Les Dames BC to Award $50,000 in Scholarships

Les Dames(British Columbia) – Les Dames d’Escoffier – BC Chapter has raised $50,000 to award in scholarships this coming year. These scholarships are open to any woman (or person identifying as female) who resides in BC and wants to further their education/careers in culinary, beverage, agriculture, aquaculture or hospitality fields.

Scholarships are open to women of any age, and at any stage of their career, who are looking to either refine or expand their expertise at a credible educational institution of their choice anywhere in the world. Scholarships are awarded on merit, ability, commitment and passion. Applicants can be awarded more than once, depending on the circumstance. If a woman has previously applied and been unsuccessful, we encourage her to try again.

Scholarship applications are open now on the Les Dames BC website – the application deadline is January 31, 2021

This year’s scholarships are particularly meaningful given that nearly half of BC’s food service establishments are losing money due to the impact of COVID-19, with an estimated 10 percent of businesses permanently closed. Scholarships allow women to gain a competitive edge by furthering their education, enabling them to pivot to other sectors of the hospitality industry as necessary, to survive these challenging times. Les Dames have been awarding scholarships every year since 1992. In 2020, the BC Chapter awarded over $40,000 to 30 women at all career stages.

Traditionally Les Dames’ sponsor partners have strengthened our scholarship opportunities with focused educational opportunities and financial support through their culinary and wine programs. To show our appreciation for their past generosity, we are proud to support our industry partners this year by funding scholarships to Barry Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy, Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, and Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.

If you eat and drink locally or frequent local hospitality establishments, you are almost certainly reaping the benefits of Les Dames’ Scholarships, as their recipients are scattered throughout the province. “Receiving a scholarship can change a woman’s life” says Les Dames Scholarship Co-Chair Chef Denise Marchessault of Victoria. “A good example is the Okanagan’s Mireille Sauvé. Mireille received her scholarship at the age of 17. She went on to a successful career as a sommelier, then a respected winemaker, and she eventually became a member of Les Dames BC and currently is our Past President. Mireille is the creator of Les Dames Wine – the very successful fundraiser which raises money in support of our scholarship program and she runs her own consultancy firm The Wine Umbrella.”

“It is hard for me to imagine being where I am in my career today without the tremendous support that I received through Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Scholarship program in 1996. My scholarship allowed me to become certified as ‘Canada’s Youngest Sommelier’, leading to an international internship as a winemaker and, ultimately, to the fulfilling career that I enjoy in the wine industry, some 24 years later. Les Dames gave me a step up when I needed it,” states Ms. Sauvé.

Applicants must be female-identifying BC residents who are currently working in the culinary, beverage, agriculture, aquaculture or hospitality fields. Applications are available now on Les Dames website, click the Scholarships Tab and then Applications. Applications are reviewed and evaluated by Les Dames Scholarship Committee comprised of BC Chapter members. Successful applicants will be announced in March 2021.

About Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter

Les Dames d’Escoffier is the only organization of its kind: a world-wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The invitation-only membership, composed of 43 individual chapters across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Mexico, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality. The mandate of Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter is to support the advancement of women in the hospitality and culinary domains as well as fostering industry excellence through educational and charitable activities. For information on Les Dames D’Escoffier BC Chapter and updates on its various events and programs please visit https://www.lesdames.ca Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram @LesDamesBC

For information on Les Dames d’Escoffier International: www.idei.org

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