From left to right: Hillary Dawson, President, Wine Council of Ontario; Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation; Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario; Bob Peters, President & CEO, LCBO
Last week, we announced the 2012 winners of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award.
Recognizing the significant economic contributions the Ontario wine industry brings to the Greenbelt, this year’s award was shared among three organizations:
- the Wine Council of Ontario,
- the Grape Growers of Ontario and
- the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)
As a tradition, some, if not all, of the previous award winners come back to celebrate the new winners every year. This year, 2006 winner, Sarah Harmer and 2008 winner, Martha Shuttleworth joined us on stage to present the awards to the new winners.
From left to right: Martha Shuttleworth, Hillary Dawson, Debbie Zimmerman, Bob Peters, Sarah Harmer
We always look forward to this annual event. It always features great greenbelt food (and this year, great wine) with friends old and new. This year we wanted to recognize the growers, vintners and major retailer that together have significantly increased the amount of Ontario wine sold in and outside of the province.
According to a recent KPMG report, the Ontario VQA wine industry has experienced significant gains in the recent years. In fact, VQA wine sales at the LCBO have more than doubled over the past five years to over $110 million annually and now make up about 40 per cent of total Ontario wine sales.
The VQA wine industry contributes significantly to the economy of Ontario and has created over 1,300 additional jobs in the last four years.
Thank you to Henry of Pelham and Birchwood Estate winery for donating the wine for the event.
Let’s raise a glass to all the friends of the Greenbelt. Thank you for making the Greenbelt a luscious, bountiful place for Ontarians to proudly call their own.
-- Burkhard Mausberg
Executive Assistant & Project Coordinator