Chantal Hébert to speak at 2011 Grape Growers of Ontario Celebrity Luncheon

Release Date: 
Thursday, July 14, 2011

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St. Catharines, ON (Thursday July 14, 2011): The Grape Growers of Ontario, in partnership with Meridian Credit Union, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, are pleased to announce that Chantal Hébert will be the speaker at the 2011 Celebrity Luncheon which kicks off the 60th Annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. The event will take place at Club Roma in St. Catharines on Wednesday, September 14th at 11:30 a.m.

“The Grape Growers of Ontario are thrilled to have a well-known National Affairs Columnist speaking at this year’s Celebrity Luncheon,” says Bill George Jr., Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario. “Chantal brings a truly distinct voice to the discussion of current events and has first-hand knowledge of the dynamics that shape much of the decisions and policies on Parliament Hill,” says Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of the
Grape Growers of Ontario.
 
Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer for the Toronto Star based on Parliament Hill, as well as a guest columnist with the Montreal daily Le Devoir and a member of the CBC's The National's weekly At Issue panel. She blogs on the website of French-language magazine L'Actualité.
 
Ms. Hébert is a regular participant in other television and radio current affairs shows in French and in English. Prior to taking her position, Hébert worked as the Montreal correspondent for the Toronto Star from February 1999 to September of the same year. She started her career in 1975 in Toronto working for Radio-Canada television news.
 
Chantal has served as parliamentary bureau chief for La Presse and Le Devoir as well as a parliamentary radio correspondent for Radio-Canada. Hébert is the 2005 recipient of APEX's Public Service Citation as well as the 2006 recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in journalism and public policy. Hébert penned her first book, French Kiss: Stephen Harper's Blind Date with Quebec, published by Knopf Canada in February 2007.
 
“Meridian is proud to sponsor the Grape Growers of Ontario's luncheon event," said Ken Janzen, Senior Director and Regional Manager at Meridian Credit Union. “We are dedicated to supporting the communities we serve and our long-standing history of supporting Ontario’s grape farmers in a testament to that commitment.”
 
“Fields of grape vines are an image that defines Niagara for many visitors and the unique warm climate and master wine-makers have made local VQA wines the taste of Niagara. Ontario’s Greenbelt helps to ensure our senses will always be delighted by this important agricultural industry and area. We are pleased once again to support Niagara’s wine and grape industry,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.
 
“During this 60th Anniversary, the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival will honour the excellence and innovation of our growers. The Celebrity Luncheon marks the birth of another harvest celebration. As an inspirational commentator, Chantal Hébert will provide insight on the political landscape of our Parliament, past, present and future. There is no doubt that Chantal will be both entertaining and informative and we look forward to sharing our Niagara with her during this special time of the year,” says Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director, Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.
 
Online ticket purchases can be made at www.niagarawinefestival.com. Ticket order forms are available at www.grapegrowersofontario.com or by calling the office at (905) 688-0990.
 
The Grape Growers of Ontario represents over 500 active growers on 15,000 acres in four viticulture areas (Niagara, Pelee Island, Lake Erie North Shore, and Prince Edward County). We are the advocate of all processing grape growers in the province working to ensure the market for Ontario grapes and wines expands domestically and internationally.
 
For more information contact: Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario at (905) 401-2471