One of B.C.'s great wine festivals is no more.
The Tofino Food and Wine Festival 2020 tragically will not be happening next year.
“It is with great sadness that we must announce the official cancellation of the 2020 Tofino Food and Wine Festival at Tofino Botanical Gardens," reads a press release from Kira Rogers, producer of the Tofino Food and Wine Festival.
"This would have been our 18th annual signature event at the Botanical Gardens. These events have all been happy, convivial afternoons of celebrating our great BC wineries, craft brewers, distillers and the culinary excellence of BC’s restaurant industry. If any single event defined Tofino’s emergence as a culinary destination, it was this one.”
Why? How? Unfortunately, this type of situation is not unusual. The new provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) is making it very difficult to obtain permits.
The Tofino Food and Wine Festival states, “For the past 16 years, our experience in working with the British Columbia LCRB has been positive, constructive, helpful and supportive. In 2019, our 17th year producing this well-loved event, our experience was the opposite: obstructive, hostile, intimidating and rude. We felt like an opponent.”
The event struggled to meet the new requirements to make the 2019 event happen but the overall stress of the experience left them depleted and without hope that they would be able to obtain a Special Event Permit for 2020. The press release notes, “we are not willing to risk the chance of disappointment, unwanted and unwarranted stress for our team members, our guests and our partners.”
Hopefully, all is not lost as the event looks to the future with the possibility for a Tofino Food and Wine Festival 2021. They say, "Never say never." I'll be crossing my fingers.
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