Mario Larochelle


Founder/Past Chair

marioThe original Swirl & Twirl fundraiser was held in 2003 to help and support Capital Pride and Pink Triangle Services.  Capital Pride was facing bankruptcy from the 2002 festivities and needed support from the community, our goal was to raise enough cash flow to help them get back on their feet.  The annual event continues to be held in Spring.

My experience includes Product Consultant (LCBO) and significant employment in the hospitality industry.  I am certified as a sommelier by both (Algonquin College and l’École Hôtelière des Hautes-Laurentides). Other studies include Master of Sommelier (Level 1), Master of Wines (level 1-2-3).  I participated in the first Ontario Best Sommelier contest in 2004, placing second and was awarded the Best Nose for the blind tasting component of the contest.

It felt necessary and natural to me to create a wine tasting fundraiser.  Doing it to support our community was never in question.  Ottawa is one of only a few cities that hosts an annual wine, beer and food tasting event supporting its GLBTTQ community. Swirl and Twirl is the best way for me to entertain my friends and raise money for great causes.