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New funding announced to protect BC's wine industry

The B.C wine industry is going to be getting a helping hand after a few months of uncertainty.

It’s finally starting to warm up, getting everyone excited for summer wine tours and Okanagan sunshine and any challenges that may have gotten in the way of that are being addressed.

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow</who>

Lisa Beare, minister of tourism, arts, and culture, announced a new $150,000 campaign to support BC wine and food tourism. A new Tourism Engagement Council was announced at the same time that will provide advice and build a stronger tourism industry.

The B.C. wine industry went through a period of uncertainty after Alberta announced a boycott of B.C. wines in response to the pipeline dispute.

<who>Photo Credit: File photo

“Swift and meaningful action must be taken to support the thousands of British Columbians who rely on tourism for jobs that pay their bills and support their families,” Beare said on Friday. “Our government is launching a new $150,000 campaign to promote wine and food tourism to immediately address challenges faced by B.C. tourism in our wine regions.

Destination BC will be collaborating with regional partners and tourism operators to launch two wine and culinary tourism campaigns.

The first campaign, beginning this month, encourages British Columbians to make visiting wine country a part of their vacation plans this year. A second campaign rolls out in May, targeting international tourists with invitations to visit B.C.’s world-class wine and culinary destinations.

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow</who>

“It’s great to see the minister’s support for B.C. wineries through these campaigns,” said Miles Prodan, president and CEO of the B.C. Wine Institute. “As the province’s lead wine-industry trade organization, the B.C. Wine Institute has been working in close partnership with Destination BC to develop and deliver a B.C. wine and food tourism strategy, and this additional support will strengthen our efforts.”

The new council will act as a broad-based advisory group and will provide the ministry with advice o tourism policy to help shape a new strategy that will be announced this spring. British Columbians who are interested in participating on the council are encouraged to put their name forward here.

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