For most Niagarans, there's one festival that's synonymous with September: Grape & Wine. Known more formally as the Niagara Wine Festival. Each year, the region comes together to celebrate Niagara's grape and wine industry, hailing a new grape grower as Grape King and tasting out the new vintages offered up by Niagara's many world-class wineries. From the annual grand parade through St. Catharines' downtown core to the big party in Montebello Park, the festival brings people together each year. Barry Katzman understands that perhaps better than most, as chairman of the board of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival for the past nine years, and a member of Niagara's wine industry for 19 years.
Nova Scotia has a long and rich tradition growing grapes for wine dating back to the 1600s, when we were one of the first areas to cultivate grapes in North America. And, of course, many Canadians know that Canada's wine industry has enjoyed explosive growth and increasingly broad international recognition in recent years. It is worth considering just how rapidly our own indigenous wine industry has grown: from 13 wineries in 2011 to 20 wineries today.
The Canadian objectives outline about 10 core NAFTA objectives - from boilerplate trade goals such as cutting red tape, to a push for "progressive" chapters on the environment, labour, gender rights and Indigenous relations.
Today, Ontario is home to roughly 300 breweries, "with Toronto capturing a fair share of that number," says Les Murray, a 21-year veteran of the Canadian beer industry. BeerAdvocate counts at least 50 breweries in the city, many popping up in the last handful of years. Yet despite the rapid growth, Murray characterizes the overall craft beer scene as still in its infancy.
The Canadian government has just released priorities for the talks which begin Wednesday and they include a broad desire for four new chapters, and two specific demands: fewer Buy American rules for public contracts and freer movement of professionals.
"We don't want to see people deterred from eating out and having a glass of wine with dinner," said Joyce Reynolds, executive vice president of the Restaurants Canada association. "That would be devastating to our industry."
Ben Smith has been appointed to the role following five years as Flowcrete Americas' National Manager for Canada, during which time he increased Flowcrete's market share, sales and infrastructure in this region.