Are you interested in working at the management leadership level in the wine industry? Want to advance your wine career with top-level training? Prepared to invest your time in learning? 

Do you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour, and live in British Columbia?

Vinica Education Society is offering the comprehensive training, mentorship and internship Equity in Wine Leadership program to support aspiring BIPOC wine professionals to advance their careers. 

This 9 week full-time training program is free for qualified participants. 

Funding was provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement and the Province of British Columbia. Additional support is also provided by Wine Growers BC, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and the Vancouver Wine Festival

Additional support provided by:

February – April 2023 Program

Vinica’s Equity in Wine Leadership training program will take place in a hybrid, blended format between February 20 and April 21, 2023. This intense, life-changing 9 week program includes three residency weeks in Kelowna, BC,  two weeks of internship placements in various locations throughout BC, and four other weeks of online study, training and mentorship. Participants should expect to devote at least five full days per week throughout this program. Support is available for participants to travel for residency weeks in Kelowna.

The program included the following components:

  • WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level 2
  • WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level 3
  • BC Wine Ambassador Levels 1 & 2 
  • BC Wine industry-specific training
  • Cultural empowerment seminars
  • Employment assistance services, including a virtual job fair 
  • Mentorship with top BIPOC leader in the global wine industry
  • 2 week unpaid internship in the BC wine industry

Participants are taught by leading wine industry and educational professionals, gaining knowledge, crafting a network of colleagues and mentors, and making lasting connections in the wine industry. The Equity in Wine Leadership training program also provides the opportunity for participants to join the community of previous program graduates, now working in the BC wine industry.

February – April 2023 Schedule

February 20 2023Online resources and online training begins, including Wines of BC Ambassador Training Level 1. Pre-employment services and supports begin, and mentorship begins.
February 27-March 2, 2023
First week of in-person training including orientation, WSET 2 skills classes, wine industry training, culture classes and WSET 2 exam.
March 6 – March 17, 20232 week Internship placement. 
March 20-24, 2023Second week of in-person training including Wines of BC Ambassador Training Level 2, WSET 3 classes, culture classes and wine-industry-specific training.
March 27 – April 14, 2023Study for WSET 3. Pre-employment coaching and counselling continues. Mentorship continues.
April 17-19, 2023Final week of in-person training including WSET 3 skills classes, pre-employment services and supports, and WSET 3 exam. 

Participant Criteria

The Equity in Wine Leadership is a free training program for people who are passionate about wine, but experiencing barriers to participation or advancement in the industry. Participants may be from any part of British Columbia, but must be resident in British Columbia.

The 22 participants for our program will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour
  • is 19+ years old
  • has a keen interest in wine and loves learning
  • would like to pursue a management or leadership-level career in the wine industry
  • can commit to 5 full days a week in training, internship placement and study throughout the 11 week program
  • is seeking training to find a new job, or preparing for changing job requirements or new job opportunities in the community
  • is unemployed (persons with barriers to entering the workforce, persons currently receiving EI or IA but searching for work, or persons working less than 20 hours per week)
    is employed part-time (persons working less than 30 hours per week)
    is employed casually or on-call (persons working only when needed, often on short notice)
    seasonally employed (persons working steady, possibly long hours for some but not all months of the year, e.g., landscaping, tree planting, wildland firefighting, etc. )
    precariously employed (employment that is unstable due to circumstances such as having just cause to leave one’s employment, having received a lay-off notice, self-employment income is below the poverty line, the job is likely to be replaced with automation, an industry shutdown is imminent or there have been changes in the marketplace due to a natural disaster like a pandemic)
  • is a resident of British Columbia
  • has a SIN (social insurance number)
  • is a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person entitled to work in Canada.

Note, participants may not be working full-time (working 30 or more hours per week).

To Apply

To apply for the Equity in Wine Leadership training program starting February 20, 2023, please fill out this application form today!

Applications will be considered as they arrive, so please apply as soon as possible. 

As a next step, qualified applicants will be contacted by our Program Director, to get to know you better and to tell you more about the program.