North Island College’s annual Wine Festival in Campbell River is adding craft breweries, distilleries, a pop-up market and a free shuttle from the Comox Valley this Friday.
“We offer designated driver service to Campbell River residents but this is the first time a free shuttle will be available in the Comox Valley,” said NIC Tourism instructor Pedro Caraballo Acosta. “We want to thank Ambassador Shuttle Service for providing a responsible way for Comox Valley residents to participate.”
NIC Tourism and Hospitality program students have been organizing the Wine Festival every year since 2002. The highly anticipated event allows Campbell River and Comox Valley residents to have fun, sample the best wines of the season and support education.
This year, the Casino Royale themed event also brings together wineries, craft breweries, distillers and distributers from Vancouver Island and beyond. This is also the first year Metro Liquor will host a pop-up shop to allow participants to purchase their favourite beverage before they leave.
Students plan the theme, co-ordinate vendors, organize the promotions, supervise volunteers and ensure the gala evening lives up to expectations. The experience provides hands-on skills and industry contacts students will retain long after they graduate.
The college’s Professional Cook program students, guided by Chef Xavier Bauby, provide delicious hors d’oeuvres.
A silent auction and door prizes will also be available.
All proceeds support participation in behind-the-scenes tours of top regional, provincial and international tourism resorts. This year’s class is raising money for a five-day field school to Las Vegas in January.
“This program is about applied learning,” said Caraballo Acosta. “We want students to learn tourism and hospitality from the best hotels, resorts and restaurants around the world.”
Wine Festival runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday Nov. 18.
Tickets are $55 and on sale now at NIC’s Campbell River and Comox Valley campus bookstores, Merecroft Village Liquor Store, online at www.metroliquor.com as well as Metro Liquor Stores at Timberline Village and Discovery Harbour. Visit www.nic.bc.ca for details.
The free designated driver service from Courtenay leaves the bus loop at NIC’s Comox Valley campus at 6 p.m. and leaves Campbell River at 9:30 pm on its way back to Courtenay. To participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-334-5292. Campbell River residents can book designated drivers at the festival.