Niagara Native, Country Star Tim Hicks to Speak at 32nd Celebrity Luncheon

Grimsby Lincoln News | Amanda Moore| June 25, 2015

A 'great pairing' for Grape Growers celebrity luncheon

A homegrown country star will be the special guest at this year’s Grape Growers of Ontario celebrity luncheon.

Grape King Kevin Buis announced June 25 that Niagara-born Tim Hicks will be the guest of honour at this year’s luncheon — a kick off to the 64th annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

“It’s a great pairing,” said Buis, who last weekend hosted the Niagara New Vintage Tailgate Party at his Glenlake Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “Great Canadian music, with great Canadian wine.”

Buis made the announcement at Mike Weir Winery to a crowd of wine industry folk, politicians, sponsors and media amid a backdrop of the growing vineyard.

“We’ve always been known to have Canadian talent, Canadian celebrities,” followed Grape Growers of Ontario chair Bill George Jr “Tim is a homegrown celebrity.”

George has long been a Hicks fan, even inviting the St. Catharines native to perform at his father-in-law’s 65th birthday.

“At the time, Tim was talking about hanging up his hat or giving it one more shot,” said George Jr. “He did and he made it big.”

In 2013, Hicks became iTune’s No. 1 highest selling Canadian Country Artist of the year.

He was honoured that same year with a nomination for the CCMA rising star award and JUNO nominations for breakthrough artist and country album of the year. The following year, Hicks was the CCMA rising star winner and winner of the Country Music Association of Ontario male artist of the year.

This year, Hicks is up for an album of the year award at the CCMAs, held one day before the celebrity luncheon.

This year’s Niagara Grape and Wine Festival features an unprecedented 41 wineries, the most in the festival’s 64-year history.

“It will be a challenge to include everyone,” said Barry Katzman, festival chair and president at Mike Weir Winery. “We will have 100 plus VQA wines, top quality VQA wines, in Montebello Park.”

Sundays in the park will feature a new theme — one that coincides with this year’s celebrity speaker. Sundays will be set to a new country theme, with several performers set to take the stage.

The celebrity luncheon is presented by the Grape Growers of Ontario with sponsorships from Meridian Credit Union, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

The 32nd celebrity luncheon takes place Sept. 16 at Club Roma in St. Catharines at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $75 plus applicable taxes.

Tickets are available online at or