We are pleased to announce that we have established the Sake Association of British Columbia (“SABC” or the “Association”) on October 1, 2013 to promote the growth of Japanese Sake and its food culture in British Columbia. The 9 members of the Association represent the Sake importers and producers currently working in BC.
Until now, Sake has been considered an exotic Asian alcoholic beverage and typically only consumed at Japanese restaurants. The SABC’s mission is to raise awareness of Sake and to expand its distribution throughout British Columbia. We are hoping that Sake, a key representation of Japanese culture, will become engrained in the daily life of British Columbians and extend across Canada, to be enjoyed with a variety of cuisines and occasions.
The Association was formed on October 1, 2013 to coincide with National Sake Day in Japan. As Sake is traditionally produced in the winter, October 1st is considered to be the beginning of the New Year for Sake. In Japan, Sake has been officially recognized as the National Drink “Kokushu” and served at formal ceremonies. The Japanese government also actively promotes Sake export to increase the recognition of Sake around the world.
In keeping with the Japanese respect for nature, seasonality and locality, “Washoku”, or Japanese food culture, has a unique and special place in the lives of the Japanese people. Consequently, as an essential part of cultural identity, “Washoku”, has been awarded the designation of an Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO in 2013.
Sake plays an important role in culinary traditions and gastronomy of Japan. As such, it is the Association’s mission and commitment as Japanese cultural ambassadors, to build awareness, increase knowledge, appreciation and understanding of Sake to British Columbians.