British Columbians donate nearly $102,000 for B.C. wildfires victims


VANCOUVER - In the wake of raging wildfires, BC Liquor Stores' customers and employees came together to help support Red Cross relief efforts for victims of the recent Rock Creek and Oliver wildfires to the tune of almost $102,000.


To help support South Okanagan community members forced from their homes and starting from nothing following the fires, customers made donations of $2 or $5 - or multiples thereof - at checkouts at 196 BC Liquor Stores throughout the province.


These donations, collected from Aug. 18 to Sept. 6, helped the Red Cross provide assistance to victims of the fires to reunite family members, provide necessities such as blankets, food and water and assist victims with longer-term needs such as replacing equipment to return to work and helping with rent.


BC Liquor Stores' customers and employees have supported Red Cross disaster relief for humanitarian crises at home and abroad since 2003, when stores first collected donations to support victims affected by catastrophic wildfires burning that summer in the province.



Coralee Oakes, Minister Responsible for Liquor -

"While the people of Rock Creek and Oliver are just beginning the long journey to rebuild after the recent fires, it is uplifting to see the generous contributions made to this campaign. As they continue to tackle the difficult steps ahead, it is comforting to know that they have the strength, solidarity and support of British Columbians behind them."


R. Blain Lawson, general manager and CEO, Liquor Distribution Branch -

"BC Liquor Stores' customers and employees dug deep to help their neighbours and friends in need during this wildfire crisis, and we are proud to have been a conduit for their goodwill. Our sincere wishes go to all those impacted by the fires as they begin to rebuild their lives with help from the Red Cross."


Kimberley Nemrava, Red Cross provincial director for B.C. and Yukon -

"The recovery for many in B.C.'s southern interior is only just beginning. This incredible generosity from the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, its stores and customers will help Red Cross volunteers continue their outreach to people who lost homes to the flames. Thank you for supporting the ongoing efforts of the Red Cross and its partners in communities like Rock Creek, Westbridge and Oliver."


Quick Facts:

* Hundreds of people in the Rock Creek and Oliver communities were evacuated - and more than 30 homes destroyed - after a fire ignited in Rock Creek on Aug. 14, 2015.

* The province has battled more than 1,600 wildfires this year.

* Since 2003, BC Liquor Stores have collected more than $2 million for Red Cross disaster relief efforts at home and abroad.

* The last time the Red Cross activated a disaster relief fund in B.C. was in 2003, during one of the province's most devastating wildfire seasons on record.


Media Contacts:

April Kemick

Manager of Communications

BC Liquor Distribution Branch

604 252-3029


Government Communications and Public Engagement Ministry of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for Liquor

778 678-1572