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Joint Donation of $100,000 Made to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund

TORONTO, April 24, 2020 /CNW/ – The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all Canadians hard, not the least of which are workers in the food and hospitality sector.

In true Canadian fashion, two of Canada’s biggest spirits companies are joining together to provide support to displaced workers in this sector. Corby Spirit and Wine Limited and Diageo Canada are partnering to donate $100,000 to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund.

“We remain committed to supporting our industry employees across Canada,” said Patrick O’Driscoll, Chief Executive Officer of Corby. “We are proud to join our industry partner in an effort to make a difference by providing financial assistance to hospitality employees across Canada.”

“We are experiencing an incredibly challenging time in the Canadian hospitality industry,” said Jodi Rumble, VP, General Manager, Diageo Canada. “Through this joint effort, Diageo Canada is proud to further our commitment to supporting the hardworking community of bartenders, bar staff and front-line workers across the country.”

The hospitality sector has been reeling since the COVID-19 outbreak reached Canada. As one of the first industries to feel its impacts, Restaurants Canada estimates some 800,000 bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff have been put out of work since March 1 as restaurants and bars across the country have been forced to shut down or, at the very least, offer patrons take-out only options.

That equates to about two-thirds of the workforce in the foodservice sector being put out of work — and does not include hotel and lodging staff who have also been laid off.

The Bartenders Benevolent Fund offers emergency assistance to front-of-house hospitality staff who have fallen under serious financial hardship.

“Not only is this contribution to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund extremely generous, it is an incredible statement that two of the biggest spirits companies in Canada have come together to offer this sum in solidarity, leading the way together. ‘We are all in this together’ has never felt so true as it does today due to this action by our friends and partners at Corby and Diageo Canada. We are so grateful that they’re helping us to support our hospitality industry.” said Jon Gray, co-founder of the Bartenders Benevolent Fund.

For more information or to donate to the Fund, please visit Website, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #StrongerTogether.

Created in 2013, the Bartenders Benevolent Fund is a non-profit financial resource for bartenders, servers and Front-of-House support staff working in the hospitality industry in Canada. We provide funding for those who have fallen under serious financial hardship and our mission is to work in earnest to ensure that those in need can make ends meet. The Bartenders Benevolent Fund’s mandate is to offer support to the hospitality industry, by the hospitality industry: our funds are awarded anonymously by local hospitality professionals from each market. For more information, please visit

Corby Spirit and Wine Limited is a leading Canadian manufacturer, marketer and distributor of spirits and wines. Corby’s portfolio of owned-brands includes some of the most renowned brands in Canada, including J.P. Wiser’s®, Lot 40®, and Pike Creek® Canadian whiskies, Lamb’s® rum, Polar Ice® vodka, McGuinness® liqueurs, Ungava® gin, Cabot Trail® maple-based liqueurs and Chic Choc® Spiced rum, and Foreign Affair® wines. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A., a global leader in the spirits and wine industry, Corby also represents leading international brands such as ABSOLUT® vodka, Chivas Regal®, The Glenlivet® and Ballantine’s® Scotch whiskies, Jameson® Irish whiskey, Beefeater® gin, Malibu® rum, Kahlúa® liqueur, Mumm® champagne, and Jacob’s Creek®, Wyndham Estate®, Stoneleigh®, Campo Viejo®, and Kenwood® wines. Corby is a publicly traded company based in Toronto, Ontario, and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols CSW.A and CSW.B. For further information, please visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.


Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives and ways to share best practice.