Past Industry News

New Head Winemaker at Burning Kiln Winery



Burning Kiln Winery names Lydia Tomek as Head Winemaker of the award-winning St. Williams based winery known for appassimento style wines.


Tomek has been selected as Head Winemaker at Burning Kiln Winery effective immediately. Tomek, a celebrated winemaker out of the Niagara region joins the Burning Kiln team with extensive knowledge of her craft, Tomek was Head Winemaker at Hernder Estate Wines where she spent the last ten years of her career. Tomek has also held winemaking positions at Hillebrand Winery and Jackson-Triggs.


Click here to read full press release.


For all the die-hard Canadian country music fans, the CCMA and London Host Committee have orchestrated a CCMA Awards Pre-Show experience to optimize the historic event of London, Ontario hosting Country Music Week and the CCMA Awards Show for the first time. Before the 2016 CCMA Awards Show goes live, before Canadian celebs strut their stuff down the John Deere Green Carpet, the CCMA Awards Show Countdown Concert will get fans rocking with a line-up stacked with 2016 CCMA Award nominees. Make a day of the festivities with the CCMA, and head down to Talbot Street to partake in the excitement on Sunday, September 11.


Click here for more information. 


A marque event as part of Country Music Week, Huron County FanFest features back-to-back performances by ten of Canada’s brightest country stars, and gives country music fans the opportunity to meet, greet and have their photo taken with their favourite acts at the Huron County FanFest photo wall. Country Music Week and artist merchandise will be available onsite for purchase. Best of all – this is a FREE event.

Forked River Opening On-Site Taproom

Forked River Brewing has announced the upcoming opening of a new taproom at its retail outlet in London. On Saturday July 30th at 11:00 AM, the new bar in the expanded retail area at 45 Pacific Court, Unit 4 will start pouring glasses and samples of a variety of Forked River beers, including core brands such as Capital Blonde and Riptide Rye, and rotating seasonals.


Click here to read more.

Over 500 Cyclists Registered for Bluewater International Granfondo



Over 500 Cyclists Registered for Bluewater International Granfondo


SARNIA, ON, July 14, 2016 – The Bluewater International Granfondo Committee is thrilled to announce that the inaugural cycling event has already exceeded the 500 rider limit and registration is now closed.

“Our extremely supportive community has come through once again. With their awesome support we are now sold out,” said Kenneth MacAlpine, Chair of the Bluewater International Granfondo. “What started as a vision for Sarnia-Lambton has now become a reality and we are ecstatic about it.”


Cyclists will be travelling to Sarnia-Lambton from British Columbia, Quebec, Georgia, New Jersey, and destinations throughout Ontario and Michigan.  Over half of the participants are from Lambton County, a strong indication of the growing cycling culture in our community.


Click here to read the full media release. 



New SWOTC Board of Directors

The Board of Directors and staff of the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) are pleased to announce its new Board of Directors as elected at its Annual General Meeting on June 8th, 2016.


We are pleased to welcome Bradley Oke and Brad Rice to the Board, and thank Laurie Hawkins and Karen Matthews for their many years of service to the Board and to the tourism community. Laurie served as Board Chair, while Karen served as Secretary Treasurer.  They will be truly missed.


Click here to read the full announcement.



CRA Decisions Put Camping In Canada At Risk

On the eve of launching the 2016 camping season, family-run campgrounds across Ontario are receiving surprise tax bills that put the entire Canadian camping tradition at risk. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has decided that some campgrounds are too small to qualify for the small business tax deduction, demanding tax payments at rates that are greater than those of billion-dollar businesses.


“Camping is about celebrating the great outdoors and is an integral part of our nation’s history and our identity as Canadians,” said Alexandra Anderson, Executive Director of Camping In Ontario. “Nearly 5.8 million Canadians go camping each year, along with numerous international visitors who want to experience the natural wonder of our country. We don’t want to believe that it is the CRA’s intention to destroy family-run campgrounds, but that’s exactly what will happen if their decisions are not reversed.”


Campgrounds in Ontario have begun receiving calls and letters from CRA warning them of reassessments in part because they are deemed not to qualify for the small business tax deduction since they employ fewer than five people.


Camping in Ontario – which represents 440 privately-owned campgrounds in Ontario – is working with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to push the Department of Small Business and Tourism, Finance Canada and the CRA to implement changes that ensure campgrounds are recognized as small businesses and pay the same taxes as other small businesses.


Click here to read the full press release.


Elgin County Launches New Tourism Video

Elgin County is excited to announce the launch of its new tourism promotional video “Life is Beautiful in Elgin County”. Elgin is a place where kilometres of stunning shoreline meet soft sandy beaches, rolling country hills, lush green forest trails, and charming towns and villages. This video is an authentic visual snap shot of what life is like in Elgin County that showcases the area’s stunning landscapes, exciting recreational activities, and friendly people.


Click here to read more.

Inaugural spring cider, wine & beer event a celebration of Ontario’s South Coast

Orchard Affair 2Ontario South Coast Wineries and Growers’ Association (OSCWGA) is proudly announcing its premier spring event, An Orchard Affair. The event will feature 11 local wineries and breweries on the evening of May 14th at the Schuyler Farms orchard to celebrate Ontario’s South Coast ciders, wines and beers. Guests can sample drinks while indulging in Gator BBQ and enjoying a vibrant bluegrass band.


“Our region is already being recognized for its award-winning wine and craft beer and now our hard ciders are sharing the spotlight – infact we now have five hard cider producers in the region,” says Andrea Kilian, Administrator for the OSCWGA.  “We wanted to host an event where many of these delicious beverages start: on the farm, and what better place for a backdrop than an apple orchard in bloom. This is an important event for our association as it really showcases the diversity of the excellent products we produce in our region.”


Click here to read more.

Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport Seeking Stakeholder Input at May 5th Session in London

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport (MTCS) is developing a Strategic Framework for Tourism in Ontario. In support of the framework, facilitated focus sessions on tourism are being held in communities across Ontario. Tourism stakeholders are being invited to attend one of the sessions and share their views about how to grow tourism in Ontario. Click here for more information on the sessions.


  • There is one session being held in our region – May 5th, 2016 – London Convention Centre, London, ON


Registration is required to attend the session, please click here to register.


For those looking to attend the sessions, please review the Strategic Framework Discussion Guide and Session Preparation documents for more information.