KELOWNA, B.C. — The Chefs’ Table Society of B.C. has established a scholarship fund in honour of Canadian wine icon Harry McWatters, who passed away suddenly last summer.
“Harry’s mentorship is rightly legendary,” says Jonathan Rouse, associate dean of the Okanagan School of Business and director of Food, Wine and Tourism at Okanagan College. “He always had his eye on emerging talent in the business and vigorously mentored young people through his roles as founder of the B.C. Wine Institute and his many ongoing industry affiliations.”
The scholarship is launching through the Okanagan College Foundation with an initial contribution of $2,000 per annum for a minimum period of five years. Students enrolled in a Wine or Tourism program at Okanagan College and are participating in an international education experience will be eligible for the scholarship.
“The operative word is ‘fund,’” says Belcham. “We’ve donated first, but it’s really a call to action: We invite industry associations, wineries and private individuals to enhance our gift by donating online or contacting the Okanagan College Foundation and pledging their support.”
“This is a very special award that honours Harry, his passion for mentoring students and his connection to Okanagan College,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation executive director. “Now, his legacy will continue as students get the opportunity to experience and learn from other cultures and infuse those insights into the unique food and drinks of the Okanagan Valley.”
“We think Harry would love the creative use of these funds and our family is pleased to add to Chefs’ Table Society’s initial contribution in the amount of $1,000 per annum,” says Lisa Lalonde, Harry’s wife. “Now we hope others will see the benefit in adding to this fund and bringing international wine experiences and knowledge back to the Okanagan.”
Further information about the Harry McWatters Scholarship Fund is available at okanagan.bc.ca.