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The 2015 workshop wouldn't exist without the support of the following partners.

We thank our main partner in the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers' Workshop, Tourism Kelowna.

Visit Tourism Kelowna's website. Follow @Tourism_Kelowna on Twitter. Like Tourism Kelowna on Facebook.


Guided, narrated and custom tours in the Okanagan.

Visit Distinctly Kelowna's Website. Follow @KelownaWineTour on Twitter. Like Distinctly Kelowna Tours on Facebook.


Visit BC Tree Fruit's Website. Follow @bctreefruits on Twitter. Like BC Tree Fruits on Facebook.


Visit Knifewear online. Follow @KelownaKnife @Knifenerd @KnifewearYOW and @KnifewearYEG on Twitter.


Visit Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas' Website. "Like" Manteo on Facebook. Follow Manteo on Twitter.



Visit Hotel Eldorado's Website. "Like" Hotel Eldorado on Facebook. Follow Hotel Eldorado on Twitter.

Our other event-based partners are recognized in our schedule notes.


$100 off per couple on Okanagan Wine Tour by Aligra Wines & Spirits

Workshop alumni from 2014, Alison and Grant Philips, own Aligra Wines & Spirits in Edmonton and offer the largest selection of BC Wines in Alberta. They've put together a Okanagan Wine Tour called "Ready for a little Therapy?" There's a $100 per couple discount offered if booked and paid in full by March 31st.

The broad strokes are 4 days/3 nights at Therapy Guesthouse, breakfasts, 2 dinners, 2 lunches, 2 full day private wine tours, unlimited fun and wine in the Okanagan!
All for $749.00 pp sharing a double room.  ($325.00 for a single sup)

Contact Alison at Aligra Spirits for the full details and to sign up now.




A huge win for Okanagan Spirits at the 2015 World Spirits Awards in Denmark

From a Media Release via Okanagan Spirits today (March 19, 2015):

Peter von Hahn, senior distiller, Okanagan Spirits at World Spirits Awards in Denmark 2015

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has won "Distillery of the Year" and "Spirit of the Year" along with retaining its "World Class Distillery" designation at the 2015 World Spirits Awards held this week in Denmark. This is the second time in a row that Okanagan Spirits has entered the renowned, international competition and been awarded its highest honour, Distillery of the Year, beating out distilleries from countries from across Europe, Australia, the US, and beyond.

The hardest distinction to earn, a Double Gold was awarded not once but three times to senior distiller Peter von Hahn who represented the craft distillery in Koje, Denmark with eight spirits this year, all of which received medals.

Blackcurrant Liqueur achieved 'Spirit of the Year' with an outstanding 96 points and a Double Gold medal (Okanagan Spirits Blackcurrant won this designation in 2013 as well). Also to achieve Double Gold were first-time entrant Haskap Liqueur and Danish style Aquavitus.

“Double Gold status for Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery's Aquavit, being awarded here in Scandinavia -- the birth place of Aquavit -- was very exciting.  Imagine, a small Canadian distillery in British Columbia producing some of the best Aquavit in the world!” said von Hahn.

Gold medals were also awarded to the Raspberry liqueur, Genuine Taboo Absinthe and  highly coveted, lottery-only Laird of Fintry Whisky (2014).

“We had high hopes for our Laird of Fintry single malt whisky, the exceptional quality of the whisky, hinted at by long waiting lists and a lottery draw, has now been further validated by the award of a gold medal,” said von Hahn.

The Laird is Canada's first craft Single Malt Whisky to win Gold at the World Spirits Awards.

Also in the whisky category a limited edition ‘Final Proof Master Distiller Series: Peppered Pete (yet to be released) won silver and the Gina bronze. 

“My thanks are not just to the hard-working team at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery but also the enthusiastic supplying of high quality B.C. grown grains, fruit and berries by many growers, orchardists and fruit packing plants,” said von Hahn.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery CEO and President of the Craft Distillers Guild of B.C. Tyler Dyck spoke of the importance of the awards not only to B.C. but also to Canada.

"This is huge not only for distilling in B.C., but also for establishing Canadian Craft Distilleries as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage," he said. In all, 65 distilleries from 25 different countries entered this year's awards.

This year sees the distillery open the doors to a new $3m venture - a 16,000 sq ft distillery in Vernon. It will give the Okanagan the title of tallest copper still in North America and also host several exciting features such as a  27 ft  ‘moon shiners shack’ themed tasting bar and a prohibition-era whisky lounge.

The Grand Opening is set for the end of April 2015.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery, with a portfolio over 25 different types of alcohol made from 100% BC fruit and grain, has over 50 World Spirits awards to their name, and is now Canada's only Master Class Distillery, North America's only World Class Distillery, and this years World Spirits Awards Distillery of the Year.

List of 2015 Awards:

Classification: World-Class Distillery 2015
Double-Gold: Black Currant Liqueur (96), Haskap Liqueur (95.3), Aquavit(95.7)
Gold: Taboo Absinthe  (92.3), Raspberry Liqueur (94.7), Laird of Fintry (90)
Silver: Peppered Pete Whisky (83)
Bronze: Gin (74)


Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015 - Longlist Reveal

Media Contact: Jennifer Cockrall-King

tel: 780-242-3663 /        Images and interviews available upon request

Food Blog Longlist Revealed for
“Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015” Contest

KELOWNA, BC: March 1, 2015 –  The call for submissions for an 800-word post about a Canadian tastemaker or quintessentially Canadian culinary product went out to bloggers recently and stories from across Canada came in. A panel of food writing and cookbook publishing industry experts sifted through the entries, and now it’s time to reveal the submissions that made the Longlist for the “Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015” food writing competition, hosted by both Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop and Food Bloggers of Canada .

“We were looking for a well-told culinary travel story, in an authentic voice that addresses the question of why the subject – person or ingredient – is important in the Canadian culinary scene,” says Jennifer Cockrall-King, founder of the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop and one of the five judges. “And through this contest, we sampled the country with submissions about great food stories from Nova Scotia to the West Coast.”

The blogs posts that have made it through the first round of judging are, alphabetically:

A Visit to Sober Island Oysters

As Fresh As You Can Get – Grow Calgary at Market

Brewing new life into an old pear

Celebrate today…with Bella Wines!

Family Meals - An interview with Chef Michael Smith

Getting to Know: Chef Rob Bragagnolo

Just a little Farm  - Growing Produce the Natural Way

On returning home {Apple & Fennel Stuffed Salmon with Cider Sauce}

Searching For Saskatoons

Top 10 Tips for Icewine Lovers

Blogger’s names and URLs are being withheld until the Shortlist is announced. The Shortlist of the five top blogs will be revealed April 15. Blogger names and websites will be revealed at this point as well. The winning blogger will be announced May 1. This writer wins return airfare from a major airport in Canada to Kelowna, workshop fees and accommodations courtesy of Tourism Kelowna and Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop.

Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop gratefully acknowledges the efforts of its judging panel of Anita Stewart, author and founder of Food Day Canada; Dianne Jacob, author, editor and food writing coach; Robert McCullough, publisher, Appetite by Random House; Melissa Hartfiel, co-founder Food Bloggers of Canada; and logistical support by Ethan Adeland, co-founder Food Bloggers of Canada. The contest is also supported by the BC Wine Institute, and especially Tourism Kelowna.

Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop also extends its thanks to its 2015 partners at Tourism Kelowna, Distinctly Kelowna Tours, Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel & Villas, Hotel Eldorado, BC Tree Fruits and Knifewear.


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Taste Canada announces Food Blog Award category for 2015 - Call for Submissions

From Press Release received February 27, 2015:

New Food Blog Writing Award

For the first time, excellence in food blog writing to be honoured by Taste CanadaThe Food Writing Awards

Toronto, February 24, 2015--Taste Canada–The Food Writing Awards (, presenting the highest honour for food writing in the countryhas announced a new award category celebrating the very best in writing for a food blog.
In partnership with Food Bloggers of Canada, which represents over 1,700 Canadian food bloggers from coast to coast, the new award, 2015 Food Blog Category: Best Post will honour the best independent food-related blog post written by a Canadian writer (or writers) (one in English and one in French). This adds to four existing book award categories: General Cookbooks, Single-Subject Cookbooks, Regional/Cultural Cookbooks, and Culinary Narratives (English and French). Taste Canada also presents an annual Hall of Fame Award, bestowed upon an individual who has made a significant contribution to Canada’s culinary literature.
“Since 1998, Taste Canada has been recognizing and celebrating superior culinary writing and publishing in Canada,” says Donna Dooher, Taste Canada’s National Chairchef, cookbook author, restaurateur and industry champion. “The new Food Blog Category recognizes that some of Canada’s best food writers are publishing brilliant material that celebrates food in wonderful and unique ways – using an online platform, instead of paper.”
Well-read blogs incorporate additional elements unique to the blogging platform, for example, how best to integrate writing for a digital medium with beautiful photography. The new award, the first of its kind in Canada, whose criteria were carefully constructed by Taste Canada and Food Bloggers of Canada, also acknowledges that food bloggers often wear many hats: writer, editor, publisher, recipe tester, photographer, social media manager, web designer and technical support.
“Canadian food bloggers are multi-talented in and out of the kitchen and they each bring their unique ability to share their stories about food with their readers,” says Ethan Adeland, co-founder and managing director, Food Bloggers of Canada. “Their blogs are written as a labour of love and outcome of Canada’s culinary and cultural diversity.”
Ethan adds, “Over the last few years, book publishers have been tapping into the rich talent pool of many of the best food bloggers and giving them book deals. The online and
printed worlds are overlapping, so the partnership with Taste Canada is an evolution of that.”
The Food Blog Category: Best Post may be general, or it may be focused on specific Canadian topics or regions, and/or target a very specific audience, such as an ethnic group (in terms of race, nationality, or religious heritage) in Canada or around the world. This category may also explore culinary history, politics, or social awareness.
More details on the submission process, eligibility and criteria are available at The submission deadline for blog entries is March 20, 2015. The shortlist will be announced in July 2015. 2015 winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony and Gala Reception in Toronto, with additional details to be announced soon.
About Taste Canada–The Food Writing Awards
Taste Canada—The Food Writing Awards is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 that recognizes and celebrates superior writing and publishing throughout Canada’s culinary world, both English and French. The Taste Canada Awards are the highest honour for food writing in the country. Presented in Toronto each fall, these awards are a unique cultural, social and gastronomic highlight. Taste Canada also hosts ‘Taste Canada Cooks the Books,’ a competition that invites culinary students from across the country to make a dish from a Canadian cookbook—with the author on stage. Their goal: to impress the panel of judges and create a dish worthy of earning them the title of Canada’s Best New Student Chef.Please visit for details.
About Food Bloggers of Canada
Food Bloggers of Canada (FBC) represents over 1,700 Canadian food bloggers from coast to coast to coast. FBC works to promote and showcase the incredible work by Canadian food bloggers in their own respective space while also providing resources to improve their blogs and social media influence. FBC also organizes and hosts Canada’s only National Food Blogger conference. FBC2015 will be in Montreal at Le Westin from Oct. 23-25, 2015.

Media Contact:
Saskia Brussaard, Crave Public Relations


Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015!

Celebrate food, drink and culinary travel in Canada and you could win airfare (from a major Canadian airport), accommodations and a spot at the 2015 Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop!
We’re excited to announce a blog contest collaboration between Food Bloggers of Canada, Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop and Tourism Kelowna. Prize includes travel for the winner to and from the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers Workshop 2015 (Sept 11-13, 2015), registration fees and hotel accommodation during the workshop! Airfare from a major Canadian airport is courtesy of Tourism Kelowna and the workshop pass & two nights accommodations are compliments of the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop.

Contest Theme: Canadian Tastemakers

Share your story of a local food or drink champion or favorite spot to grab a bite to eat or have a drink, whether in your neighbourhood or on a memorable trip somewhere in Canada.  We’re calling out to all FBC members to celebrate a culinary experience they’ve encountered in their own hometown or somewhere along the road. Blog posts should celebrate/discuss/educate the reader about one or more local food champions in the Canadian food community or a culinary product or products grown/made/harvested in Canada.

Kelowna, BC is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada with a wonderful culinary scene that focuses on farm to table eating. FBC members experienced everything Kelowna had to offer recently, we offer their stories as inspiration.


The jury will be composed of published authors, well-known food bloggers and professionals in the publishing industry.

Anita Stewart, Food Day Canada
Robert McCullough, Publisher of Appetite
Dianne Jacob, author Will Write for Food.
Jennifer Cockrall-King, Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop
Ethan Adeland / Melissa Hartfiel, Food Bloggers of Canada

A note from the judges

Tell us a story about a tastemaker in your community or a tastemaker that you have encountered recently. While we’re interested in how you integrate beautiful photographs and recipes into your blog post entry, what we want is a well-told culinary travel story, in an authentic voice that addresses the question of why the subject – person or ingredient – is important in the Canadian culinary scene. Moreover, the winning blog post will take us along on this journey and put us right in the kitchen/bar/market/bakeshop with you. It will even inspire us to seek out the same tasty adventure. Make us laugh — or cry — and include your personal connection to this story.

Some of Canada’s best food writers, editors and cookbook publishers will be reading your writing.  Be funny, be authentic, be interesting, be yourself. Good luck.

Submission Criteria

A single-entry blog post, max 800 words. May include photos, recipe and video but it is not mandatory, nor will the recipe count towards the maximum word count. The blog post shall be original material, previously unpublished, and posted between Jan 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015 (11:59 pm). Only one entry per URL (blog). There is no cost to entry. All decisions by the judges are final. Submission links to be entered by emailing with subject heading “Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015!”

Contest Timelines

The contest and contest details will be launched during FBC2014.

Contest Closes, 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) January 31, 2015.

Long List will be announced March 1, 2015

Short List will be announced April 15, 2015

Winner will be announced May 1, 2015

About the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers’ Workshop

In 2015 from Sept. 11-13, the Okanagan Food & Wine Writers’ Workshop will be celebrating its 6th year. Imgine three days of eating, drinking, learning and networking with North America’s top food & wine writers and editors, and you get the idea. Held in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia within the Okanagan Valley, it’s a weekend of professional development and gastronomic experiences within one of the most celebrated food and wine regions within North America. In 2015, it will e held at Hotel Eldorado and Manteo Resort.

The workshop is open to writers of all levels, and is designed to inform, inspire, and motivate writers as they move their careers forward through professional development workshops.

About Tourism Kelowna

Free your Spirit in Kelowna: Every inch a city, and yet every bit as scenic and abundant as wine country can be. Kelowna is the perfect balance for the travler in search of boutique experience. Beaches and fruit stands, wineries and fairways, hiking trails and “boulderfields”, and miles of singletrack encircle the city. Lakeside, even the main street ends at a beach.

Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015! is also supported by the Wines of British Columbia.



Thanks to all of our partners in food and wine writing.