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Partners & Sponsors

The 5 Canadian Master Sommeliers


Vinequity is working with Jennifer Huether, Bruce Wallner, Élyse Lambert, John Szabo and Pier-Alexis Soulière to bring scholarship and mentorship opportunities to the Vinequity community.


Any individuals or companies wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund should contact John Szabo (@johnszaboms |

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Independent Wine Education Guild

Excellence in Wine, Spirits and Sake Education Since 1977


IWEG Drinks Academy is the original and only Canadian school to offer all programs and qualifications of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) — including the flagship “WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines” program — leading to internationally recognized certification in wine, spirits and sake.


WSET programs, widely considered the "Gold Standard" in wine education, are now offered in more than seventy countries across the globe. IWEG is the recipient of the prestigious WSET Lifetime Achievement Award for spearheading establishment of the WSET program in Canada and for excellence in wine and spirit education since 1977.


IWEG also offers Wine Scholar Guild's French Wine Scholar (FWS), Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) and Spanish Wine Scholar (SWS) courses, and Wines of Chile Academy and Wines of Portugal Academy certifications. IWEG is the 2017 Italian Wine Scholar Program Provider of the Year. Our unique Ontario’s Brave New Wines course, now in its fifth year, leads to Ontario Wine Specialist certification.


Our scheduling is diverse and flexible, offering in-class or online study; day or evening classes; and condensed or less intensive formats as well as custom corporate programming. With over forty years of operation, IWEG is passionate about helping our students achieve their personal or professional goals. Our instructors are subject-area experts and professionally trained educators, dedicated to student engagement and success.


IWEG is a Canadian Registered Charity with Business Number 10808 4682 RR0001.


For more information about IWEG’s wine, spirits and sake courses and events, visit


Paradis Wines and Spirits

Founded by Andrew Paradis, 2020

The Paradis Wines and Spirits team has over 30 years combined industry experience. Wines and Spirits have always been more than just a drink to us. We appreciate the decades of dedication and passion that goes into each bottle. Our promise to our customers is to always seek out the greatest products from around the globe and to provide exceptional service.


Mad Scientist Wine

Founded by Mathieu Gilbert

Mathieu Gilbert is a registered Sommelier and Restaurant Service Instructor in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gilbert grew up in Montreal, Quebec and began his hospitality career in Banff, Alberta in 2001. He is a passionate teacher and a dedicated student, constantly expanding his knowledge base and discovering new, innovative strategies to share his journey with others.

Starting as a waiter, his passion for food and wine led him to complete a sommelier diploma from Ecole Hotelière de Laval in 2006.

Gilbert’s career took him to Switzerland to teach at two of the most prestigious hospitality schools in the world. For over a decade, he expanded his knowledge and skills as a Professional Service Instructor at Ecole Hotelière de Glion teaching restaurant management, developing educational programs in wine tasting, food pairing and overall hospitality.

Upon his return to Canada in 2017, he moved to BC and continued working as a hospitality trainer for Gateway Casinos, then returned to teaching in a school setting at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Now he is the owner of Mad Scientist Sommelier, the personalized sommelier concierge service.

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