My “Winery Dogs of Ontario” 2018 calendar just swooshed to the printer.
OH. MY. DOG. This has been a labour of love! A test of my stick-to-itiveness and a barometer for my level of risk aversion. This celebration of dogs in wine country has been simmering on the back burner for more than ten years, sometimes the flame even went out. I was never quite ready to take the leap. But when I launched my pet photography business in 2014, the winery dogs calendar idea naturally came percolating back up to the surface, and there it has been, bubbling away ever since.
Why a winery dogs calendar? Three reasons:
- I adore spending time with fur-kids. It soothes my (occasionally) savage soul.
- I love wine and live in the heart of Niagara’s wine country.
- Ontario is the last significant wine region in the new world (that I’m aware of) that is without a calendar that celebrates their magnificent canine mascots! (I know! crazy eh?)
I have to admit that my process was painfully slow – I suspect I was still dancing the edge of a knife as to whether I should do it or not. It could be hugely successful! But it could also be an expensive flop. However, one recent January morning, I woke up and thought to myself, good god woman! get your butt in gear and get this done before someone scoops you.
Full steam ahead
Time to map out my path to calendar completion. I lined up a shooting schedule to photography dogs for months I needed, determined the calendar size, designed the layout, and got quotes in. I also planned a launch/preview event to gauge interest. At the event, I pre-sold enough calendars to believe that there is actually a big old net at the bottom of the cliff I just launched myself off. (Note: all of this was accomplished with a whole lot of help from my friends, especially the launching off cliff part.)
It’s not about getting a chance… it’s about taking a chance.
Proofs will be ready for review this coming week – until then I’m on pins and needles! Excited? (um, yes… that is a serious understatement.) Suffice it to say that today marks a significant milestone in my life.
That being said, no time to stop and smell the roses, I need to start shooting for the 2019 calendar! My goal is to feature dogs from every wine region in Ontario, Niagara on the Lake, Prince Edward Country, Pelee Island, Collingwood… if you know a winery dog that should be included, please let me know!
The calendars are 12″x12″ and their gorgeous, glossy pages feature stunning portraits showcasing winery dogs from Niagara’s Twenty Valley wine region. As always, rescue is near and dear to my heart and a portion of the sales will go to Beamsville 4Paw Rescue and Jack Russell Terrier Rescue Ontario (JRTRO).
Currently the 2018 calendars will be available for sale at the following wineries in mid-late May:
- Angels Gate Winery
- Cave Spring Cellars
- Featherstone Estate Winery
- The Good Earth Food and Wine Co.
- Honsberger Estate
- Jackson Triggs
- Malivoire Wine
- Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
EDITED JUNE 13, 2017: the calendar is also now available at the following locations
- Henry of Pelham
- Vineland Estates
- Hidden Bench
- in Toronto through Penelope Irving and you can email her here
A big thank you goes out to Louise Engle and Meg McGrath for fanning the flames, consistently. Laurie Nadeau for all your help at the event and Carole Tothe-Gurgol of Tothe Photography for the event imagery. And to all the wineries and individuals who believed in this project enough to support it and me. I couldn’t have done it without you. You are all awesome!