About West Coast Experiences

West Coast Experiences (WCE) was founded in 2004 to educate and entertain wine lovers and offer wine-themed events.

Over the next decade, WCE successfully expanded to include craft beer, spirit and cuisine events to satisfied customers throughout BC’s Lower Mainland.

In addition to managing three primary festivals WCE also offers private tasting experiences, corporate events and retreats, and wine education sessions.

The team at West Coast Experiences operates on a core value system:

Passion: To present high-calibre wine, craft beer, spirit and cuisine events.

Customer Experience: Everything we do revolves around our customer-first philosophy.

Integrity: We uphold ourselves to be honest, open, ethical and genuine in everything we do.

Community: To support charities and the community we live and work in.

Meet Our Team

John Gerum
John GerumCEO
Son of a chef and the grandson of a maître d’, John grew up with an insider’s appreciation of fine foods and wine. He holds an Advanced Wine Certificate from the European-based Luxury Forte Hotels, as well certification with the International Sommelier Guild. Approachable and professional, John has been called on to personally serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as well as prime ministers, presidents, provincial premiers, entertainers and major sports celebrities.
Carolyn Ahrendt
Carolyn AhrendtDirector of Events
Carolyn worked in the hotel industry for over 15 years, primarily as an event manager with Marriott International and Renaissance Hotels. For over 10 years she has held the position of Director of Events with West Coast Experiences. With her keen attention to detail, and a passion to provide excellent customer service, Carolyn manages a variety of corporate projects, wine and beer tastings, and larger festivals.
Deborah Howard
Deborah HowardEvent Coordinator
Debbie is an indispensable asset to the West Coast Experiences team. Much loved by guests and colleagues alike she focuses on special events including the BC Uncorked Wine & Food Festival and the new TriCity International Wine & Food Festival. With years of experience in catering and event management, Debbie efficiently manages the food and beverage vendors for the festivals.
Paul Pyne
Paul PyneBeer Ambassador
Paul is a Certified Cicerone (think Sommelier but for beer), industry professional, and instructor of beer and related medium. He has been working closely with local BC breweries for a number of years and continues to promote, educate and involve others in the booming industry that is Craft Beer. Paul works with the West Coast Experiences event management team in planning and organizing the popular Coquitlam Craft Beer Festival.
Andrew Paradis
Andrew ParadisWine Ambassador
Andrew Paradis has been in love with all things food and wine related since he can remember. When he was 21 he spent 5 years living abroad and had the opportunity to try wines all over the world. Continuing to pursue his passion, once home he finished his studies under a Master Sommelier and began his journey. Today his goal continues to be sharing his love of wine with anyone who wants to learn, having fun, and of course tasting some juice!

Our Happy Clients

“WCE’s lead Wine Expert, John, worked on a special wine panel for Vincor Canada in order to help bring to market a new wine brand. It was his depth of wine knowledge and industry experience that was so valuable to the marketing team. He was able to give his input on everything from taste profile, packaging, labels, price point and market position.”
Jennifer Fisher, Vincor Canada
“For the past few years we have invited WCE to be one of 16 presenters at our Professional Day to teach a workshop on wine. The feedback from attendees was very positive and people left the sessions feeling excited about their new-found knowledge. In dealing with WCE we felt they respected our no alcohol policies, yet still delivered a high quality session in a professional manner. Since our sessions several people have gone on to learn more about wine in the various courses and events offered by WCE, including myself.”
Gary B. Munro, Justice Institute of BC
“For the past five years, I have invited John Gerum as my Wine Expert guest speaker to lecture on the topic of Beverage within my Hospitality Operations course at Capilano University. John is not only knowledgeable in his area, but a natural teacher who is able to explain wine and all its technicalities in a simple and easy to understand manner.”
Claudia d'Almeida, Capilano University
“Our company has, on a number of occasions, retained the services of WCE to provide wine tastings prior to client dinner parties held at our residence. WCE adapts very easily to the range of our clients’ knowledge regarding wines, and presents the information in a pleasant and interesting manner. In all cases, our clients continue to compliment us on such an enjoyable and educational evening. In addition, WCE remains flexible to our needs and requests for each wine tasting that we host. I have no hesitation in recommending WCE, as the experience is well worth it.”
Russ Tyson, TyPlan Planning & Management
” We really enjoyed our evening, and everyone else said they did as well. We don’t know how you make technical information entertaining, but you do!”
Debra & Reno Degianni, Hosted a Private Wine Event