Donald Triggs and Shirley-Ann George have been named winners of this year’s Canadian Wine Industry Awards – an awards program sponsored by the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) as a way to celebrate success and outstanding commitment in Canada’s grape wine industry. The 2016 awards were presented on July 5 at an awards reception on the eve of the 49th Annual General Meeting of the CVA.
Donald Triggs was the recipient of this year’s Award of Distinction. The entrepreneurial Triggs saw an opportunity for the Canadian wine industry in 1989, on the brink of the North American Free Trade Agreement, co-founding Vincor. Under his leadership as CEO, Triggs launched the iconic Jackson-Triggs brand and winery and established international joint ventures to support the development of Le Clos Jordanne and Osoyoos LaRose wineries. By 2006, Triggs had successfully grown Vincor to become the largest wine business in Canada and seventh largest wine company in the world. Co-founder of Culmina Family Estate Winery in British Columbia, Triggs has made significant contributions to the Canadian industry through his work on the boards of the Wine Council of Ontario, Brock University, Grapes for Humanity and CVA. He is an advocate of the VQA system, a proponent of continuing investment in industry research and development, and a mentor to others in the industry.
The Wine Industry Champion Award was presented to Shirley-Ann George, founder and president of the Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers, better known as FreeMyGrapes. George has been instrumental in the movement to allow Canadians to buy wines from wineries not located in their own province. After many years of hard work, George’s winery-to-consumer delivery leadership led to the unanimous passage of Bill C-311 in 2012, which delivered the first amendment into the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) in 84 years and eliminated the federal restrictions prohibiting individuals from moving wine across provincial boundaries when purchased for personal use. In 2012, George received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her advocacy efforts.