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August 29, 2018

As the emerging cannabis industry continues to spark growing interest and dialogue, Okanagan College has partnered with experts across the region and beyond to develop a diverse offering of courses – from greenhouse pest management techniques to business fundamentals and retail sales training.

“This is a fluid and dynamic field full of aspiring producers and investors,” says Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continues Studies and Corporate Training at Okanagan College. “The courses we have developed bring a unique educational experience to people interested in the sector. Our goal is to be ahead of the curve and find innovative ways to serve workers and employers in the Okanagan Shuswap as the industry gains momentum.”

As federal legislation regarding the usage of cannabis changes, so, too, are the attitudes surrounding the industry and those learning about and working in it. Initial interest in the offerings has been strong. The Growing Your Own Cannabis course has already filled to capacity, prompting the College to explore adding another intake this fall.

As Silvestrone points out, there is also a host of information, such as workplace policies, that employers will need to educate themselves on.

“There’s far more to cannabis training than the cultivation side of things,” he explains. “The implications around cannabis and the workplace, around facility practices and business fundamentals are vast and far-reaching and so we’re working to provide as diverse a programming array as possible to serve the community.”

With the region’s long growing season, agriculture has traditionally been a significant part of the local economy. So, it’s not surprising that the emerging cannabis industry would look to the Okanagan as an ideal environment for growth. The potential for licensed cannabis producers to set up businesses in the area means jobs for people in a growing industry and tax revenues for communities, much like the growth brought by the wine industry.

Jeff Thorne is Cultivation Manager at Sunniva, a medical cannabis company currently building a new greenhouse facility in Okanagan Falls. Thorne has years of experience in the cannabis industry and has been involved in the development of the course materials at the College.

“The cannabis training courses offered at Okanagan College are more than just theory,” says Thorne. “Created by veteran cannabis industry professionals, they give students tactile learning experiences. Individuals may have a background in the industry, but no idea on how to successfully commercialize their businesses. These courses are designed to help people understand the regulations and licensing requirements needed to meet current medical cannabis industry demands and take their production processes to the next level,” says Thorne.

The production process for medical grade marijuana is carefully regulated to maintain quality. “When you’re growing a product on a farm and delivering it to a pharmacy, you have to understand the quality assurance process. These courses will deliver that knowledge,” says Thorne.

Labour market predictions indicate the industry will see greatest demand for semi-skilled jobs in areas such as canopy maintenance, pest management, processing and extraction. Thorne notes that opportunities for on-the-job training do exist, and workers who take steps to build a foundation of industry knowledge will excel.

The College made headlines last fall when it became one of the first in the sector in B.C. to implement a Cannabis course through its School of Business. The Emerging Marijuana Industry was the name of the course taught by David Cram, a 26-year veteran College business professor. It illuminated students to the regulatory process and emerging business impacts of legalization, in the context of the Canadian economy.

Intakes for the courses offered through the College’s Continuing Studies department begin in September. Course details, tuition and application information can be found online at okanagan.bc.ca/cannabistraining.

 
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August 24, 2018

China is notorious for the adulteration of wine and the relabeling of inferior wines to more expensive brands, making it a safe haven for counterfeit products. However, a recent landmark case in favor of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB or Bordeaux Wine Council), which represents more than 7,000 Bordeaux-based wine producers, against wine counterfeiters selling fake editions of some of the region’s most prized chateaux, will provide a boost for winemakers and exporters to the country, says data and analytics company GlobalData.  

In the recent past, China has emerged as the biggest and most profitable single market for French wine, accounting for over 40% of Bordeaux’s annual wine exports by volume in 2016, according to the wine council. By comparison, the entire EU accounted for 35% of Bordeaux exports.

The CIVB says that despite a 10% volume decline in exports to EU countries, global exports remained stable with 270 million bottles exported at a value of over EUR1.7bn in 2015–2016. In fact, China became the top export destination for Bordeaux by volume in 2011, and by value in 2015.

However, counterfeit luxury goods are big business in the country, with China and Hong Kong estimated to be the source of 86% of the world’s counterfeit goods. The US Chamber of Commerce estimates this significant percentage to be worth approximately US$397bn.

The extent of counterfeiting and consumption of counterfeit wine in China prove beyond doubt that the Chinese market has high demand for the authentic versions of these products. The decision by the court in favor of the CIVB follows years of wider international intellectual property disputes that showed little promise of reform.

Ryan Whittaker, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The decision sets a precedent for the Chinese state working with winemakers to better police its wine market and crack down upon the criminals and their illicit fortunes from fake products.”

In addition to the CIVB, Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates has also received support from the Chinese authorities for the protection of their brands in the market.

Whittaker concludes: “This move by Beijing will increase the appeal of the Chinese markets for exporters. By protecting brands, China’s shown that it supports higher-quality products, and a safer market in which to sell, buy and consume authentic wine.”

 
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TORONTO, Aug. 23, 2018 /CNW/ - Curators of the curious, standby! The skyward spectacle of spectacles returns to Toronto for a celebration from sunset to sunrise at Nuit Blanche Toronto on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on the west side of Nathan Phillips Square, just steps from Toronto City Hall.

"Hendrick's is a gin that cultivates the unusual," comments Beth-Anne Perry, Senior National Brand Manager, Hendrick's Gin. "Bringing the spectacular world of Hendrick's Gin to life with our L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. experience at City Hall allows us to engage our guests in a whimsically magnificent way. We are thrilled to be back in Toronto for our second year in a row and look forward to celebrating the wonder of Nuit Blanche Toronto with over 1 million Canadians who come out to enjoy it each year."

Soaring into the sky for an exclusive Nuit Blanche Toronto appearance, the 65-foot L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. (Levitating, Elevating, Voluminous, Illuminating, Tantalizing, Amazingly, Towering, Roaming, Eye) will elevate golden ticket holders to 44 ¼ cucumbers (44.25 feet) to soar from sunset to sunrise for a special birds-eye view of the city.

Hendrick's Gin is also delighted to invite honored guests to the Air Departure Lounge for the peculiar pleasure of heeding the first ever notes played by the C.O.R.G.A.N. on City Hall grounds. The C.O.R.G.A.N. (aka the Cucumber Organ of Remarkably Glorious Auditory Nirvana) is a one-of-a-kind musical instrument that consists of real, whole cucumbers for keys which generate splendid sonnets of sound. 

Alas! The fanciful fun doesn't end there! Renowned Intuitive specialist Terri-Lynn Decker will also give golden ticket holders special energy readings, adding to the magic and wonderment of the Hendrick's Gin L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. experience.

To earn entry to fly on the L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. Hot Air Balloon, guests must have earned the status of 19 years or above in age and also carry their revered golden ticket, which is available to win one of the following three ways:

  • Enter Onsite: Nuit Blanche Toronto guests can visit the Hendrick's Gin Air Departure Lounge on Saturday, September 29 and enter to win a chance to fly every hour (limited to penchants of the peculiar over the age of 19).

The Hendrick's Gin L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. will be tethered at Toronto City Hall during Nuit Blanche Toronto on Saturday, September 29th, 2018. Flights will take place in the evening from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. (conditional on wind patterns) and all guests bearing a golden ticket will have the opportunity to ride.

"A Hendrick's Gin soiree is always a spectacle of surprise," adds Alvin Ramchurn, National Brand Ambassador, Hendrick's Gin. "We pride ourselves on being purveyors of the peculiar and the L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. shall be no exception. We look forward to bewildering our lovely guests!"

For information regarding booking a media flight on the Hendrick's Gin L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E., please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To learn more about the whimsical world of Hendrick's Gin, please visit
www.HendricksGin.com.

 
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018 — Jamie Johnson, The Balvenie Brand Ambassador for Canada has joined an elite group of whisky experts following her completion of the prestigious General Certificate in Distilling.

Awarded by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD), the General Certificate in Distilling promotes excellence in education, training and professional standards in the science and technology of distilling on a global scale.  Candidates must complete a comprehensive 2-hour exam consisting of 60 multiple choice questions.  A minimum score of 66% correct is required to pass the exam and earn the qualification.  Candidates who score 80-89% receive a credit pass.  Jamie earned the “credit pass” with a score over 80%.  

“This is a significant accomplishment that comes from months of preparation,” comments Nicole Ruso, Brand Manager, The Balvenie and Tullamore D.E.W.  “Jamie’s newly earned global designation further demonstrates her deep knowledge and commitment to the world of whisky.  We look forward to sharing her expertise with whisky fans across Canada.”

Founded in 1886 (as the Laboratory Club in London in 1886), the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) was created by a group of scientists who gathered to discuss issues relating to malting and brewing.  In 2001, the Institute merged with the International Brewers’ Guild, a long-standing organization representing professional brewers in the United Kingdom.  IBD professional certifications are highly regarded across the globe and are not easily earned.

Jamie Johnson’s career as a notable voice in the whisky community stemmed from a passion project that grew in popularity.  The “Bourbon Thing” was created as an opportunity to taste and discuss drams with friends.  As interest in whisky grew across Canada, so did Jamie’s popularity, leading her to organically build relationships with national influencers and venues.  In 2017, Jamie joined the team at The Balvenie as the Canadian Brand Ambassador and has since continued to educate the country about the importance of craftmanship in the whisky process.

“Whisky has been my passion for many years and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to refine my knowledge and earn a prominent and respected global qualification,” comments Jamie Johnson, The Balvenie Brand Ambassador for Canada.  “I look forward to sharing this deeper distilling knowledge with the whisky community of Canada.”

For more information about the IBD and their certifications, please visit www.ibd.org.uk.

For additional information about Jamie Johnson and The Balvenie, please visit www.thebalvenie.com

 

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