As most of Ottawa’s cocktail community may know, the past few weeks have been challenging for Matt Millard. Recently, we have all been informed of his immediate exit from the country. He had to suddenly leave his wife, friends, and community behind. Since 2015, he has been working at Bar Laurel and has been a major inspiration for the local bartenders as well as key actor in the development of the cocktail culture in the city. Unfortunately, on August 2017, Matt’s work visa expired while he was pursuing the project of getting a Spousal Sponsorship Visa, in order to get his Permanent Residence, as well as a work permit, and ultimately remain here in Canada, where him and his wife planned to spend the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, he was on a work hiatus until his Visa and work permit arrived.
A couple of weeks ago, Matt’s life changed as he tried to help his close friend, the owner of bar Laurel, by giving him a lift across the border into the USA to pick up some restaurant equipment. Unfortunately, when they tried to re-enter Canada, the authorities considered Matt was working when he was, in fact, giving a hand to his friend. Through social media posts, the authorities also considered that organizing tasting events at Bar Laurel for the local bartending community was considered as working even though the event was held when the bar was closed and it was free and unpaid.
Considering Matt Millard as a member of the MWL family and an important influence within the local bartending scene, we think these circumstances are an occasion to strengthen the links between the bartenders, members of the industry, and close friends to support Matt’s battle.
Therefore, during the upcoming MWL National Finals in Ottawa on April 30th, we will be hosting an exclusive draw as a fundraiser initiative to support our dearest friend, Matt Millard.
For this sensible occasion, ALAMBIKA Cocktail Store and MWL are offering a wonderful gift set for cocktail lovers from a value of $1,000! Simply get your 5$ tickets and #shareyourloveforMatt! The winner will be announced the night of the event.
We invite you all to participate and engage in this initiative in order to raise funds for Matt’s lawyers’ fees and procedures while sharing love and support!
We are looking forward to seeing you all April 30th and we are impatient to welcome back Matt to his wife, friends and within our bartending community.
With love from Team MWL & ALAMBIKA