Colonel Chris Hadfield to celebrate the Grape Growers of Ontario’s 70th Anniversary at the 2017 Celebrity Luncheon

St. Catharines, ON (June 22, 2017): The first and only Canadian to ever command the International Space Station is scheduled to bring the marvels of science and space travel to guests as the Grape Growers of Ontario ‘grow into the future’ at the 2017 Celebrity Luncheon.

The Grape Growers of Ontario in partnership with Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, are thrilled to welcome Colonel Chris Hadfield to Niagara to celebrate the GGO’s 70th Anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday which kicks off the 66th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

“Our history as grape growers is woven into the fabric of Canada’s 150 years, and what better way to ‘grow into the future’ than with the man who tweeted from space for five months aboard the International Space Station,” says Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario. 

Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario, says “We are excited to once again welcome an iconic Canadian to speak at the Celebrity Luncheon and look forward to hearing about Colonel Hadfield’s fascinating career on Wednesday, September 13,2017.”

During his multi-faceted career, Colonel Hadfield has intercepted Soviet bombers in Canadian airspace, lived on the ocean floor, been NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia, and recorded science and music videos seen by hundreds of millions.

A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield’s many awards include receiving the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

The Grape Growers of Ontario’s Celebrity Luncheon is Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at Club Roma in St. Catharines. Click here for ticket order forms or contact Gillian Williams at (905) 688-0990 ext 224 or



“As a long-time champion of Ontario’s grape growers, Meridian is excited to once again support the Grape Growers of Ontario Celebrity Luncheon. This year’s highly anticipated event will be made even more special with a thrilling presentation from Colonel Chris Hadfield.” Stephen Otten, Senior Director and Regional Manager, Meridian.

"Chris has seen the beauty of the planet from high up. It will be exciting to hear him speak in the context of Ontario's gorgeous Greenbelt." Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation

“To celebrate Canada’s 150th, the Niagara Grape and Wine community will come together at the annual Fall Festival to honour our grape growing industry. We look forward to our 2017 Celebrity Speaker, Colonel Chris Hadfield and the incredible stories that he will share of his historic firsts.” Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director, Niagara Grape and Wine Festival

The Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization that represents over 500 actively producing grape growers of 17,000 acres of vineyards in the province’s three designated viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County, and the emerging Norfolk County.

For more information contact: Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario at (905) 401-2471.