Identity of the British Columbia Wine Region

Regional identity is one of the pillars of an internationally competitive wine region, along with cooperation and quality.

What do we mean by 'identity'?

Identity is about who we are, how others perceive us, and what we aspire to do and become (Staber and Sautter, 2011). It is shaped by distinct characteristics, and refers to commonalities and differences, in and across sub-regions as well as BC as a whole. Across the wine industry each behaviour, choice, and action matters – individually and collectively

We are working with the BC wine industry to develop its sense of identity, as part of our project, Position the British Columbia wine industry for international growth, supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Reports on the identity of the BC wine territory

In October 2018, we released our report, BC Wine Territory Identity. This report outlines our activities to date, introduces the idea of identity, discusses its importance for wine regions, analyzes findings, recommends actions for wineries, growers, industry organizations and regional associations, and concludes with our commitment. It complements Glasgow School of Art's report of our 2017 workshops. Both reports are being shared across the industry, to stimulate further thinking, and to prompt action on the shared BC wine territory identity.

BC Wine Territory Identity Workshops, November 30 - December 7, 2018

In follow-up to the recommendations in our report , we invite you to participate in the forthcoming UBC workshops across BC.

The industry sees ‘diversity’ as a focal point for the identity of the BC wine region. Together, shape what that implies, and turn it into action:

  • Concentrate especially on wines produced, business approaches and cultural heritage.
  • Share and learn about best practices, in BC and elsewhere.
  • Develop a narrative that you can use immediately.
  • Identify steps to take now to achieve greater success.
  • Tell us how the industry’s emergence on a global stage can be supported by UBC and its partnerships.

We welcome participation from wineries, grape growers, and the industry more broadly.


Registration for the workshops has now closed. 

BC Wine Region Identity Workshops, November 20172017 Identity Workshops Collage

In late November 2017, industry leaders were invited to come together in a series of workshops developed by UBC-KEDGE in collaboration with Glasgow School of Art's Innovation Schoolto reflect on the identity of the BC wine region.

The notion of identity was broken down into key themes: terroir, authenticity, expression, and the overall narrative. During the workshops, various participants recognized the need for a cohesive narrative about the identity of the BC wine region.

Video: Learn more about the 2017 workshops and the process

To capture and share the live discussion on identity, we partnered with Plia Productions to create the short film, British Columbia Wine Region: A Territory Exploring its Identity. 

A version of the film was shared at the Wine Leaders Forum Identity Day, March 5, 2018.

The film was an official selection of the International Oenovideo Festival 2018 in Epernay, France, 28 June to 1 July, 2018, and for Most International Wine & Cava Film Festival, Vilafranca del Penedes, Catalonia, Spain, 8-18 November, 2018. 

The film was available for viewing over the summer, 2018 at the Kelowna Wine and Orchard Museum, located inside the Laurel Packinghouse, 1304 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC.