Modernize Wine Association of British Columbia is advocating for a modern food and wine culture in British Columbia. The association's board includes restaurant owners, BC winery owners, BC wine store owners, lobbyists, lawyers and wine consumers. Our goal is to modernize our liquor laws, regulations and policies.
Charity Wine Auctions
Update: Amendments have been passed to the Liquor Control & Licensing Act which are intended to resolve the issue outlined below. We are now awaiting the necessary regulations (which accompany the changes to the statute) and will provide a further update when we have the details.
MWA believes that a recent BC LCLB policy change should be changed immediately. The new policy prevents the auction of privately donated wine at licensed charity auctions in BC. This method of fundraising has been used by charities within BC for decades without problem. However, over the summer, a new policy was introduced which prevents this type of fundraising. The change has caused the cancellation of Crush, an important fundraiser for the Belfry theatre in Victoria and will affect many similar events (see: Crush, Belfry Wine Auction Cancelled). The policy was introduced without consultation as part of amendments to the special occasion licensing manual (link to PDF). The policy change comes as a shock to many charities who rely on charity wine auctions for their fundraising. For some charities, a wine charity auction is their single largest source of funding. The new policy threatens the continuation of many charitable fundraising events and could affect the financial viability of some BC charities. The affected charities span the entire scope of charitable activity including arts organizations, hospitals and educational institutions. The policy seems particularly problematic because: 1) a government direction to stop such private fundraising will likely cause the affected charities to seek additional direct funding from government in order to continue to operate, and 2) will force donors of wine to donate their wine outside the province thus causing a major loss of charitable dollars within BC.