canada and guest chefs. 

For the past decade, farmers, wineries and food producers have worked hard to create an identity for Canadian cuisine across the country and take that message to the international world whenever possible to promote culinary tourism. 

"We want everyone to see that we are better together," says Coletta. "We do not want to do anything that could potentially hurt farmers or small family businesses, no matter where they live. "Working side by side to find solutions is ideal over political grand standing," she continues. "There are so many links and synergies between the two provinces that we need to remember and embrace."

Edible Canada is located on Granville Island in the heart of a thriving public market. The restaurant exclusively serves Canadian cuisine using local products and offers a gourmet artisan retail store. Owner Eric Pateman has been a tireless champion of Canada's culinary community and is proud to be able to host the event. 

 

SHARING IS CARING

Here's the Farm Friends tool kit you need to spread the word.

 

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Summerhill's Organic Bistro Opens for 2018 with New Flavours

Summerhill Pyramid Winery's Sunset Organic Bistro Opens for 2018 With New Flavours and a Featured Culinary Team

[Kelowna, BC] The Summerhill Sunset Organic Bistro reopens this month with a new team and menu. Lauded British Columbia chef Jeremy Luypen joins Summerhill Pyramid Winery (Summerhill) as executive winery chef. 

Luypen is excited to be building plant-based menus focused on the abundance of local vegetables, especially those featuring ingredients from the winery's biodynamic gardens. 

"While we will definitely continue to serve Oceanwise products from Codfathers Seafood Market and grass-fed meats from Two Rivers Specialty Meats, we fundamentally believe a plant-based diet with better, not more meat, is the way to go", says Luypen.

"Always focusing on protein as the centre of the plate leaves vegetarians with the short end of the stick, so at Summerhill, we are doing the opposite."

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More Information:

A seasoned chef with both extensive hotel and restaurant experience, many in the Okanagan recognize Luypen as the Okanagan Chefs Association president; and he comes to Summerhill from Predator Ridge, where he spent four years working closely with local farmers and growers. With extensive food and beverage experience across the Okanagan, he was executive chef at Hotel Eldorado in Kelowna, and Spirit Ridge Resort in Osoyoos.

As the original owner and executive chef of Terrafina at Hester Creek in Oliver, Luypen pushed Terrafina to be named Top 20 Winery Restaurants in the World by Wine Access Magazine. 

Outside of his paid work, Luypen frequently gives back to his community. He is passionate about training and education and also works as a culinary instructor in the Okanagan College's Culinary Arts Program, where he has developed classes of talented cooks and apprentices. Chef of the Year 2016 (from Okanagan Chefs Association) and BDO's Top 40 Under 40 in 2015 are only some snippets of Luypen's culinary accolades.

To book an interview with chef Jeremy Luypen, please contact Amy Chen, 778-998-0036.

 

About Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, located since 1991 in the Lakeshore district of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, BC, is Canada's largest certified organic winery, BC's first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, and Canada's foremost producer of sparkling wine.

Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that have earned the winery the title of 'Canadian Wine Producer of the Year' from the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to the Sunset Organic Bistro, a 200-seat, organic restaurant with a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including Summerhill's own on-site permaculture-style biodynamic vegetable garden.

More background reading on Summerhill Pyramid Winery's organic and biodynamic farming practices can be found here.

For more information, visit www.summerhill.bc.ca.

Help your sales team sell more wine with a sales tool kit

Are you and your importer/distributor both eager to tell your story in a way that translates into sales? Consider equipping your sales team with consistent and professional materials (a sales tool kit) that tell your authentic story.

A sales tool kit is a toolbox, containing the items that make it easier for your customer to understand your wine, and make room for it on their shelves.

What’s in a sales tool kit? At the minimum it should include a portfolio sheet listing all of your wines, but a great sales tool kit will include several items that make it easier for the buyer to sell your wine to consumers.

Sales Tool Kit Checklist:

  •   Portfolio Sheet/Booklet
  •   Technical Information Sheets
  •   Sell Sheets
  •   Shelf Talkers
  •   Neck Tags
  •   Business Cards
  •   Tasting Cards
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So, how can you create a sales tool kit? Here’s the process we go through to create one:

1.     Strategy – The first step is to have a strategy and determine which pieces of information will be used where (such as what accolades or reviews you’ll want to use and if you want them on shelf talkers or neck tags). This will help inform which items you will need to make.

2.     Gather – The next step is to gather the content you’ll need to create the tools: your brand story, wine technical info (pH, RS, TA, alc%), harvesting information, awards/reviews, and product photos (bottle shots).

3.     Create – The last step is to create the materials. Portfolio sheets, tech sheets, and sell sheets, shelf talkers, business cards, and tasting cards.

Creating these materials in a professional, consistent and compelling way will help your brand stand out and make it easier on your sales reps and retailers to sell your wine.

Are you stuck in the steps to create your own kit? Maybe you don’t have all the content you need, like a compelling brand story, or you lack professional bottle shots. Or maybe you need help creating professional looking tech sheets and shelf talkers. Let us help un-stick you, and help you create a really successful sales tool kit.

We are Town Hall Brands, and have more than 21 years of industry experience, creating content and marketing materials for winery clients, successfully elevating their brands and helping their sales soar. We would love to do the same for you.

5 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas that are NOT a Box of Chocolates

Canada's food trend expert shares gifts that fill your heart and belly

Canada's food trend expert shares gifts that fill your heart and belly

News Angles: Valentine's Day gifts, gluten-free food, cooking classes, gourmet food.

Note to Media: To schedule an interview with food expert Angie Quaale, contact Amy Chen, 778-998-0036.

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[Langley, BC] Angie Quaale has done it again. Quaale's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store  has you covered for Valentine's Day with five gift ideas that will keep you and your plus one happy, full, and wanting more. Gluten-free ideas are also plentiful without having to compromise the flavours. 

 

1. STAY IN for a Romantic & Hassle-Free Dinner for Two ($75 per order): New this year, food expert Angie Quaale has put together the perfect dinner IN. Skip the busy Valentine's Day restaurant reservations and pre-order your gourmet and gluten-free dinner set between February 8th-14th via Well Seasoned's online store. Have it delivered within 24 hours of ordering or pick-up at the Well Seasoned Store. Portions are extremely generous and will last until the next meal. Everything is gluten-free, super convenient, gourmet quality, and best of all, choose your favourite wine and Netflix show in the comfort of your own home! 

Each order ($75) includes a four-course dinner for two people:

Appetizer

A Cheese and Charcuterie Board for two featuring products from Winecrush with all of the appropriate accompaniments.

Salad

Organic Designer Greens with Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans and a Housemade Champagne Vinaigrette 

Main Course

Red Wine Braised Beef, Butternut Squash Puree & Rosemary Garlic Smashed Baby Potatoes  

OR

Sous Vide Chicken Breast, Mushroom Farro & Roasted Cauliflower
 

Dessert

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pot de Creme 


2. Feb 14 Cooking Class ($225 per couple): A special collaboration of food and wine on this special night. Chef Carl will prepare the perfect meal and the KIS Consulting team will match each course with a hand-selected wine. Learn new skills, dine at Well Seasoned, take home recipes, and plan the perfect unforgettable date. 

Each class is $225 per couple (limited to 10 couples). Call to book: 604-530-1518. More information available on Well Seasoned's website - scroll down and select Feb 14. 

 

3. Ready-to-Eat Cookie Dough: Curl up on the couch and slowly devour spoonfuls of this delectable treat with your loved one. This special Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough allows food-lovers to safely consume the "raw" dough. There are no raw eggs or unpasteurized ingredients - they are designed to satisfy the cookie dough craving without the risk. Now with the gluten-free recipe, those with dietary restrictions don't have to take a risk, either. Available for $6.99 ($7.99 for gluten-free version) in-store at Langley's Well Seasoned or online (ships Canada-wide), each dough is packaged in a single-serve container with a pair of accompanying wooden spoons.

 

4. Bacon Jam: The perfect blend of savoury and sweet flavours. Hand made by Chef Mari, with Johnston's Thick Cut Double Smoked Bacon. This delightful spread is the perfect addition to your cheese and charcuterie platters, spread on a burger or sandwich, and even mixed into your mac and cheese. Available for $7.99 in-store, or online (ships Canada-wide). 

 

5. Cooking Class Voucher: Memories last a lifetime, so give the gift of an experience. With demo and hands-on cooking classes happening almost daily, it won't be hard to find a time that works for you and your date. See you soon.

 

BC's Best Sommelier Named for 2018

2018 Best Sommelier of BC Crowned in Vancouver

Note to Media:

Photos from the competition available online here: http://bit.ly/2DOjC2S
For a web version of the press release, view it here: http://bit.ly/2DPlRmu 

News in Short:

[Vancouver, BC] The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC), announces the Best Sommelier of British Columbia 2018 is Sean Nelson, sommelier at Vij's restaurant. This is a hard-earned win for Nelson, who also was awarded "Best Taster" of the day.

Sean Nelson of Vij's crowned   Best Sommelier of BC 2018. 

Sean Nelson of Vij's crowned Best Sommelier of BC 2018. 

Additionally, Nelson will be formally recognized at the VIWF Trade Luncheon in February.

In a very tight finale, Nelson outscored second place winner Matthew Landry of the Stable House Bistro and 3rd place winner Todd Prucyk of Hawksworth Restaurant to claim the 2018 Title. All three of the finalists were gifted with a personalized Canucks jersey on behalf of Rogers Arena.

CAPS BC president Lesley Brown says, "A huge congratulations Sean, and to both Matt and Todd; and, all of the 13 competitors today."

More Information:

The annual competition, emceed by Shane Taylor, winner of 2017 Best Sommelier BC Competition, attracted sommeliers from across the province to compete in the Captains Room at Rogers Arena for the title of  Best Sommelier of British Columbia. The competition included an intense written exam in the morning, with the top three scoring sommeliers from the written exam advancing through to a series of practical tests, such as opening and pouring sparkling wine perfectly, spotting errors in a written wine menu, and blind tasting and identifying wines; all in front of 100 spectators. 

This year's competition judges were Barbara Philip, Michaela Morris, and Sebastien Le Goff.

The full list of competitors:

Christina Hartigan, Botanist
Calen Macdonald, Blue Water Cafe
Michael Hiram, AnnaLena
Matthew Landry, The Stable House Bistro
Shane Lobsinger, Sonora Resort
Adam Mayhew, Yew at Four Seasons Hotel
Scott Mitchell, AnnaLena
Sean Nelson, Vij's
Jayton Paul, Hawksworth Restaurant
Todd Prucyk, Hawksworth Restaurant
Tereza Roux, Wedgewood Hotel
Peter Van de Reep, Campagnolo
Jesse Walters, Burdock & Co.  

New Aspiring Sommelier Competition:

New and as a first in Canada this year, CAPS BC hosted the 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier Competition. This event was for any member of CAPS BC who earns at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment in any role, and who has an interest in participating in future Best Sommelier BC competitions. The event mimics the Best Sommelier BC format in order to give aspiring sommeliers the opportunity to understand what the competition is all about.

Winner of the inaugural Aspiring Sommelier Competition is Ian Wharton of Blue Water Cafe. The runner up: Alex Anderson of Tap Restaurant.

Also competing were:

Jason Yamasaki (Wine Director of the Joey Restaurant Group and Best Sommelier in BC 2015) and Mark Shipway (Director of Professional Development, CAPS - BC) oversaw the new competition. Jason mentioned as part of the awards announcement that "BC is leading the way with this competition. The sommelier community continues to build in BC and it is truly something special."

Suggested Tweet: The @CAPS_BC #BestSommBC is @sommwineguy of @eatdrinkvijs 


About The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers:
Established in 1989, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) is a pan-Canadian association, which brings together individuals within the sommelier profession, restaurant services, and other sectors of the wine industry.

As a not-for-profit organization, CAPS aims to promote and educate the sommelier profession through professional development and networking events related to the wine and spirits industry. Visit: http://sommelierscanada.com/ 

Champion Vancouver chefs are set to compete for the coveted Curry Cup

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Lineup of leading Chefs announced for 2018 Curry Cup

Few tickets remain to the event. Get yours now.

[Vancouver, BC] On March 13, 2018, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, The Chefs' Table Society of BC's fifth annual Curry Cup returns to Heritage Hall (3102 Main St., Vancouver). 

$69 + taxes & fees gets you a ticket which includes delicious samples of curry from each team, canapés, and cocktails.

More delicious additions include wine samples from Evolve Cellars, beer samples from R&B Brewing, and fresh dessert doughnuts from Cartems Donuts. It's the best ticket in town for an intimate, tasty, and entertaining evening that also benefits Project Chef, a program which teaches young students about healthy food.

Meet this year's competing chefs:

Hosted once again by the inimitable Fred Lee of The Province and CBC Radio, he will be joined by the following judges:

Felix Zhou, Heritage Asian Eatery - last year's winner!
Alexandra Gill, The Globe and Mail
Vikram Vij, Vij's Restaurant

The Chefs' Table Society of BC also proudly acknowledges the generous supply of rentals from Lonsdale Event Rentals for the 5th consecutive year.

For more information about the fifth annual Curry Cup visit here

Photo assets available on Dropbox: here.

 

About the Chefs' Table Society:

The Chefs' Table Society of British Columbia is a non-profit society comprised of BC's leading chefs and culinary professionals. It is a chef-administered, province-wide collaborative dedicated to creating a foundation for the exchange of information between culinary professionals. 

The Society supports innovative and sustainable programs that will inspire, educate and nurture BC chefs, producers and the local food industry. The Chefs' Table Society secures apprenticeships for and bestows bursaries to emerging local chefs and also finances culinary education programs in BC schools.

Visit  chefstablesociety.com for more information about the Chefs' Table Society of BC or to become a chef or supporting member.

Gluten-Free Version of Ready-to-Eat Cookie Dough Arrives at Langley's Gourmet Food Store

[Langley, BC] Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has released a gluten-free version of their freshly made and fully pasteurized Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough in the popular flavour, Classic Chocolate Chip- a true classic that brings back childhood memories. 

Available for $7.99 in-store at Langley's Well Seasoned or online (ships Canada-wide), each dough is packaged in a single-serve container with two accompanying wooden spoons.

Well Seasoned's Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough has been gaining viral attention and is barely staying on the shelves. To meet customer demands, it was only fair to create a gluten-free version so everyone can enjoy. 

As seen on outlets such as Vancouver is Awesome and The Georgia Straight (and many others), the Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough is unsurprisingly catching fire all around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. It also continues to be at the top of each year's food trends. 

This special Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough allows food-lovers to safely consume the "raw" dough. There are no raw eggs or unpasteurized ingredients - these treats are designed to satisfy the cookie dough craving without the risk. Now with the gluten-free recipe, those with dietary restrictions don't have to take a risk, either. 

Langley's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has released a gluten-free version of the Classic Chocolate Chip  Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough .

Langley's Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store has released a gluten-free version of the Classic Chocolate Chip Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough.

FAQs: 

  • Can I bake the Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough into cookies?
    • No, our cookie dough is made especially for consuming unbaked. It doesn't include ingredients necessary for making baked cookies.
  • Are there added preservatives in your cookie dough?

    • No, the cookie dough is made with fresh ingredients and immediately frozen or refrigerated.
       
  • How should I store my Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough?
    • Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough will last up to 10 days at room temperature or 6 weeks in the refrigerator. If you would like to save your Ready-To-Eat Cookie Dough for later, it can be frozen for about 1 year. Just thaw it for 20-30 minutes and it will be ready to eat again.
  • Is your cookie dough safe to eat raw?
    • Yes, all of the ingredients in our homemade recipes are safe to consume unbaked.

Don't miss another important deadline by following our lead times

Ever feel so overwhelmed trying to plan for the year that you’re often getting things done last minute? Don’t stress, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a timeline to help you stay on track.

Remember that creating marketing materials takes time. Allow three to four months for a wine label design from start to finish (and don’t forget the bottle shots images!). Get ready for your wine shop opening for the season with signage and point-of-sale materials. And start thinking about your holiday needs at the end of summer.

Below is a graphic for a visual representation. Text to follow.

For questions and/or graphic design help, contact us at info@townhallbrands.com.

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Winter (December, January, February)

  • Advertisements: You should have your advertisement budget planned for the year. Now’s the time to get those campaigns and ads created.
  • Wine Labels & Bottle Shot Images: Whether you are refreshing your labels, updating the vintages and back labels, or designing a whole new label – it’s time to start this process to prepare for your spring release.
  • Prepare for updated press materials for media queries.
  • Tasting materials: Below are some materials you may need for your tasting room opening:
    o  Highway signage for visitors
    o  Shelf talkers
    o  Portfolio list
    o  Signage for winery (tasting fees, etc)
    o  Tasting cards
    o  Neck tags
    o  Shelf tags

SPRING (MARCH, APRIL, MAY)

  • This is the time to make sure all your labels are done in time for your spring release.
  • Bottle Shot Images: With the labels finalized, this is a great time to get bottle shot images made. They can be used in your sell sheets, online store, advertisements, or to fulfill media requests.
  • Is your press kit up to date?
  • With the busy tasting season coming up, is your wine shop ready for visitors?

Summer (June, July, August)

  • Wine Labels & Bottle Shot Images: Whether you are refreshing your labels, updating the vintages and back labels, or designing a whole new label – it’s time to start this process to prepare for your fall release.
  • Packaging: Wine cases, bottle cap enclosures, prep for bottling
  • Holidays: It’s not too early to think about your holiday offerings, and this is actually the best time to do it! Below are some materials you may need, for your clients and for your sales team.
    o  Shelf talkers
    o  Technical sheets
    o  Portfolio booklets
    o  Holiday offerings sell sheets
    o  Wine club offers sell sheets
    o  Advertisements
    o  Holiday cards – printed or ecards
    o  Tasting cards

Fall (September, October, November)

  • Holidays: Finalize your holiday pieces to make the most of your year-end sales
  • Point-of-sale materials: Need updates to your current marketing materials?
    o  Business cards
    o  Rack cards
    o  Brochures
    o  Banners

Best Sommelier of BC Returns January 29

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Best Sommelier of BC Competition Returns to Vancouver

New competing category for 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier

Hosted by The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC), the fourth annual Best Sommelier of BC Competition returns to Rogers Arena on January 29th, 2018.

[Vancouver, BC] This annual competition attracts some of the best and brightest sommeliers from across the province to compete for the title of BC's Best Sommelier 2018 . This incredibly challenging competition includes both a written and practical examination. The practical exam will be held live as the top three sommeliers from the written portion compete for the 2018 title. Ticket packages available for CAPS Members and the public to view the competition and join the post-competition celebration dinner and announcements.

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The winner will be announced at the post-competition Dinner, hosted by CAPS BC, at the Encore Suite at Rogers Arena (doors open at 4:30pm).

To be eligible to compete, individuals must be accredited members of CAPS BC and must earn at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment as a sommelier. Competitors must also be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

Those sommeliers (or up-and-coming sommeliers) wishing to compete can still apply, and the entrants to date are listed here, in alphabetical order by last name:

Christina Hartigan, Botanist
Michael Hiram, AnnaLena
Matthew Landry, The Stable House Bistro
Shane Lobsinger, Sonora Resort
Adam Mehew, Yew at Four Seasons Hotel
Scott Mitchell, AnnaLena
Sean Nelson, Vij's
Jayton Paul, Hawksworth Restaurant
Todd Prucyk, Hawksworth Restaurant
Tereza Roux, Wedgewood Hotel
Peter Van de Reep, Campagnolo
Jesse Walters, Burdock & Co.

Esteemed judges for this year: Barbara Philip, Michaela Morris and Sebastien Le Goff. Emcee is DJ Kearney and Shane Taylor, winner of 2017 Best Sommelier BC Competition.

Competition Details

9:00am-11:00am- Preliminary competition, including written exam and blind tasting, with all candidates. This portion happens behind closed doors.

12:00pm-4:30pm- The Top 3 Competitors will be announced, and then immediately compete live for Best Somm BC 2018. This portion is open to the public for viewing.

Location: Captains Room, Rogers Arena (Gate 10, 800 Griffiths Way)

 

Champions Dinner Details

4:30pm-8:00pm- Cocktail hour, dinner served, and winners announced.

Location: Encore Suite, Rogers Arena  (Gate 10, 800 Griffiths Way)

 

Ticket Prices:

CAPS Members:
$65 - Live Competition Viewing + Reception & Dinner Package
$40 - Reception/Dinner Only

Non-Members:
$75 - Live Competition Viewing + Reception & Dinner Package
$50 - Reception/Dinner Only

For the LIVE Competition Viewing ONLY - $10 at the door (first come-first serve seating). Doors open at 12:00pm and the competition begins at 12:30pm.

In addition - for the first time, CAPS BC is happy to announce the 2018 BC Aspiring Somm Competition.

This event is open to any member of CAPS BC who earns at least 50% of their income from hospitality employment in any role as well as has an interest in participating in future Best Sommelier of BC competitions. The event mimics theBest Sommelier of BC format to give aspiring sommeliers the opportunity to understand what the competition is really all about. Competitors must also be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident. This event runs concurrent to the Best Sommelier of BC, from 9:00am-12:00pm on Monday, January 29th at Rogers Arena. The 2018 BC Aspiring Sommelier Winner will be announced prior to theBest Sommelier of BC announcement on Monday evening.


About Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers:

Established in 1989, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) is a pan-Canadian association, which brings together individuals within the sommelier profession, restaurant services, and other sectors of the wine industry.

As a not-for-profit organization, CAPS aims to promote and educate the sommelier profession through professional development and networking events related to the wine and spirits industry. Visit: http://sommelierscanada.com/ 

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Shares Lineup of Events for Weekend Getaway

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Shares Lineup of Events for Weekend Getaway

After the hustling and bustling of the holiday season, now is the perfect time for a weekend getaway to recharge and ease back into the year. Cowichan Valley's Blue Grouse Estate Winery offers plenty of activities for this wintery time of the year. 

2018 Vancouver Events

Want to stay in the loop for all of YVR's biggest food and beverage events this year? Look no further. We'll also be including dates and deadlines for industry-related topics. Don't forget to check back frequently as this calendar will be updated all year! (Note: Past events will be moved to the bottom of the post.)

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Upcoming Events:

May 24: Dockside Restaurant Spring Patio Tasting

May 25 - June 3: Vancouver Craft Beer Week

May 29: Chicha and Strange Fellows Beer Dinner

May 30 - June 2: TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) Conference

May 31: Spot Prawn Boil Dining Series

June 12: Chef Meets Truck 2018

June 19: Western Living's Foodies of the Year

June 20: Wines of Provence Lunch & Learn

June 23: Chef Meets BC Grape (Okanagan Falls) 

July 21: The Deighton Cup

August 23: Dîner en Blanc Vancouver

September 1: Vancouver Cheese and Meat Festival

September 17: Wines of Germany Tasting

Past Events: 

January 1: Registration opens for IVSA New Product salons

January 19: BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch Penalty Schedule Review

January 23: IVSA New Product Salons (Vancouver)

January 23: Taste the World

January 30: IVSA New Product Salons (Victoria)

February 1: Tickets go on sale for California Wine Fair 

February 24 - March 4: Vancouver International Wine Festival

March 10: BC Uncorked Food and Wine Festival

March 20: IVSA New Product Salons (Victoria) 

March 26: IVSA New Product Salons (Vancouver) 

April 6- 7: BC Distilled (dinners) 

April 9: California Wine Fair (Vancouver)

April 10: California Wine Fair (Edmonton)

April 12: California Wine Fair (Calgary)

April 13: Wine for Waves

April 14: BC Distilled (main tasting) 

April 22 - 24: BC Hospitality Summit

April 23 - 24: Grocery and Specialty Food West Show

April 24: Bloom Wines of BC Tasting (Victoria)

May 3 - 10:  Wines of New Zealand (various activities) 

May 7: Wines of Greece (various activities) 

May 10: Wines of BC Spring Release (Calgary) 

May 17 - 18: Top Drop Vancouver

On being named among those that lead and inspire

What a way to cap off the year!

I’m so flattered to be named among nine other dynamite women as one of 10 Women in PR That Lead, Inspire and Build Successful Brands, by Women in Public Relations North America

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This has been an especially exciting year for me personally, because in January I celebrated my 20th “careeraversary”.

I started doing publicity in 1997 without any formal training (as I was hired as a marketing assistant, and marketing was my education). In those days we were faxing out press releases to a (small) curated list, creating paper press kits that went into folders and were mailed, couriered or handed out at events. (Email was just starting to become adopted and I remember trying to talk my then boss and mentor Christine Coletta into using email!) After continuing to do media relations with the wine cognoscenti as a function of my role as a marketing coordinator for the BC Wine Institute, I took college courses on weekends and evenings until I earned my PR certificate.

When we left the BC Wine Institute I remained working for Christine Coletta & we started doing marketing and PR for other wineries in Canada, and for wine regions beyond. My last name was still Clemens then, and I was among maybe three other people in the country who were doing wine-related publicity. (There were other publicists at the time but there were very few solopreneurs and primarily just agencies were doing PR.)

Over the 16 years of working for and then becoming business partners with Christine Coletta, I went from doing marketing and PR, to helping create and build brands from the ground up. In 2013 when Christine and our other business partner Julian Scholefield went to run her Okanagan Crush Pad winery full time, my husband Andrew von Rosen and I opened our agency. We hired talented people to do the PR, and I am now a director of PR activities rather than doing one-on-one publicity myself.

I’m super proud of the relationships I have created with the media, but I’m even MORE proud of my PR team, who day after day reach out to establish more contacts, and forge strong relationships. These relationships are with people and outlets who support us to help us tell our client stories, and we are so grateful.

Now as we are winding down to say goodbye to 2017 we see the increasing niche publications, the dominance of the influencer (and let’s see where that goes) and then the shrinking but strengthening of many mainstream media outlets. We are refining our team, and need to remain nimble in order to get stories out there.

It remains my perpetual aspiration to inspire. I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.