Interesting events, opportunities and causes that I'd like you to know about.


International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration (i4C)

The idea to celebrate a grape variety that is made around the world but excels in cool climates such as our own, started out a few years ago as some backyard ramblings between wine-friends including Thomas BachelderMary DelaneyHarald Thiel, Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble. In relatively short order, 28 Ontario wineries had established the i4C Association and 26 international wineries signed on too. Dates for this cool event were set for late July 2011. In June, better late than never, I got involved with the social media support for i4C the first year and managed to get in a little photography too.

You can get a taste for this event by viewing a little slideshow that I put together.

Fast forward to 2012, and we again celebrated Chardonnay in the wineries and vineyards of Niagara from July 20 - 22.  It was a huge success, as I tweeted then: "I think that with this #i4c2012 we are witnessing a defining moment in the evolution of the Ontario wine industry. #andyoucanquoteme" It's been a pleasure to work on the social media again this year. Very satisfying. View my photo book here. Here is my slideshow for 2012:

i4c 2013 took place July 19 - 21 and we continued to build on the success of the previous years. I again headed up Social Media, with a role in the website redevelopment and blog posting as well. Website

Looking forward to i4c 2014 on July 18 - 20, 2014 - our fourth i4c. #i4c14!

Twitter  Facebook   Pinterest

Coast to Coast @ Stratus

Always the creative thinkers, Stratus Vineyards has put together a series of evenings that bring chefs from "coast to coast" to the winery to cook for, and engage with, an enthusiastic group of foodies at the communal table. Their purpose is very much one of celebration and sharing, with that wonderful sense of exploration that comes with going beyond our normal boundaries or comfort zone. 

This is the second year for Coast to Coast and two amazing, yet totally different evenings are already in the history books. In May, TV chef Bob Blumer biked into town and surreally produced a quirky and fun cocktail party/dinner, with the assistance of his cohorts - the students of the Canadian Wine & Food Institute. Facebook photo album - CFWI  Facebook photo album - dinner

The first dinner in the series featured Vikram Vij, the inimitable founder of Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver. The New York Times called Vij's, "...easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world." The dinner took place May 262012 at the winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Facebook photo album

The second dinner took place November 3 with Jeremy Charles and Jeremy Bonia of Raymonds in St. John's, Newfoundland. Raymonds was recently named Canada's Best New Restaurant by enRoute Magazine. Facebook photo album 

News release May 15, 2012

Niagara Advance article by Elena Galey-Pride Nov. 13, 2012



VQA Promoters' Awards

Founded in 2006, the VQA Promoters Awards are designed to recognize and encourage individuals who celebrate the Ontario VQA wine industry with "unselfish enthusiasm, constructive input and unsolicited promotion." The Awards are presented annually at the Experts' Tasting at Brock University, under the aegis of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). I'm a founding member of the VQA Promoters' Awards committee and also handle the Social Media. 

The 2014 awards were presented on March 1, 2014 to:

Hospitality:  Erik Peacock, Wellington Court Restaurant + Catering  

LCBO: Co-winners - William Mancini, Product Consultant, LCBO and the late David Churchill, head office

Media:  David Lawarson, WineAlign, Gold Medal Plates and more

Promoter-at-Large:  Shawn McCormick, Uncork Ontario

 Lifetime Achievement:  Lloyd Schmidt

Twitter  #VQAPromoters  Website 


5H Giving - a credo for Holiday (and year-round) giving

It started with a blog post and now is starting to take on a wonderful life of its own.

It's simple. Homemade. Handmade. Healthy. Helpful. From Here. Endeavour to make sure that your birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines, Easter or other gifts meet at least one of these criteria, if not more.

There is now a Facebook page and several other people have blogged about this and written articles too.  What started as a "giving" philosophy, I realize now, is really a "living" philosophy.


TEDx St. Catharines 

St. Catharines' second TEDx event took place on June 22, 2013 at the Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Convention Centre. The theme was "innovation" and featured speakers and videos from 9am to noon. The videos of the individual talks have been sent on to TED for approval and will be posted on YouTube and shortly. Follow on Facebook or Twitter (@TEDxStCatharine (no 's') #TEDxStCatharines) for news when they are posted. The speakers were:

Eh 440

Linda Bramble

Lindsay Kyte

Russ Milland

Shane McKenna

The first TEDx to come to Niagara was on October 13, 2012. A part of the worldwide City2.0, St. Catharines was one of three Canadian locations participating in a worldwide day of "urban inspiration." I was pleased to be a part of the organizing team, responsible for Social Media. The videos of the morning's speakers are all on-line. You can link to them all through the website or from here:

Adrian Petry

Camille Rutherford

Tiffany Mayer

Kurt Anders Richardson

Melissa Hellwig

Wes Prankard

Liz Palmieri

Stephen Fischer

Trevor Twining