May 03, 2018

On April 22-24, 2018, the BC Hotel Association and ABLE BC hosted the third annual BC Hospitality Summit in Whistler. The conference was attended by over 200 hoteliers, liquor store and pub owners and operators, and hospitality industry vendors. On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, thank you to everyone who attended the conference and helped make Summit 2018 a success!

New seminar topics, speakers, and keynote presentations were added to this year’s program to offer delegates a unique, insightful, and informative conference experience.

Read the full conference recap and find links to presentation downloads below.

ABLE BC Update

ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard provided an update on recent liquor policy changes, current industry issues, and the Alliance’s advocacy work. He also discussed the fast-approaching legalization of cannabis and what this means for your business.

As members may know, ABLE BC is a member of the Business Technical Advisory Panel, chaired by lawyer Mark Hicken and comprised of liquor and hospitality industry association stakeholders. Learn more about the panel here.

The panel met in April to finalize its report and recommendations to government on ways to support and improve BC’s liquor industry. The report has been submitted to government and a public version will be available soon. Jeff shared some high-level glimpses of the recommendations during his Summit update.

For members who were unable to attend Summit, you can download a copy of the ABLE BC Industry Update here.

LDB and LCLB Updates

We were pleased to have the LDB and LCLB’s senior teams back at Summit to provide their respective updates on the new warehouse, ongoing improvements to product delivery and distribution, inventory visibility, the cannabis retail license application process, and the new liquor policy changes.

Summit and the BC Liquor Conference are the two best opportunities for our members to connect directly with the LDB and LCLB senior management teams and get your questions answered in-person.

For members who were unable to attend Summit, you can download copies of the LDB and LCLB presentations below:

Navigating the thicket of cannabis regulations

During lawyer Shea Coulson’s seminar, those interested in entering the cannabis industry learned how to successful navigate the “thicket” of cannabis regulations and related liabilities, and gained practical tips for engaging in the cannabis retail license application process. You can find all ABLE BC cannabis resources here.

Cannabis and liquor: what is impairment and what is your duty of care?

The always popular and engaging defense lawyer Lorne Folick was back to discuss legal issues around impairment and patron’s duty of care. He provided helpful strategies to mitigate the risk of being sued in cases of over-service and discussed emerging issues with cannabis consumption.

For those who were unable to attend Summit, ABLE BC plans to host a webinar with Lorne later this year on this topic. Stay tuned for details! Lorne will also present at the 3rd annual BC Liquor Conference on October 29, 2018.

On-premise design: creating a space that works for your venue, staff, and customers

For our liquor primary members, we were excited to present a seminar outlining best practices for creating memorable pub experiences. Interior Designer Morgan Thomas from Cutler Designs shared practical tips for creating a space that not only works for your venue, but your staff and customers. Delegates also learned how to maximize space in a small pub or liquor store, how to improve their liquor retail store design for a better customer experience, and how your venue plays a key role in staff retention and happiness.

Delegates were also treated to three inspiring keynotes by industry-leading speakers:

  • Stephen Barth on Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: Stephen kicked off the conference with an energizing and motivating keynote talk. Delegates walked away with a clear idea of emotional intelligence, its importance, and how you can use it in your organization to be a better leader and develop engaged, productive, and committed employees.
  • David Goldstein’s Destination Canada Update: Canada welcomed a record breaking 20.8 million tourists in 2017, the highest ever in Canadian history. This is just the start! Goldstein provided delegates with clear insights into the global tourism interest in Canada, BC’s integral role in the Canadian tourism market, and how businesses can support the growing number of visitors.
  • David Sax on Revenge of the Analog: Digital was supposed to change the world. But the need for real, tactile things and human experiences is greater than ever. Sax showed how digital’s one-size-fits-all is being complemented and enhanced by tangible, analog processes. Hospitality businesses can use analog processes to increase creativity, outsmart the competition, and boost their bottom line.

To view the full conference program and speaker bios please visit:

Winners of the BC Hospitality Industry Awards announced!

On Monday, April 23rd, we also celebrated our industry’s best at the BC Hospitality Industry Awards Gala Dinner! The party continued into the night at Merlin’s and other establishments around Whistler.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s winners:

  • 2017 Publican of the Year – Ron Slinger, The Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub
  • 2017 Liquor Retailer Year – Cascadia Liquor Stores, The Truffles Group
  • 2017 Hotelier of the Year – Ingrid Jarrett, Watermark Beach Resort
  • Housekeeping Award Winners: view full list of winners here

Thank you again to everyone who attended BC Hospitality. A special thanks to our sponsors who make this event possible! We look forward to seeing you at next year’s conference. Summit 2019 date and location will be announced soon.

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