Food and Restaurants 7052 Views by John Stokes

Ottawa Wine and Food Show can learn from Bluesfest

This year’s Ottawa Wine and Food Show was in Ottawa’s new Convention Centre. This is a great facility. However, I also have some observations I would like to share about the Wine and Food Show. I will welcome your comments if you were also able to check out this year’s Wine and Food Show.

Firstly, why did the Wine and Food show permit the selling of pots, pans and T-shirts? It is great that the promoters of the show were open-minded to those vendors; but shouldn’t the limited space in the convention centre be for as many wine vendors who are willing to travel to Ottawa to present their offerings to wine lovers?

Secondly, what are pubs and “chains” doing at the Wine and Food Show? Does Wine and Food Show organizers plan to invite Starbucks next year? Restaurant chains often sell image over food quality. How about instead inviting more of Ottawa’s most critically acclaimed independent restaurants, bistros, bakeries to the show?

Thirdly, why block ticket holders from being able to go in and out as they please like Bluesfest that had over 100 times the attendance. It is outrageous that if you got into the Wine and Food Show, and, for example, forgot your cell phone in the car, that you would be refused re-entry.

Apparently, only smokers taking a cigarette break, were allowed re-entry. The security guards apparently quoted some microscopic fine print on the back of their Capital tickets, which, gave these guards the authority to only allow re-entry into the Ottawa Wine and Food Show.

Bluesfest had knowledgeable and friendly volunteers scanning ticket holders in and out of that festival with ease, with similar kind of scanners used at the Wine and Food Show. The public face of the Wine and Food Show, were security guards who often lacked the friendliness of volunteers at other Ottawa festivals including Bluesfest.

Fourthly, have you noticed that the variety of wines and alcohol at the show in general from across Canada, and internationally, seems to have declined in the last four or five years?

I wonder if the ice wine vendor that I was searching for was displaced by fancy super-sized kiosks of those Ottawa chain restaurants/pubs.

And fifthly, having paid “X’ amount of dollars, why force everyone into purchasing a huge extra block of tickets to for alcoholic consumption? On one hand the Wine and Food Show says it supports responsible drinking, and on the other hand, appears to force everyone into potentially consuming way more alcohol than someone might normally, and safely consume.

The Wine and Food Show effectively promotes its commercial interests, through selling large drink ticket blocks that happens to be arguably inconsistent with its “drink responsibly rhetoric”.


There are 1 comments on this post

What about all the people who had purchased advance tickets but were left outside with no chance of getting in on Saturday night because of capacity issues? There were hundreds of people in line, with tickets, that were not going to get in. Extremely poor planning is the tickets were that oversold. Or maybe just greedy?

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