The federal government announced a plan to help the Canadian wine sector Friday during a visit to Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards in Wolfville, N.S.

Over the next three years, the government plans to spend up to $177 to extend the Wine Sector Support Program, according to a Friday news release. Launched in 2022, the program provides “financial support to help licensed Canadian wineries adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges.”

"Nova Scotia’s wine industry forms an important underpinning of our rural economy. Our industry is producing world class wines, while employing over 1,100 Nova Scotians directly, and contributing hundreds of millions to the provincial economy,” said Kody Blois, MP for Kings-Hants and chair of the House of Commons Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee.

“Today’s investment is a direct result of our government’s belief in this industry and everything it brings to our communities.”

According to the most recent statistics from the Wine Growers of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia wine industry attracts over 150,000 visitors to the province each year and has an economic impact of more than $245 million annually.

“Canada’s wine sector creates jobs, drives economic growth, and supports so many communities right across the country,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“This extension of the Wine Sector Support Program will provide vitally important support to our wineries as they continue to innovate and adapt to challenges so the sector can stay strong and competitive for years to come.”

According to the release, the Wine Sector Support Program provides “non-repayable grants based on wineries’ production of bulk wine fermented in Canada from domestic and/or imported primary agricultural products.”

Karl Coutinho, board chair of Wine Growers of Nova Scotia, says the introduction of the Wine Sector Support Program in 2022 was a “significant milestone” for the industry.

“The recent extension of this program, secured through dedicated advocacy and the support of the federal government, is critical to the industry's continued success,” says Coutinho.

Eligible recipient payments are determined based on the eligible litres of wine produced. To be eligible, wine must be produced in Canada using fermented domestic and/or imported primary agricultural products in the previous fiscal year from the one in which a grant payment is approved.

The application window for the 2024-2025 fiscal year is between April 8 and May 24.

The Wine Sector Support Program will end on March 31, 2027.