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BC Wine Institute and Okanagan College sign cooperation agreement

by Press Release
March 27, 2018

Kelowna, BC - The British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) and Okanagan College have a new tool in place to guide their cooperation well into the future.“This Memorandum of Understanding recognizes the value of our relationship with Okanagan College and provides a framework to further our common interests in research and projects to enhance the wine and related industries,” notes Miles Prodan, President and CEO of the BC Wine Institute. “In a time of rapid growth, this agreement gives us the direction to leverage our partnership for the benefit of the industry, and we look forward to the progress ahead.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlines BCWI and Okanagan College’s enhanced collaboration to provide a broad range of opportunities for partnerships, projects and applied research in wine and related industries. These opportunities are designed to positively influence regional economic development and contributions for a prosperous and sustainable industry.

“Okanagan College is a devoted and integral part of the wine industry here in the Okanagan Valley,” says Okanagan College Dean of Business Bill Gillett. “Associate Deans Dr. Barry McGillivray and Jonathan Rouse have been working closely with the BCWI to establish this positive relationship. This MoU is a voluntary recognition of the collaboration we have going forward, and is intended to further the applied research and instructional objective of the College, and provide benefits to the BC wine industry through outcomes, improvements and discoveries.”

The MoU is in place to July 2020, when the agreement may be extended subject to review and approval by both parties.

About British Columbia Wine Institute

Since 1990, the BCWI 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. The BCWI 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.
The BCWI 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 1,000,000 visitors with $600 million in tourism and tourism employment related economic impact every year. For more information about BC Wine Institute's programs and services, please visit:

For details on BC VQA Wine and the Wines of British Columbia, go to or, like the Wines of British Columbia Facebook page and follow @WineBCdotcom on Twitter and Instagram.

About Okanagan College
Okanagan College is BC’s third-largest college and annually serves more than 20,000 people with a wide variety of academic, vocational, trades and developmental programs. With a history that dates to 1963, the College’s four major campuses (in Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and Salmon Arm) and several educational centres integrate into the fabric of the entire region, with tens of thousands of alumni.

On March 13, BCWI hosted its first BC Wine Industry Insight Forum, a one-day conference bringing together 180 industry guests to provide an overview of the current and future state of the wine industry from keynote speakers. Dr. Svan Lembke and Professor Lee Cartier, researchers at the Okanagan School of Business, presented outcomes from their recent research projects, highlighting new opportunities for BC wineries to grow the domestic market together as an industry.
Lembke and Cartier are working on a project that aims to describe how the wine habits of Baby Boomers and Generation X differ from Generation Y (often referred to as Millennials). They will co-ordinate one of the most extensive surveys of its type to examine generational differences toward wine purchases.

“This will give the BC wine industry an understanding of how attitudes and approaches toward wine buying differ and will provide insights into how to adjust marketing practices accordingly to the needs and preferences of the next generation of consumers,” says Cartier, who has an established track record of research into the wine and value-added agricultural industry.
The research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in collaboration with the BCWI. It is expected to be completed by December 2018.

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