The Wine Festival Changes Name

Vancouver, BC (May 10, 2012) – Canada’s premier wine show has officially changed its name to Vancouver International Wine Festival. The new name drops “Playhouse” from the title. The change was announced by Randy Kaardal, chair of the festival’s board of directors, at today’s regularly scheduled meeting of participating agents and industry partners. The wine festival was created in 1979 as a fundraiser for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, and raised $7.8 million over the ensuing 34 years. But in March of this year the theatre company announced that it was ceasing operations. The final production in the 2011/2012 Playhouse season, God of Carnage, ended its run on May 5.

“The festival plays an important role in the culture of the city,” said Kaardal in making the announcement. “We will honour our commitment to the 25,000 wine lovers who make our festival such a success, and to the many people in the local and international wine and hospitality community who help make the festival possible. The festival is an important ingredient in Vancouver’s thriving food and hospitality industry, generating millions of dollars in economic impact through accommodation, restaurant and catering expenditures and wine sales – to say nothing of year-round jobs. We look forward to producing a very successful 2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival.”

The festival’s board of directors expects to make and announce a decision in July about future fundraising initiatives. At present, the festival is constitutionally bound as a fundraiser for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, and changing the designated charity requires a change of constitutional purpose and bylaws.

The festival will transition to its new identity in the coming months. The new URL is and staff email addresses will change.


The 2013 festival plans to once again be headquartered at the Vancouver Convention Centre and at top restaurants and hotels throughout the city.

35th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival

February 25 to March 3, 2013

Projected: 1,700 wines from 180 wineries representing 15 countries

The theme region is California (the theme region or country has more wines, wineries and themed events than any other participating country)

The global focus is on Chardonnay

Winery applications for the 2013 festival open May 15 and close on June 15. Check the Exhibitors section of for details

Advance tickets to selected events go on sale November 1 and all public tickets will go on sale January 8

Wine List Award entries open November 1 and close January 15

Trade Days Conference tickets go on sale January 22


The Vancouver International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, will run from February 25to March 3, 2013. VanWineFest is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the world. It features some 1,700 wines from 180 wineries representing 15 countries. Each year, the spotlight shines on one country or region and that region has more wineries, wines and themed events than any other. In 2013, the theme region is California. There also is an annual varietal or global focus, and for 2013 that varietal is Chardonnay. The festival features a week of special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, as well as wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Vancouver International Wine Festival has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for a designated charity. Since its inception in 1979, the festival raised $7.8 million for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. The theatre company announced in March 2012 that it was ceasing operations. The festival will announce a new designated charity in summer 2012.

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