Qualifications for Membership
Membership in the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada shall be open to those writers actively publishing or broadcasting on the subject of wine, including all beverage alcohol (wines, beers, and spirits). Eligibility shall be acknowledged for any professional who (for payment) writes, films, photographs, tapes, edits or performs on the subject of wine for a print publication, radio or television program, or internet website, and shall include staff and freelance writers, editors, photographers, filmmakers, broadcasters and authors. Membership in the WWCC is not open to any individual who accepts payment for services as a public relations professional, or as a writer for a wine producer, manufacturer, promoter, agent, distributor or seller. The WWCC deems these activities as creating a conflict of interest with the membership’s duty to provide information and guidance to the public without bias or the appearance of bias.
Applications for membership shall be previewed by the Membership Committee prior to being forwarded to the general membership for a formal vote. Applicants rejected may re-apply after one (1) year.
The term “wine writer” shall encompass any one or all activities in the categories listed below. Minimum activity shall be based on cumulative work in a single category or on any combination of several categories for professional payment.
Wine Writer: must write at least six (6) wine articles, essays or columns per year, which are published in newspapers, magazines or on internet websites.
Wine Broadcaster: must appear in at least six (6) programs about wine per year on a radio or television program.
Wine Photographer: must illustrate at least six (6) wine articles per year published in newspapers, magazines or on internet websites.
Wine Author: must produce at least one (1) wine book every two years with a minimum print run of two thousand (2,000) copies.
Wine Newsletter Editor/Publisher: must edit and/or publish at least four (4) issues per year with a minimum circulation of one thousand (1,000) copies.
All published or broadcast work must be done for payment with the exception of work done for registered charities. Books, websites and newsletters may be self-published, but should generate revenue. All such countable work must be unique (that is, First Rights only). The Membership Committee may also request a publisher’s statement regarding professional payment.
When assessing an applicant’s qualifications, the Membership Committee reserves the right to consider the length, quality, frequency and distribution of the applicant’s work. For example, works of very short length or works with a low distribution (less than 1,000 people) will usually not meet the WWCC’s requirements because they do not establish the applicant’s professional standing. On the other hand, one work of great length may be given more weight by the Membership Committee in assessing the applicant’s qualifications.
Membership Requirements are subject to change without prior notice upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee and majority approval of the voting membership.
All members shall pay a set annual membership fee. Members who live more than 30 kilometres from a major urban centre, that both organizes and conducts meetings and tastings on behalf of the WWCC, shall pay one-half of the regular annual membership fee.
New applicants may pay one half the annual dues if accepted for membership after July 1 of any year. Annual dues billed by the end of December shall apply to the following year.
New applicants shall be required to submit a completed application form together with nine (9) pieces of work from the previous two years. These may be an assortment of materials from the Editorial Requirements listed above. Materials may be provided in writing (hard copy), but must also be submitted electronically for distribution to the voting membership.
Upon acceptance, new members shall be granted non-voting status for their first year in the WWCC. All other rights and privileges of membership shall be granted. After one (1) full year of non-voting membership, if all minimum requirements continue to be met, new members shall be granted the right to vote and will be accorded all the rights and privileges of full membership.
Membership qualifications shall be audited every second year thereafter.