Raise a glass to wine tourism

Last Friday, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture announced a new marketing campaign to support B.C. wine and food tourism.

A few hours later, hundreds of revelers in Parksville raised a glass in approval.

OK, so the announcement by Minister Lisa Beare, which includes the creation of a new Minister’s Tourism Engagement Council, was not actually held in conjunction with the annual Parksville Uncorked Wine & Culinary Festival. Indeed, it took place in Kelowna, which is rather closer to the heart of B.C.’s Okanagan wine-making centre.

Still, there was a bit of synchronicity in the timing of the new campaign, which is intended to “support the thousands of British Columbians who rely on tourism for jobs that pay their bills and support their families,” according to Beare.

Parksville Uncorked, now in its 10th year, was started in part to create some “buzz,” and evolved to include a goal of showcasing and recognizing local and regional beer and wine producers that have leaped into the market in the past decade.

Of course, Uncorked was also conceived as a welcome sign, inviting visitors from outside the region to come to the community to enjoy wine and food — while also filling some rooms and spending dollars with local businesses during their stays.

Those visitors have answered that call. While Uncorked remains a relatively small and intimate festival in comparison to some of the behemoth tasting events in greater Victoria or Vancouver, the festival has expanded to become a four-day event that includes a special night devoted to beer producers and their products.

Admittedly, this is not a family friendly tourism draw. But it can provide a key economic injection during the “shoulder” season of late-winter/early-spring. as we await the throngs of summer fun-seekers.

It’s not clear how much of the $150,000 promised by the province for this campaign will trickle to Parksville Qualicum Beach. Yet events like Uncorked, and the fledgling wine and beer festivals launched by the Qualicum Beach Rotary Club last year, will benefit by being included in a larger provincial push that includes the involvement of Destination BC and the B.C. Wine Institute.

Which, in turn, would benefit all of us who live in a tourism-dependent region.

And we’ll raise a glass to that.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach ‘Seniors Scene’ columnist remembered

Roy Jones described as caring father, energetic seniors’ centre member

Councillor has concerns about Qualicum Beach pot shop decision

Debate over location, public consultation and timing continues, though commitment already made

Oceanside RCMP arrest man wanted on several outstanding warrants

Hudson David Klassen, 26, picked up in Parksville

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read