Gurvinder Bhatia IWE

Gurvinder Bhatia is the editor-in-chief and publisher for Quench Magazine – North America’s longest-running and Canada’s most widely distributed wine and food publication. Although he has written for Quench for over two decades and been on the editorial team for the past 15 years, Gurvinder purchased the magazine in 2021, and is committed to the magazine’s evolution to be a much truer representation of our society. Gurvinder is also the wine columnist for Global Television Edmonton, an international wine judge and the president of Vinomania Consulting.  Gurvinder was the owner/founder of Vinomania wine boutique (opened in 1995, closed in 2016), which was named on numerous occasions among the 20 best wine stores in Canada.  In addition, Gurvinder was the wine columnist for CBC Radio for 11 years and is certified by Vinitaly International Academy as one of only 15 Italian Wine Experts in the world.  Gurvinder is a recovering lawyer and in addition to his law degree (JD), he also earned his Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with honours.  In 2015, Gurvinder was named by Alberta Venture Magazine as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People.  He is actively involved in the community and has served in leadership with numerous community organizations including the Edmonton Community Foundation, the Alberta Social Enterprise Venture Fund, and the Edmonton Shift Lab initiative to reduce racism as it contributes to poverty. Gurvinder developed and moderated a roundtable on ‘The Media and Racism’ as part of the Centre for Race and Culture’s Challenging Discrimination through Community Conversations series.

Exploring Diversity: Confusing optics for inclusion
The western world’s mainstream media outlets and wine and food industry still have a difficult time understanding that visibility does not, on its own, create an environment of diversity and inclusion (and often is simply tokenism) and the white mainstream still lack understanding of the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. Only when the mainstream accepts and gives space to people of colour to create their own paths outside of the “traditional” and ensures that BIPOCs are in decision making roles with respect to the stories to be told, how they are told and who is telling them will diversity and inclusion be what it should be – which is a truer representation of society – rather than just a superficial marketing message solely for optics.