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Message from the New President

A Message from the New President of ASAP

Greetings fellow wine professionals.

I want to provide you with a brief synopsis of the latest news regarding the continuing advancement of the Association. As you may have heard, we have been working to cement ties with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Many ASAP training program graduates do not have a complete affiliation with an internationally recognized program, although we are very confident that the training received has been the equal or better than most available worldwide. We want our graduates and members to be able to work as Sommeliers world wide, and we have worked hard to establish this relationship.

CAPS is affiliated with the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI). This organization was founded in June 1969 in France with the aim of developing and promoting the Sommelier profession, and organizes the International Competition for the World's Best Sommelier that takes place every three years in a different member country.

Today ASI has 40 member countries, and is an active participant in the development, organization and recognition of the sommelier profession, training and competitions are its main activities. (www.sommellerie-internationale.com - link is on our website at www.atlanticsommeliers.ca)

We are close to finalizing what is essentially a merger between ASAP and CAPS. Following are the terms of the deal, and implications for our membership.

1. The new membership in CAPS will apply to all paid up members of ASAP who have completed their Sommelier Training.

2. The annual membership fee will rise to $75 (only a $25 rise for International recognition, which we believe is very good). Nova Scotia membersí fees will become due on May 7. NB/PEI members will be required to renew at the new $75 rate once their current membership expires.

3. Members who completed the program when we were affiliated with the ISG will now have full recognition from CAPS and therefore ASI.

4. Members who have graduated in the last three years will now have a full international recognition of their training. They will be required to take a service module that will be taught by current ASAP instructors, from the CAPS approved manual, at cost. The CAPS Service Manual is available for download in the Members Only Section of the website. Watch for announcements for scheduling of this training and exam.

5. Members currently in the process of training will be required to take a separate module related to wine making and one related to service. This information has been covered in our full programs, but under CAPS's curriculum, they are perhaps a bit more thorough, and are taught as separate modules.

6. Graduates of Wine Professionalism who wish to continue on to the full Sommelier status will essentially be taught the CAPS curriculum, which is very close in content to what we have been teaching since our inception.

7. All members (including CAPS members in the rest of Canada) will soon be obligated to remain active in the profession, though work, tastings, and continuing education. ASAP intends to offer short courses for all members, possibly as early as this summer, in topics such as winemaking, food and wine pairing, etc.

8. Associate ASAP members will be accommodated within the CAPS/ASAP structure. CAPS maintain a category of membership for industry professionals who have not taken a full recognized Sommelier program, and we will probably mimic that category.

One of the main activities of CAPS and the AIS is the continuation and support of the International Best Sommelier Contest. A condition of membership in the organization is for each chapter to hold their own competition, and have their winner represent the chapter at their National Competition. The National winner then moves on to the International version. As our first act as part of CAPS we are holding the Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI preliminary rounds on May 7.

Details are on our web site, noted under the "What's New" link on the Front Page. More will follow as we receive information from CAPS.

On May 7, payment for annual membership for all Nova Scotia members will be due. The membership form for Nova Scotia is on the web site, downloadable from the "Membership" page. NB/PEI members will be required to renew at the new rate once their current membership expires. The fee is $75, and we think it will be money well spent.

If you have not already, please take the time to go to the Members Only Page on our website and register. We are trying to build a complete membership database.

Yours in wine,

Wallace Fraser