Federal Support for BC wineries
Application for funding deadline coming up
On June 29, 2022, the federal government announced $166 million for a Wine Sector Support Program (WSSP) to provide short-term financial support to the Canadian wine industry as it adapts to ongoing and emerging challenges that impact financial resilience and competitiveness. Allocated over two years, the program has been welcomed by BC wineries who as of July 1, were facing cost-of-goods increases, inflation, and uncertainty over COVID-19 recovery.
“As the operator of a small winery in BC, the new Wine Sector Support Program will be very helpful in offsetting some of the ever-increasing costs that our industry has been facing over the past few years,” said Erin Korpisto, General Manager of Stag’s Hollow Winery in Okanagan Falls, BC. “I urge all wineries to submit their applications during this small window of opportunity (application deadline is August 12th) in order to qualify for the funding to be distributed later this year.”
100% Canadian wine is the highest value-added agriculture product in Canada. Wineries are labour and capital-intensive businesses that support a complex value chain including vineyard operations and supply, laboratory research, winemaking, transportation, retail, tourism, and hospitality. “Here in BC that represents an economic impact of $609 million in wine tourism revenue, $163.3 million in wages, and 3,912 jobs. While between 2015 and 2019 BC wine tourism grew nearly twice the rate of overall tourism in the province prior to the COVID pandemic, in 2020 we saw a 80% drop in visitors.” said Miles Prodan, CEO & President, Wine Growers British Columbia. “There is so much potential in the BC wine industry, and this wine sector support program is critical to recapturing that growth for BC wineries.”
To help strengthen the future of the wine sector, the Government of Canada has worked in consultation with industry and regional stakeholders including Wine Growers British Columbia and Wine Growers Canada to develop this program to help Canadian wineries face emerging challenges in the short term. This program provides much-needed stability to the wine industry to maintain and augment wine production during these challenging times and encourage economic growth in winemaking provinces like British Columbia.
The program provides an equal support payment for every litre of wine produced in Canada from fresh fruit. All licensed wineries, large and small, benefit from equal funding proportionate to the amount of wine produced.
“Wine Growers British Columbia is calling on all BC wineries to apply now for the program,” said Prodan, “the more BC wineries supported by this program, the more resilient and able to thrive our industry becomes, together, we are stronger.”
ABOUT WINE GROWERS BRITISH COLUMBIA
From 1990 on, WGBC has played a pivotal role in taking BC’s wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing exceptional wine tourism experiences. WGBC markets the wine and regions of BC; delivers quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and acts as the voice of BC’s wine industry by advocating to government on behalf of industry that contributes $2.8 billion in provincial economic growth annually.
WGBC represents all wineries in British Columbia to grow the premium market share for the Wines of British Columbia, while driving awareness of our world-class wines and tourism product – currently drawing 1 million visitors with $600 million in tourism and tourism employment related economic impact every year. For more information about Wine Growers BC programs and services, please visit WineBC.com.
Stay in touch with the Wines of British Columbia through social media @WineBCdotcom.
Media release and image courtesy of Wine Growers of British Columbia.