2018 BC Hospitality Industry Award Winners

Please join us in congratulating the winners of the 2018 BC Hospitality Industry Awards, announced at the BC Hospitality Summit Gala on April 9:

Liquor Retailer of the Year sponsored by Rising Tide Consultants: Legacy Liquor Store

Legacy Liquor Store in Vancouver is British Columbia’s largest privately-owned liquor store at 8,600 square feet, including a state-of-the-art wine cellar.

Managed by Darryl Lamb, Legacy offers some of the world’s rarest and most exclusive spirits, beer, and wine, as well as sake, craft beer and spirits, and other specialty products. The store is frequently recognized for its highly-educated, WSET, and Cicerone beer certified staff and weekly Legacy Harvest Table events. 

Publican of the Year sponsored by Rising Tide Consultants: Donnelly Group

The award-winning Donnelly Group has been operating trend-setting public houses, cocktail taverns, nightclubs and barbershops in Vancouver and Toronto for 19 years.

Establishments share strong community values, emphasize great food, honest beer and spirits, and pair disruptive design with the desire to create a genuinely human experience. In 2019, the Donnelly Group will be bringing their progressive and service-oriented brand and ethos to the cannabis industry, with the launch of their chain of cannabis stores, Hobo Recreational Cannabis Store. 

ABLE BC Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Rising Tide Consultants: Dave Crown

The recipient of ABLE BC's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, Dave Crown has owned about a dozen highly successful liquor stores and upwards of 40 pubs, but he's always had a way of seeing and focusing on the bigger picture and the industry's future. Ask anyone who has worked with Dave, and they'll tell you: the thing they admire most, is that he is always focused on building the industry as a whole.

When we sat down to list Dave's contributions and accomplishments - both in business and on behalf of our industry - it become clear just how much his work had built and shaped what our industry has become.

We are pleased to award Dave Crown the first ABLE BC Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his leadership, mentorship, and relentless dedication to the industry.

Hotelier of the Year sponsored by Telus Business: Ian Powell, Inn at Laurel Point

Described by anyone who ever crossed his path, or incurred his wrath, as loud, funny, gregarious, charming and a man that definitely knew his own mind, Powell has left an indelible impression on an industry that has often leaned on him for direction. Learn more about the award winner here .

We would also like to congratulate the award finalists:

Liquor Retailer of the Year Finalists

  • Cascadia Liquor Store in Nanoose Bay: Cascadia operates 7 locally-owned liquor stores across Vancouver Island, with their newest location in Nanoose Bay managed by Rick Fields
  • Village Liquor Store on Gabriola Island: locally-owned and operated by Michael Brown and managed by Adam Giles, the store is thriving, despite rising costs, a competitive market, and labour shortages

Publican of the Year Finalists

  • Guildford Station Pub: owned by Payman Charkhgary, Guildford Station Pub is a lively, traditional neighbourhood pub in the Surrey Area
  • The Bard and Banker: part of the award-winning Victoria Pub Co and owned by Matt MacNeil, the Bard is a staple of Victoria's nightlife

On behalf of the BC Hotel Association and Alliance of Beverage Licensees Board of Directors and staff, thank you to everyone who attended the fourth annual BC Hospitality Summit on April 8 and 9 in Kelowna. We hope that you found the conference informative and engaging!

If you attended, please take a moment to  complete our short online survey  about your BC Hospitality Summit 2019 experience.

Your feedback is critical in our ongoing efforts to improve the conference in 2020.  Please click here  to take the survey.

Once you complete the survey, you will get access to the seminar presentations.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact ABLE BC at 604-688-5560 or . Thank you again for making the fourth annual Summit a great success! 2020 conference date and location will be announced soon.


Last week, ABLE BC President Al McCreary and Executive Director Jeff Guignard met with the LCRB's new General Manager and Assistant Deputy Minister, Mary Sue Maloughney, to discuss progress on the industry-consensus recommendations of the Business Technical Advisory Panel (BTAP).

Although we know members are frustrated by the slow rollout of the recommendations , there are clear signs that the LCRB is making substantial headway on the necessary policy work. While government has not committed to a timeline, we remain hopeful that we will see positive announcements in the coming months.

In February, government announced the first of those liquor policy reforms, implementing new policy for industry trade testing and charity events.

Earlier this year, Hon. David Eby, Attorney General also sent a new mandate letter to Blain Lawson, General Manager and CEO of the BC Liquor Distribution Branch. A copy of the letter can be found here . The letter instructs the LDB's General Manager to: "Review the recommendations from the Business Technical Advisory Panel received by government on April 20, 2018, and provide recommendations and assistance to government in implementing related initiatives."

In December 2018, BC government announced they would be conducting an independent review of the Liquor Distribution Branch in 2019.

This long-overdue review is in direct response to our industry's constant concerns and complaints about the poor levels of service we receive from the LDB. The review is also being conducted as a result of a recommendation in the Business Technical Advisory Panel report . Government is engaging an outside consultant to conduct the review.

Earlier this week, Attorney General David Eby confirmed in conversation that the independent review will be launched soon .

Now that the LDB has substantially transitioned to its new Delta Distribution Centre, selection of an independent auditor is imminent, with a goal of commencing the review in approximately late May for early June.

ABLE BC and our industry partners will remain actively engaged throughout this process to advance your interests. We will also work to ensure the independent auditor has a full understanding of how the LDB's chronic product shortages, as well as delivery and invoicing issues have been hurting your businesses. We will have more details as soon as they are available.

In response to the changing nature of marketing and advertising, the LCRB has released a draft policy regarding the ' Legal Use of Social Media Advertising and Marketing in BC's Liquor Industry .' Download it here .

The LCRB writes: "When a liquor licensee, or someone representing a liquor licensee, uses a social media platform such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and others - including blog posts - to promote, advertise or market the liquor products they make or sell, they must follow the advertising rules that apply to more ‘traditional’ platforms, such as newspapers, magazines, bus shelters, television, radio, etc. Social media has become another way for businesses to reach customers.'

At the end of the document, the LCRB proposes five key themes to avoid non-compliance.

At first reading of this, ABLE BC has some concerns that the LCRB's proposed regulations will hamper your social media marketing efforts and have a real impact on your business .

Our interpretation of the draft policy would suggest that a number of existing routine business practices would be considered 'off-side' and 'non-compliant,' which is concerning and illogical.

Send your feedback to ABLE BC's Executive Director: We are asking that members read through the document and send your feedback on the proposed regulations to Jeff Guignard by Friday, April 26: .

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Jeff.

Save the Date:
2019 BC Liquor Conference

Join ABLE BC at the fourth annual BC Liquor Conference: Monday, October 21, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.

Early bird registration opens this spring. Stay tuned for details!
BC Hospitality Foundation DISH fundraiser is back!

DISH (formerly called Dish 'n Dazzle) takes place Wednesday, May 8, 2019 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Vancouver Convention Centre East.

The event features wine samples, bites from top local restaurants, a cocktail competition, silent auction, and more.

Tickets available now! Prices go up April 8.

Buy your ticket here .

Names of participating wineries and restaurants can be found here.
BC Hospitality Foundation Vancouver Golf Tournament

Registration is now open for the 2019 Vancouver golf tournament: Monday, July 8 at the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club.

Players can register here.

Details on sponsorship opportunities are here.
BC Hospitality Foundation Victoria Golf Tournament

Registration is now open for the 2019 Victoria golf tournament: Tuesday, August 27 at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa.

Players can register here.

Details on sponsorship opportunities are here.

Have you checked out SuperHost training for your front-line staff yet? If you attended BC Hospitality Summit 2019, Included in your delegate package is a handout with promo code from go2HR to redeem the first lesson of the online Service For All course.

Missing your promo code? Contact Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership & Communications) for assistance at 604-688-5560 or .

With practical tips and examples, your staff will learn to serve and interact with different customers, including those with disabilities, LGBTQ/2S, Indigenous peoples, those from different cultures, and more. Try out the course and see how it can help you increase your revenue and business bottom line - visit and redeem by April 26, 2019!

Please join us in welcoming the following new members and associate members to the alliance:

  • Loop Insights: Loop bridges the marketing gap between online and in-store by facilitating meaningful connections between consumers, brands, and retailers. They provide brands and retailers with consumer and transaction information, allowing them to give their customers personalized marketing offers. Learn more.
  • Liquor on 248th: the newest member of the Otter Co-op Family in the Fraser Valley
  • C-Pac of Canada: a dynamic company based in Vancouver, with additional operations in Toronto and Los Angeles. C-Pac provides business services to manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and entrepreneurs. Learn more.
  • 1st Avenue Tavern: an American-style tavern in downtown Prince George
  • ALIBIS Show Lounge: opened 2011 in the historic National Hotel in Prince George, with the concept of being the Entertainment Centre for the 'party animals' in the city and surrounding area
  • Canada Berries: an award-winning winemaker based in Richmond, producing only the best berry fruit wines

Stronger when we work together: Do you know a liquor primary or private liquor store that isn't a member of ABLE BC? Our advocacy work and member benefit programs are only as strong as our membership base. New members can sign-up online or by contacting Danielle Leroux, Director of Membership & Communications at 604-688-5560 or .

Download a copy of our Member Handbook here for more information on ABLE BC's benefit programs and advocacy work.