New scholarship to honour Canadian wine icon Harry McWatters

New scholarship to honour Canadian wine icon Harry McWatters

McWatters’ passing left “massive void” in the B.C. wine industry.

When Canadian wine icon Harry McWatters suddenly passed away last summer, the sense of loss that so many felt went well beyond his personal relationships.

At McWatters’ service in Penticton, many of the 1,500 in attendance wondered who might fill the void in the B.C. wine industry which he helped forge and cultivate for more than 40 years.

The Chefs’ Table Society of B.C. quickly recognized the need to salute McWatters’ legacy.

“Our member chefs serve hundreds of bottles of B.C. wines every day,” said Robert Belcham, president of Chefs’ Table.

“I like to think there’s a little bit of Harry in every one of them. In retrospect, it’s astounding what Harry and his fellow pioneers accomplished in just over three decades — B.C. wines are securely on the global map.”

In honour of McWatters, Chefs’ Table is launching a new scholarship through the Okanagan College Foundation with an initial contribution of $2,000 per annum for a minimum period of five years. Students who are enrolled in a wine or tourism program at Okanagan College and participating in an international education experience will be eligible for the scholarship.

“We’ve donated first, but it’s really a call to action: We invite industry associations, wineries and private individuals to enhance our gift by donating online or contacting the Okanagan College Foundation and pledging their support,” said Belcham.

McWatters is a legend in the world of the British Columbia wine industry. He was perhaps best known as the founder of Sumac Estate Winery and as the director of the British Columbia Wine Institute. McWatters is remembered in the industry as a leader in developing quality standards for wine growing, wine making, and wine marketing.

READ MORE: Prestigious award renamed for late wine industry pioneer Harry McWatters

“Harry’s mentorship is rightly legendary,” said Jonathan Rouse, associate dean of the Okanagan School of Business and director of food, wine and tourism at Okanagan College.

“He always had his eye on emerging talent in the business, and vigorously mentored young people, through his roles as founder of the BC Wine Institute and his many ongoing industry affiliations.”

McWatters taught at the college and was bestowed an honorary doctorate for his vast contributions in the B.C. wine community.

WcWatters’ wife Lisa Lalonde and his family will also be contributing to the scholarship.

“Harry collected experiences. He loved nothing more than planning trips based on where we would dine, what we would drink and who we would visit. We think Harry would love the creative use of these funds, and our family is pleased to add to the initial contribution in the amount of $1,000 per annum,” said Lalonde.

READ MORE: Oliver to be future home of Canada’s first District Wine Village

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

wine

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire at the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation site Feb. 11, 2021. It was the fourth fire at the facility since it was built in 2005. (Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services photo)
Future uncertain for City of Revelstoke owned company

RCEC is using a backup system to provide heating after a fire forced the facility offline

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News file)
People aged 30+ in Summerland, Rutland offered vaccine amid high transmission risk

Interior Health offers residents of Rutland and Summerland aged 30 and up chance at vaccine

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Lake Country firefighters assisted the RCMP on Kalamalka Lake Tuesday, May 4. (Fire Department file photo)
Okanagan RCMP interrupt houseboat break-in

Pair in their 30s arrested but no charges laid after alleged Kalamalka Lake incident

Most Read