The Liquor Control Board of Ontario is helping Niagara College to establish a bursary to help underrepresented women in the beverage alcohol industry.
The LCBO has donated more than $60,000 to the college to offer funding to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) students who identify as females from a diverse background.
Called the Spirit of Inclusion Iniative Bursary, it will fund four Niagara College students, one from each of the college's alcohol production programs.
“It is our responsibility to use our influence and resources to increase diverse representation and foster inclusion within the beverage alcohol industry,” LCBO president George Soleas said in a news release.
“The Spirit of Inclusion Initiative is a holistic, long-term commitment to support diverse women looking to begin or advance their careers in the winery, brewery, and distillery fields. Its success relies on the strength of our incredible community and trade partners, and I am excited for the impact we will achieve together.”
Marc Nantel, Niagara College's vice-president of research and external relations, said the donation is a “generous gift which will make it possible for many under-represented students in our beverage programs to achieve their dreams.”
Craig Youdale, dean of the college's Canadian Food and Wine Institute, said the grant will help to create more equity, diversity and inclusion in the beverage industry.
“We look forward to seeing the results of our collective impact and more opportunities for more diverse women to enter our beverage alcohol program, thanks to the support from the LCBO.”
This first of the bursaries will be awarded to four students this fall. The balance of the funds will be awarded to students during the 2022-2023 academic year.
Those looking to apply for the grant can find more information at niagaracollege.ca/fees-finances/financial-aid/.