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2 records – page 1 of 1.

Other Name
HAND SANITIZER BOTTLE
Date Range From
2020
Date Range To
2020
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLASTIC, PAPER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20200008001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
HAND SANITIZER BOTTLE
Date Range From
2020
Date Range To
2020
Materials
PLASTIC, PAPER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Height
25.5
Diameter
8
Description
CLEAR CYLINDRICAL PLASTIC BOTTLE WITH A BLACK CAP. THERE IS A WHITE PAPER STICKER LABEL THAT HAS “ALCOHOL ANTISEPTIC 80%...1000 ML” PRINTED IN BLACK INK. THE SMALL BLACK STAMP ON THE BACK READS “IPC190221959L3”. THE BASE HAS FIVE BUMPS. THE BOTTLE IS OPENED AND EMPTIED. THERE IS A SMALL “TP” LOGO EMBOSSED ON THE SURFACE OF THE PLASTIC ON THE FRONT. THE BOTTLE IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
BUSINESS
HEALTH SERVICES
INDUSTRY
PERSONAL CARE
TRADES
History
ON THE 22ND OF DECEMBER, 2020 KEVIN MACLEAN MET WITH CLAUDE BILODEAU, THE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANGER OF THE LOCAL 'BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY COMPANY'. BLACK VELVET HAS BEEN MAKING WHISKY IN LETHBRIDGE SINCE THE 1970S, AND WAS RECENTLY ACQUIRED IN 2019 BY A KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES BASED COMPANY CALLED 'HEAVEN HILL'. AT THE LOCAL OUTSET OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN 2020, BLACK VELVET WAS ABLE TO START PRODUCING HAND SANITIZER IN THE FACILITY AND DONATE IT TO THE CITY STORES AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN LETHBRIDGE. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS DERIVED FROM THE INTERVIEW WITH CLAUDE BILODEAU. CLAUDE REVEALED WHO SUGGESTED THE SHIFT INTO PRODUCING HAND SANITIZER AND THE TURNAROUND TIMEFRAME: “…THE SENIOR LEADERSHIP OF THE COMPANY WERE HAVING WEEKLY CORONAVIRUS CALLS, AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT WHAT COULD WE DO… HEAVEN HILL BEING A FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED COMPANY FOR THE PAST 85 YEARS IS SO STRONG IN SUPPORTING THEIR COMMUNITIES… IT WAS ACTUALLY THEM THAT BROUGHT THE HAND SANITIZER IDEA TO US, AND IT WAS IN TURN ME WHO HAD SHARED IT WITH ‘SPIRITS CANADA’, WHICH IS THE TRADE ASSOCIATION FOR DISTILLERIES ACROSS CANADA… WHEN I SHARED IT WITH [‘SPIRITS CANADA’], THEY WERE ECSTATIC. THEY SAID, ‘WHAT A GREAT THING TO DO.’ THEY WERE ASKING, ‘ARE YOU OK IF WE SHARE IT WITH EVERYBODY ELSE?’ I SAID ‘ABSOLUTELY, LET’S GET IT OUT THERE’… I’LL SAY…THAT’S HOW IT BEGAN IN CANADA. THE U.S. WAS A LITTLE BIT AHEAD OF US… [AND] ALTHOUGH THEY WERE AHEAD OF US…IN THOUGHT…IT LITERALLY TOOK TWO OR THREE DAYS FOR ME TO HEAR ABOUT IT AND GET THE FIRST PRODUCT MADE.” CLAUDE PROVIDED THE GENERAL BACKSTORY BEHIND THE HAND SANITIZER BOTTLES: “THE FIRST [1000 ML] BOTTLE [THAT WAS DONATED TO THE MUSEUM] WAS THE FIRST PRODUCT THAT WE PRODUCED FOR HAND SANITIZER FOR THE PANDEMIC, AND IT WAS DONE BY HAND WITH THE MANAGEMENT TEAM HERE AT BLACK VELVET… AT THAT POINT WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF APPLYING FOR THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE AND DISTRIBUTE THE PRODUCT THROUGH HEALTH CANADA, BUT IT WAS TAKING SO LONG. THE PROCESS WAS RIGOROUS AND THE CITY WAS DESPERATE. IN MY CONVERSATIONS WITH TYLER [KASCOR], HE WAS IN NEED OF PRODUCT [FOR THE CORPORATE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE]. IT WAS ALL OVER THE NEWS THAT THERE WAS A NEED FOR PRODUCT, AND WE KNEW THAT THE FORMULA WAS AN APPROVED FORMULA BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (W.H.O) AND THAT THE HEALTH CANADA FORMALITY WAS AN INTEGRAL PART AND AN IMPORTANT PART, BUT SO WAS GIVING THE FIRST RESPONDERS AND THOSE MOST VULNERABLE IN THE COMMUNITY SOMETHING TO USE. SO WE DID OUR FIRST BATCH BASED ON THE W.H.O FORMULA, AND I GOT THE MANAGEMENT TEAM TOGETHER AND WE WENT OUT ON…WHAT WAS AN EMPTY LINE AT THE TIME, AND WE PUT HAND SANITIZER TO THE LINE. WE BOTTLED IT BY HAND, WE CAPPED IT BY HAND, WE LABELLED IT BY HAND, AND IN ALL JEST AND FUN THEY HAD ME DOING THE CAPS. SO BECAUSE I HAVE THE SOFTEST HANDS OF THE GROUP IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG BEFORE I BLISTERED, AND BY THE TIME I WENT HOME THAT NIGHT I WAS BLISTERED AND BLEEDING… I WAS PROUD TO THOUGH… IT FELT LIKE WE WERE DOING GOOD.” CLAUDE DESCRIBED THE CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED WHEN THE DISTILLERY SHIFTED TO MAKING HAND SANITIZER: “…THERE WAS CHALLENGE BECAUSE FIRST OF ALL WE DIDN’T HAVE BOTTLES THAT WE WERE GOING TO USE. SO THAT FIRST GENERATION [1000 ML] MODEL [THAT WAS DONATED TO THE MUSEUM]…IS ACTUALLY WHAT WE USE TO BRING LIQUID FROM THE BLENDING AREA TO THE QUALITY ASSURANCE LAB FOR TESTING… WE HAD A PALLET OF THOSE BOTTLES AVAILABLE AND CAPS, AND THAT’S WHAT WE USED…JUST SO WE COULD GET SOMETHING OUT THERE… WHEN YOU’RE DOING IT BY HAND, IT DIDN’T TAKE ANY RETOOLING. THERE WAS NOTHING THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE OTHER THAN GET LIQUID TO THE BOWL, WHICH THIS PLANT IS SET UP TO DO… BECAUSE WE BOTTLE WITH THREE SEPARATE LINES ALL THE TIME WE WERE ABLE TO SEGREGATE A TANK, CREATE THE BLEND, AND…TRANSFER THAT BLEND INTO THE BOTTLING TANK WHERE WE…HELD THOSE BOTTLES UP TO A NOZZLE, FILLED THEM UP, PUT A CAP ON THEM BY HAND, PUT A LABEL ON BY HAND, [AND] BOXED THEM UP BY HAND. WE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE PROPER BOXES, SO WE WERE USING…[SPARE] BOXES THAT WE HAVE PLENTY OF HERE BECAUSE OF HOW MUCH WE BOTTLE… WE HAD DONE AS MANY CASES AS THE DAY WOULD ALLOW US TO DO, AND IN MY CONVERSATIONS WITH TYLER [KASCOR]…THERE WAS A TIME LIMIT…WHERE WE HAD TO HAVE THIS PRODUCT TO…THE CITY STORES... SO WE LOADED IT UP…AND I DROVE IT OVER TO THE CITY STORES AND DELIVERED IT… I WAS BEAT, BUT I WENT HOME FEELING GOOD.” CLAUDE ELABORATED ON THE TIMELINE OF EVENTS: “…IT WOULD BE HARD TO PINPOINT THOSE DAYS [BECAUSE] IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST. I KNOW THAT I GOT AN EMAIL ON MARCH 16TH [2020], AND THAT EMAIL…TALKED ABOUT WHAT KENTUCKY WAS DOING, AND THEN THAT SAME DAY I EMAILED ‘SPIRITS CANADA’ AND I ACTUALLY HAD ASKED FOR THEIR HELP TO GET HEALTH CANADA INVOLVED [BECAUSE] I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO GO ABOUT THAT.” “I’M GOING TO SAY ON TUESDAY WE HAD A DISCUSSION AND BY FRIDAY WE WERE DELIVERING PRODUCT.” “…I THINK I HAD IT TO [TYLER KASCOR AT CITY STORES] BY THE END OF THE DAY ON THAT FRIDAY.” CLAUDE COMMENTED ON WORKING WITH TYLER KASCOR SUPPLYING THE CITY WITH HAND SANITIZER: “…I HAD SO MANY CONVERSATIONS WITH TYLER. I REMEMBER HIM BEING EXTREMELY GRATEFUL… I JUST KEPT SAYING, ‘LOOK, WE’RE HAPPY TO DO IT.’ HE…[ASKED] ‘WHAT’S YOUR PRICE?’ I SAID, ‘WE’RE NOT GOING TO CHARGE YOU FOR IT’… HE WAS SO HAPPY… HE COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT WE WERE NOT ONLY WILLING TO DO THAT, BUT DOING THAT AS QUICK AS WE DID… THEN WE HAD MULTIPLE CONVERSATIONS AFTER THAT LEADING UP TO THE GEN. 2 BOTTLE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHEN WE WERE WAITING FOR THE HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL TO BE DONE… I WAS…TALKING TO HIM DAILY SAYING, ‘HOW ARE YOU DOING ON SUPPLY?’ AND HE WOULD SAY, ‘WELL WE’RE GETTING DOWN THERE, HOW ARE YOU DOING WITH THE APPROVAL?’ AND I KEPT HIM ABREAST OF THE APPROVAL PROCESS AND WHERE WE WERE AT…UNTIL WE COULD FINALLY GET HIM SOMETHING THAT WAS BOTTLED ON THE LINE…” CLAUDE SPOKE ABOUT THE HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL PROCESS FOR DISTRIBUTING THE [GEN. 2] HAND SANITIZER: “…[‘SPIRITS CANADA’ HAD] THE CONTACTS AT HEALTH CANADA WHEREAS WE DON’T. SO HEALTH CANADA GOT US IN TOUCH…THROUGH THE TRADE ASSOCIATION [AND PROVIDED]…THE DOCUMENTS THAT YOU HAD TO FILL OUT…AND GET WHAT WAS REFERRED TO AS AN NPN, OR A NATIONAL PRODUCTS NUMBER… IN ORDER TO DO THAT YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY THE FORMULA, YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY YOUR PROCESS, YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY THE QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAMS THAT YOU HAVE, YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY WHAT YOU PROPOSE AS LABELLING AND THEN IT GOES THROUGH THEIR INTERNAL PROCESS AND COMES BACK TO YOU… THROUGH THE TRADE ASSOCIATION, I WAS LEARNING THAT OTHERS HAD BEEN APPROVED BEFORE US AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL HOW COULD THAT BE?’ THERE WERE DISTILLERIES IN EASTERN CANADA MAKING PRODUCT… IT TURNED OUT THAT MY SUBMISSION WAS LOST SOMEWHERE IN CYBERSPACE, SO THEY DIDN’T HAVE IT AND WHEN…I GOT IT TO THEM THAT AFTERNOON…WITHIN AN HOUR WE WERE APPROVED AND I GOT THE LICENSE…” “…ON APRIL 3RD [2020] I HAVE THE APPROVAL FROM HEALTH CANADA AND WE STARTED TO MAKE BATCHES [AND] GET MORE INGREDIENTS. I HAD ORDERED BOTTLES, THEY WERE COMING IN AND…I WAS WAITING FOR LABELS TO BE MADE… FROM THE FIRST GEN. 1 BOTTLE TO THE SECOND ONE WAS…A TWO…OR A TWO AND A HALF WEEK PERIOD…” AFTER THE HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL, THE HAND SANITIZER FORMULA AT BLACK VELVET WAS CHANGED DUE TO THE INACCESIBLITY OF GLYCERIN AND THE NEED TO DENATURE THE ALCOHOL: “WE ENDED UP HAVING TO CHANGE THE FORMULA A LITTLE BIT AGAIN WITH HEALTH CANADA’S APPROVAL…FOR THAT [GEN. 2] BOTTLE BECAUSE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF GLYCERIN… ONCE THE WORLD CAUGHT DRIFT OF THE FORMULA AND EVERYBODY WAS TRYING TO BUY ALCOHOL…THEY SNAPPED UP ALL OF THE GLYCERIN AND OUR ABILITY TO GET GLYCERIN TO KEEP UP WITH THE VOLUME JUST WASN’T THERE… BETWEEN GEN. 1 AND GEN. 2 THERE WAS [ALSO] THE CANADA REVENUE PORTION OF THIS, BECAUSE WE ARE TAXED ON ALL ALCOHOL SALES… WE WERE LITERALLY GIVING THIS PRODUCT AWAY, AND IF WE WOULD HAVE BEEN TAXED AT IT AT THE RATE OF ALCOHOL, IT WOULD’VE BROKE THE BANK. IT WOULD’VE KILLED US, SO IN DISCUSSIONS WITH THE CRA…WE LEARNED THAT WE HAD TO DENATURE THE ALCOHOL. SO FROM GEN. 1 TO GEN. 2 WE ADDED ACETIC ACID, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY VINEGAR AND THAT WAS TO DENATURE THE ALCOHOL SO THAT IT WAS NOT APPEALING TO ANYBODY TO DRINK. THE ORIGINAL FORMULA HAD HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IN IT AS DID THE FINISHED FORMULA, OR THE END FORMULA. SO THE ONLY DIFFERENCE WAS THE REMOVAL OF GLYCERIN.” “…GEN. 1 HAS GLYCERIN IN IT, GEN. 2 DOES NOT. WE WERE NOT ABLE TO GET ANY MORE GLYCERIN.” “SO HOW WE GOT THE PRODUCT OUT SO FAST WAS WE HAD FOUND SOME GLYCERIN IN EDMONTON AND HAD IT SHIPPED OVERNIGHT TO US. THAT’S HOW THINGS GOT TO GO SO FAST, BUT THAT WAS ONLY ONE BLEND, AND THAT ONE BLEND IS WHAT WENT INTO [THE] GEN. 1 [HAND SANITIZER].” WHEN ASKED WHAT THE INGREDIENT GLYCERIN WAS INCLUDED FOR, CLAUDE RESPONDED: “ALL GLYCERIN DID WAS IT HELPED TO ADHERE TO THE HANDS. SO [IT WOULD HAVE] A SLOWER EVAPORATION RATE.” THE DEMAND FOR THE HAND SANITIZER WAS HIGH, WHICH CLAUDE MANAGED: “I WAS WORKING WITH ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES HERE IN LETHBRIDGE…AND WE HAD SHIPPED THEM SOME PRODUCT FOR TESTING BUT…I WAS RECEIVING SO MANY CALLS. MY PHONE DID NOT STOP RINGING ONCE WORD STARTED GETTING OUT THAT WE WERE MAKING HAND SANITIZER… THERE WAS NO WAY THAT WE COULD’VE HANDLED THE FOOT TRAFFIC FOR ALL OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT WANTED IT. I WANTED TO DO MY BEST TO HELP EVERYBODY THAT I COULD, BUT THERE WAS ONLY SO MUCH WE COULD DO… THERE WERE PEOPLE FROM ONTARIO AND PEOPLE FROM VANCOUVER ISLAND THAT WERE PHONING ME ASKING ME FOR HAND SANITIZER… OUR ABILITY TO PROVIDE IT FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY JUST WASN’T THERE. SO I DIRECTED THEM TOWARDS ‘SPIRITS CANADA’ TO TRY AND GET THE DISTILLERS IN THEIR PROVINCE TO HELP THEM OUT WHILE I FOCUSED ON THE ONES IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. SO [DISTRIBUTING THE HAND SANITIZER] REALLY STARTED OFF WITH CITY STORES FOR FIRST PROVIDERS AND THEN IT QUICKLY BRANCHED OUT TO HEALTHCARE FACILITIES. THEY WERE CALLING ME DESPERATE FOR PRODUCT. I ALSO HAD A GENTLEMAN…WHO OWNS THE MEDICINE SHOPPE ON 20TH STREET IN LETHBRIDGE, AND HE CONTACTED ME AND…SAID, ‘…WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?’ AND I SAID, ‘COULD YOU HANDLE THE FOOT TRAFFIC FOR PEOPLE COMING IN THERE?’ AND HE SAID, ‘ABSOLUTELY, I WOULD LOVE TO DO THAT’… HE’S JUST SUCH A WONDERFUL MAN, HE DID NOT WANT TO PROFIT FROM THIS, AND IT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME THAT I PARTNER WITH SOMEBODY WHO WASN’T GOING TO PROFIT FROM IT… IT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME THAT NOBODY PROFITEER FROM BLACK VELVET OR HEAVEN HILLS’ NEED TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY. SO [HE] AND I AGREED ON A PRICE PER BOTTLE, WHICH WAS A FRACTION OVER THE COST JUST TO ALLOW HIM TO COME AND PICK PRODUCT UP AND PAY FOR HIS TIME, AND EVEN THEN I’M SURE IT NEVER DID... I GOT CALLS FROM MEDICINE HAT WHERE THEY NEEDED IT FOR THEIR WOMEN’S SHELTER, FOR THEIR SENIOR CARE HOMES, [AND] FIRST PROVIDERS. SO I LOADED UP THE TRUCK AND I DROVE TO MEDICINE HAT AND I DROPPED…AROUND FIFTY OR SIXTY CASES OF HAND SANITIZER OFF THERE AND CAME BACK HOME. I WAS ALSO GETTING CALLS FROM SENIOR CITIZENS WHO COULDN’T GET OUT… SO I WOULD THROW A CASE IN THE TRUCK AND I WOULD RUN IT TO THEIR HOUSE AND I WOULD PUT IT ON THEIR PORCH. I REMEMBER ONE LADY…WHO HAD JUST HAD A BABY…TWO DAYS BEFORE ALL OF THIS WAS HITTING THE NEWS, AND HER STORY TUGGED AT MY HEART… I THREW A CASE IN THE TRUCK AND I PUT IT ON HER DOORSTEP… SHE CAME OUTSIDE AND SHE WAS BAWLING. SHE WAS SO HAPPY THAT I WAS DOING THAT FOR HER… I JUST DID WHAT I HAD TO DO AT THE TIME WITH WHAT I COULD DO AND MY OWN WORK KIND OF GOT PUT OFF TO THE SIDE A LITTLE BIT, IT WOULD GET DONE LATER IN THE DAY… I STILL HAD TO FOCUS ON…THE SAFETY OF OUR OWN EMPLOYEES AND THE PROCESSES…AND…POLICIES THAT WE HAD TO PUT IN PLACE… SO I JUST…JUGGLED IT ALL AND DID WHAT I COULD THROUGH THAT PERIOD OF TIME.” “…THE DEMAND IN THE BEGINNING WAS EXTREME… IT WAS BEYOND ANYTHING THAT WE COULD DO AND THEN IT TAPERED OFF SLOWLY AS OTHER PRODUCTS OR OTHER FACILITIES THAT WERE DOING THIS FOR PROFIT STARTED TO GET THEIR PRODUCT ONTO THE SHELVES… WE WERE NEVER IN THE BUSINESS TO BE THE SUPPLIER OF HAND SANITIZER FOR THE WORLD, WE WERE SIMPLY TRYING TO HELP… ONCE THE REST OF THESE PRODUCTS STARTED TAKING OVER AND THINGS STARTED PARING DOWN A BIT, WE COULD ACTUALLY TAKE A BREATHER…” “…WE WERE DOING ALL WE COULD IN THOSE EARLY TIMES. THE DEMANDS WERE COMING ALL DAY EVERY DAY IT JUST DIDN’T STOP. SO I’LL SAY IT WAS JULY WE REALLY STARTED TO SEE THINGS SLOW DOWN AND IN AUGUST, SEPTEMBER MORE AND MORE PRODUCT WAS ON THE SHELF. WE COULD ALL SEE IT IN THE GROCERY STORES OR WHEREVER WE HAD GONE AND I WAS HAPPY FOR THAT.” CLAUDE REVEALED HOW FAR THE BLACK VELVET MADE HAND SANITIZER TRAVELLED AND HOW THEY DECIDED WHERE TO SEND IT: “…SOME ENDED UP IN SASKATCHEWAN AND DEFINITELY SOME ENDED UP IN B.C., WE WERE SHIPPING INTO CRANBROOK... FOR AREAS THAT DIDN’T HAVE A LOCAL DISTILLERY…IN THE AREA, I WAS MORE THAN WILLING TO HELP. SO THAT’S…WHERE THE HELP WENT. FOR AREAS LIKE CALGARY WHERE ALBERTA DISTILLERS IS, AND I KNEW ALBERTA DISTILLERS WAS DOING ALL THEY COULD TO MAKE PRODUCT AS WELL, I JUST KEPT DIVERTING PEOPLE TO THEIR LOCAL DISTILLERIES.” CLAUDE EXPLAINED HOW BLACK VELVET HIRED PEOPLE OUT OF WORK DUE TO COVID-19 TO BOTTLE THE SANITIZER BY HAND: “…THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS CALLS THAT WE WERE HAVING AS A SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM, THE COMPANY WANTED US TO REACH OUT TO OUR EMPLOYEES TO SEE IF THEY HAD ANY FAMILY MEMBERS WHO WERE DISPLACED BECAUSE OF COVID, BECAUSE SHUTDOWNS WERE HAPPENING NOW, RESTAURANTS WERE CLOSED… I HAD SENT OUT A NOTICE TO ALL THE EMPLOYEES ASKING IF ANYBODY HAD FAMILY MEMBERS DISPLACED, AND WE HAD A HALF A DOZEN EMPLOYEES SPEAK UP. SO WITHIN A DAY OR TWO WE HAD A HALF A DOZEN NEW EMPLOYEES HERE WHO WE REALLY FOCUSED ON THE MAKING OF HAND SANITIZER… WE TOOK THEM TO THE LINE [AND] WE STARTED THE PROCESS OF TEACHING THEM HOW EVERYTHING WORKS. WE PUT A COUPLE OF EXPERIENCED PEOPLE ON THE LINE TO WORK WITH THEM AND WE JUST STARTED OFF SLOW. WE KNEW THAT EVENTUALLY THE SPEED WOULD PICK UP AND IT LITERALLY TOOK LESS THAN A DAY FOR THESE NEW HIRES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE DOING AND BRING THE NUMBERS UP…FOR SOMETHING THAT WE HAD TO LABEL BY HAND… THE REASON THAT WE HAD TO DO IT THAT WAY [BY HAND] WAS BECAUSE TO BRING IN A LABEL THAT WOULD WORK ON OUR EQUIPMENT IS ABOUT AN 8-10 WEEK PROCESS. SO I WENT TO 'CANCOM LABELS' HERE IN LETHBRIDGE. I SPOKE WITH THE OWNER...AND HE WAS OUTSTANDING… HE GOT LABELS MADE WITH HIS TEAM QUICKLY FOR US, FOR BOTH THE BOTTLES AND THE PAILS [OF HAND SANITIZER]… HE DONATED THE LABELS FOR THE PAILS AND GAVE US THE OTHER LABELS AT COST SO…THAT HELPED TO KEEP THAT COST DOWN.” WHEN ASKED IF THE DISTILLERY IS STILL MAKING THE HAND SANITIZER, CLAUDE REPLIED: “NO IT’S DONE. SO THROUGH THE HEALTH CANADA PROCESS, AS HEALTH CANADA EVOLVED SO DID ISSUES WITH PEOPLE WHO WERE ABUSING THE PRODUCT. SO THE LABELLING CHANGED AND AS THE LABELLING CHANGED…OUR DECISION WAS TO PACKAGE A WHOLE BUNCH BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER… PEOPLE WERE GOING BACK TO WORK SO WE WERE LOSING OUR ADDITIONAL LABOUR. THE LABEL HAD TO CHANGE AND THE DEMAND WENT DOWN, THE MATHEMATICS JUST SAID WE’LL STOP MAKING IT… WE STORED A FEW THOUSAND CASES HERE AT THE PLANT AND A FEW HUNDRED PAILS AND DID SO WITH THE MINDSET THAT IF THINGS RAMPED BACK UP AGAIN AND WE WERE NEEDED, WE COULD EASILY TURN ON THE TAP. SO WE COULD BE THERE AGAIN IF SOMETHING DIRE HAPPENED... I DON’T ENVISION THAT HAPPENING BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY PLACES OUT THERE THAT ARE MAKING [HAND SANITIZER] NOW, BUT IF NEED BE WE WOULD…” “NOVEMBER 27TH [2020] WAS THE FINAL DAY THAT YOU COULD SHIP PRODUCT THAT DIDN’T CONTAIN A LARGE RED STOP SIGN EMBLEM ON THE LABEL TO PREVENT KIDS FROM DRINKING THE PRODUCT. SO THE LAST THING WE WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH IS ANY HARM TO...THE COMMUNITY. WHEN PRODUCT IS IN A GEL FORMAT AND PEOPLE HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE...GELLED HAND SANITIZER, THAT’S JUST WAY BETTER FOR EVERYBODY. SO I LET ALL OF THE CUSTOMERS THAT WE HAD…KNOW THAT THAT WAS THE…DEADLINE… OUR LAST CUSTOMER FOR THE PRODUCT WAS THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE, AND THEY TOOK ALL OF THE PAILS THAT WE HAD REMAINING IN INVENTORY AND PURCHASED THEM.” CLAUDE REFLECTED ON THE ROLE THE COMPANY HAD IN DONATING THE HAND SANITIZER TO THE COMMUNITY: “…THERE ARE THE THINGS THAT I AM SO PROUD OF FROM A HEAVEN HILL PERSPECTIVE... THE OWNERSHIP OF THIS COMPANY NEVER WANTED TO MAKE PROFIT OFF OF THIS… IT WAS ALSO IMPORTANT TO US TO DETERMINE WHO REALLY NEEDED THE DONATIONS… ANY NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION WE DONATED TO FROM THE DAY WE STARTED [UNTIL] THE DAY WE STOPPED, AND ANYBODY WHO WAS A FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS WE SOLD IT AT COST, AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WAY WE CALCULATED THE COST IT WAS ACTUALLY UNDER COST. SO I WOULD SAY THAT THE UNIQUE PIECE ABOUT BEING A FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED COMPANY, IS THAT THE OWNER CAN MAKE THAT DECISION ON DAY ONE AND STICK TO IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH… I’M NOT SO SURE THAT THERE’S ANOTHER DISTILLERY IN CANADA THAT DID THAT…AND THAT’S THE PIECE I THINK THAT SEPARATED US FROM THE REST.” “…HEAVEN HILL SUPPORTS THE COMMUNITY… THIS FAMILY CAME IN ON DAY ONE AND DID A DONATION TO THE [LETHBRIDGE] UNITED WAY. WHEN CORONAVIRUS HIT THEY CAME TO THE TABLE FOR THE HAND SANITIZER… THEY TRULY VALUE THE COMMUNITY, AND IT’S THE FIRST TIME IN MY CAREER THAT I’VE GOTTEN TO PARTICIPATE AT THIS LEVEL, AND I AM SO THANKFUL THAT IT WAS DURING THE PANDEMIC THAT THAT HAPPENED.” CLAUDE BRIEFLY COMMENTED ON THE HISTORY OF THE LOCAL DISTILLERY: “…THERE IS SUCH A HISTORY BEHIND THE GILBEY COMPANY WHO USED TO OWN BLACK VELVET. [THEY] HAD A FACILITY IN TORONTO AND A FACILITY IN LETHBRIDGE… THERE WAS A WHOLE LOT OF LOBBYING FROM THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT HERE, AND [CURRENT MAYOR] CHRIS SPEARMAN HIMSELF AT THE TIME, TO MAKE THIS THE FACILITY THAT STAYED… IT DID [STAY] AND I THINK IT’S BECAUSE IT’S AN EFFICIENT FACILITY [AND] IT HAS OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEES. FROM A PERSPECTIVE OF DISTILLERIES IN THE WORLD, IT’S VERY MODERN EVEN THOUGH IT WAS BUILT IN 1973. WHEN YOU LOOK AT DISTILLERIES THAT’S ONE OF THE NEWER ONES OUT THERE. SO THE ASSET WAS THERE AND THE PEOPLE WERE THERE.” IN HIS CLOSING THOUGHTS, CLAUDE SAID: “…I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT IT CERTAINLY WASN’T JUST ME. THIS TOOK EVERYBODY IN THIS BUILDING, AND EVERYBODY IN THIS BUILDING WAS PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS… THESE EMPLOYEES CARE AND THEY HAVE DONE THEIR PART TO STAY SAFE SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO DO WHAT WE DO.” ON OCTOBER 9TH, 2020 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN MET WITH TYLER KASCOR, PURCHASING MANAGER FOR THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE. THEY DISCUSSED THE TWO DONATED BOTTLES OF HAND SANITIZER PRODUCED BY THE BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY. THE DISTILLERY WAS ABLE TO MAKE THE SANITIZER IN THEIR FACILITY, WHICH WAS THEN DISTRIBUTED TO MANY LOCAL SERVICES AND ORGANIZATIONS AFTER RECEIVING HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS DERIVED FROM THE INTERVIEW WITH TYLER KASCOR. TYLER PROVIDED THE BACKSTORY BEHIND THE BOTTLES: “…THESE ITEMS WERE PART OF SOME PARTNERSHIPS THAT WE WERE ABLE TO REACH WITH ONE OF THE LOCAL DISTILLERIES IN TOWN, IN AN EFFORT TO PROVIDE SANITIZER TO THE CITY AND MORE SPECIFICALLY…TO…OUR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL WHO AT THE TIME WERE BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE DESPERATE FOR SANITIZERS AMIDST THE ONSET OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.” TYLER CONTINUED: “…IT WOULD HAVE BEEN…PROBABLY THE SECOND WEEK OF MARCH AND I HAD SEEN A STORY ON CBC… THEY HAD AN INDIVIDUAL…[ON] ‘TALK BACK’ WHICH IS…ONE OF THE RADIO PROGRAMS… THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT…SOME ORGANIZATIONS STARTING TO PIVOT TO DO DIFFERENT THINGS IN RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC, WHICH WAS RELATIVELY RECENT AT THIS POINT IN TIME. ONE OF THEM CALLED IN AND WAS MENTIONING…IN B.C. AT THE TIME...THE DISTILLERIES WERE MAKING THIS TRANSITION TO EFFECTIVELY MOVE OVER TO SANITIZERS AS OPPOSED TO ALCOHOL…I FIGURED…I’M GOING TO REACH OUT TO THE DISTILLERIES AND SEE IF WE GET ANY RESPONSES. WE WERE STARTING TO SEE…STOCK OUTS WITH SOME OF OUR SUPPLIERS, ALREADY ON SANITIZER, AND WHILE WE DO HAVE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS AND GET PREFERENCE AMIDST THE PANDEMIC…[THERE ARE] BIGGER FISH THAN US ULTIMATELY…[THAT] WILL START TO MONOPOLIZE SOME OF THE SUPPLIES… IT WAS PRETTY IMPERATIVE THAT WE GOT SOMETHING… SO I REACHED OUT…AROUND…MARCH…THE 18TH TO B.C....AND I LOOKED IN ALBERTA BECAUSE I WANTED TO FIND RELATIVELY CLOSE CONTACTS THAT WE’D BE ABLE TO UTILIZE…SO WE WOULD NOT SEE ANY DISRUPTIONS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN... WE WERE SEEING GROUNDING OF PLANES, ALL KIND[S] OF SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES START TO CREEP UP, SO I THOUGHT…THE MORE LOCAL THE BETTER… ONE OF THE DISTILLERIES THAT I CONTACTED WAS BLACK VELVET WHICH IS LOCATED WITHIN LETHBRIDGE, AND I STARTED DEALING WITH CLAUDE BILODEAU… HE WAS VERY GRACIOUS AND BASICALLY OFFERED TO WORK WITH US TO COME UP WITH A WAY TO SUPPLY THE CITY SOLELY, AT LEAST AT FIRST, FOR SANITIZERS SO WE WERE ABLE TO MAINTAIN AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE.” TYLER COMMENTED ON THE PACKAGING OF THE SANITIZER: “…INITIALLY THEY HAD…BROUGHT IN A REGULAR KIND OF ONE LITRE BOTTLES, AND ULTIMATELY THEY WERE ABLE TO GET MORE EFFECTIVE LABELLING AND STARTED PRODUCING THEM IN THESE LITTLE…375 ML FLASKS WHICH IS PRETTY FANTASTIC. YOU KNOW THE OVERALL LOOK OF THEM IS…QUITE INTERESTING TO SAY THE LEAST.” TYLER SPOKE ABOUT HOW THE CITY SOURCED THE SANITIZER RAPIDLY: “…SO WE WERE THE FIRST AND ONLY PEOPLE INITIALLY THAT THEY WERE INTERESTED IN SUPPLYING WHICH WAS FANTASTIC FOR US... THEY WERE ABLE TO REALLY QUICKLY TURN AROUND AND SUPPLY US WITH…I THINK UPWARDS OF A THOUSAND LITRES…WHICH WAS A GARGANTUAN AMOUNT… WE HAD ONE LITRE BOTTLES OFFERED TO US AT THE CITY AT A COST OF FORTY DOLLARS EACH AND…FORTY DOLLARS TIMES A THOUSAND DOESN’T TAKE ROCKET SCIENCE TO FIGURE OUT IT’S PRETTY HUGE SUMS JUST FOR...RELATIVELY BENIGN PPE THAT WE WOULD GENERALLY USE AND…CLAUDE WAS WILLING TO PROVIDE THAT TO US FOR FREE, NO ADMIN COSTS, NO NOTHING… AS THEY WORKED THROUGH…DEVELOPING THE [WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION] FORMULAS THAT THEY UTILIZED...IT WAS…HIM AND HIS MANAGEMENT TEAM WHO WERE EFFECTIVELY…TRYING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN OVER THE COURSE OF A WEEKEND FOR US.” “…THE W.H.O HAS A SPECIFIC FORMULA AND [BLACK VELVET] WERE WAITING ON A COUPLE MATERIALS TO SHOW UP DURING THE…WEEK ENDING MARCH 20TH… IT WAS THE FOLLOWING WEEK WHEN WE ACTUALLY WERE ABLE TO TAKE DELIVERY, SO THEY TURNED IT AROUND QUITE QUICKLY FOR US.” TYLER EXPLAINED THE DIFFICULTY OF PROVIDING ENOUGH WITH INCREASED DEMAND FOR SUPPLIES: “…YOU CAN IMAGINE…TRYING TO OPERATE THE CITY AND THEN ALL THE BUSINESSES THAT EXIST WITHIN THE CITY… HOSPITALS, CLINICS. WE HAD PEOPLE CONTACTING US FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE…AT OUR CENTRAL STORES TRYING TO GET THEIR HANDS ON SANITIZER BECAUSE THEY HAD HEARD VERY QUICKLY THAT WE WERE DEALING WITH BLACK VELVET SPECIFICALLY.” “…WE HAD A REASONABLE SUPPLY FOR REGULAR OPERATIONS, BUT IT WAS QUICKLY DWINDLING AND IT’S LIKELY WITHIN…PROBABLY TWO WEEKS WE WOULD HAVE STOCKED OUT…OF ALL FORMS OF SANITIZERS JUST BECAUSE THERE WAS AN IMMEDIATE RUSH, FROM EVERY OPERATIONAL GROUP THAT WE HAVE... THEY WERE ALL OUT THERE TRYING TO GET THEIR HANDS ON IT… ALL THESE PEOPLE WERE JUST CLAMORING FOR IT… WE GOT DWINDLED DOWN EFFECTIVELY TO NOTHING OVER THE COURSE OF PROBABLY TWO WEEKS...” “…INITIALLY WE REALLY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE FULL IMPACT WAS GOING TO BE… WE KNEW WE HAD THE SUPPORT OF…EMERGENCY OPERATIONS...100%... [THE SANITIZER] WAS POLICE, FIRE AND EMS RESTRICTED AND WE REALLY KEPT THAT METHODOLOGY AS MUCH AS…POSSIBLE, AT LEAST FOR PROBABLY THE FIRST MONTH OR SO UNLESS IT WAS…EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES… AFTER THAT POINT WE WERE ABLE TO GET BETTER BURN RATES ON…[THE AMOUNT OF SANITIZER] WE WERE GOING THROUGH AND ULTIMATELY WHAT SOME OF THE USAGE WOULD LOOK LIKE AS SOME OF OUR COUNTERPARTS…[WERE] COMING BACK ONLINE… IT WAS AT THAT POINT THAT WE WERE ABLE TO START RELEASING IT A LOT MORE FREELY.” TYLER SPOKE ABOUT THE CITY STILL USING THE SANITIZER FROM BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY AS OF OCTOBER 2020: “…SO MY UNDERSTANDING IS WE HAVEN’T TAKEN DELIVERY IN A WHILE BUT…THAT THOUSAND LITRES WE GOT IS STILL BEING UTILIZED AND YET WE HAD ZERO CHARGES…” TYLER RECALLED THE STRUGGLE BEHIND SOURCING OTHER PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: “…GOWNS, GLOVES AND N95 WERE VERY DIFFICULT. N95 WAS BASICALLY UNAVAILABLE…FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS IT SEEMED. THE MAJORITY OF THE SUPPLY IS FROM CHINA AND OF COURSE THEY WERE DEALING WITH THEIR OWN ISSUES AT THE TIME... SO IT WASN’T UNTIL MANUFACTURING CAPABILITIES CAME BACK ONLINE THAT WE WERE REALLY ABLE TO GET SUBSTITUTIONS...” TYLER COMMENTED ON THE EXPERIENCE OF ORGANIZING IN THE CONTEXT OF THE PANDEMIC OVERALL: “IT’S…[A] ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE... YOU OF COURSE LEARN THE PRINCIPLES OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND, YOU EXPERIENCE IT IN COMMODITIES FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT GENERALLY THINGS ARE SOMEWHAT LOCALIZED… IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT YOU SEE A WORLDWIDE EVENT WHERE YOU HAVE THESE COMPETING RESOURCES FOR PPE'S SPECIFICALLY… IT WAS CHALLENGING AND A LOT TIME SPENT UP FRONT, ESPECIALLY AS EVERYONE WAS REALLY FIGURING OUT HOW WE WORKED TOGETHER, HOW WE WORK UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS WHEN I HAVE NO TRAINING FOR AND MANY OF THE COLLEAGUES HAD NO TRAINING FOR EITHER. WE’RE LITERALLY JUST TOSSED INTO IT AND TOLD TO OPERATE WITHIN IT SO…IT WAS A BIG INVESTMENT ON A LOT OF PEOPLE’S PARTS.” “…EVERYONE DID A REALLY GREAT JOB WORKING TOGETHER AND CERTAINLY CAN’T THANK OUR STORES PERSONNEL ENOUGH. THEY’VE REALLY DONE A WONDERFUL JOB SO KUDOS TO THEM." FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, A SPARK YQL NEWSLETTER, AND A CITYWISE NEWSLETTER INCLUDING COVERAGE OF THE BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY HAND SANITIZER, PLEASE SEE THE DONATION’S PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20200008001
Acquisition Date
2020-04
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
HAND SANITIZER BOTTLE
Date Range From
2020
Date Range To
2020
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20200008002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
HAND SANITIZER BOTTLE
Date Range From
2020
Date Range To
2020
Materials
PLASTIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
20
Length
8
Width
3
Description
CLEAR PLASTIC BOTTLE WITH BLACK CAP. THE BOTTLE IS THE SAME SHAPE AND SIZE AS A ‘MICKEY’. THERE IS A WHITE STICKER LABEL ON THE FRONT THAT READS “BLACK VELVET HAND SANITIZER…80%...HEAVEN HILL DISTILLING CANADA, INC… 375 ML” WITH BLACK AND YELLOW INK. ON THE FRONT AND BACK, 375 ML IS MOLDED INTO THE PLASTIC AT THE BOTTOM. “LB10620020901” IS EMBOSSED ON THE FRONT IN THE PLASTIC. THE BASE HAS A RECYCLING SYMBOL WITH “PETE” UNDERNEATH AND A “1”. THE BOTTLE IS FULL, UNOPENED, AND IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
BUSINESS
HEALTH SERVICES
INDUSTRY
PERSONAL CARE
TRADES
History
ON THE 22ND OF DECEMBER, 2020 KEVIN MACLEAN MET WITH CLAUDE BILODEAU, THE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANGER OF THE LOCAL 'BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY COMPANY'. BLACK VELVET HAS BEEN MAKING WHISKY IN LETHBRIDGE SINCE THE 1970S, AND WAS RECENTLY ACQUIRED IN 2019 BY A KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES BASED COMPANY CALLED 'HEAVEN HILL'. AT THE LOCAL OUTSET OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN 2020, BLACK VELVET WAS ABLE TO START PRODUCING HAND SANITIZER IN THE FACILITY AND DONATE IT TO THE CITY STORES AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN LETHBRIDGE. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS DERIVED FROM THE INTERVIEW WITH CLAUDE BILODEAU. CLAUDE REVEALED WHO SUGGESTED THE SHIFT INTO PRODUCING HAND SANITIZER AND THE TURNAROUND TIMEFRAME: “…THE SENIOR LEADERSHIP OF THE COMPANY WERE HAVING WEEKLY CORONAVIRUS CALLS, AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT WHAT COULD WE DO… HEAVEN HILL BEING A FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED COMPANY FOR THE PAST 85 YEARS IS SO STRONG IN SUPPORTING THEIR COMMUNITIES… IT WAS ACTUALLY THEM THAT BROUGHT THE HAND SANITIZER IDEA TO US, AND IT WAS IN TURN ME WHO HAD SHARED IT WITH ‘SPIRITS CANADA’, WHICH IS THE TRADE ASSOCIATION FOR DISTILLERIES ACROSS CANADA… WHEN I SHARED IT WITH [‘SPIRITS CANADA’], THEY WERE ECSTATIC. THEY SAID, ‘WHAT A GREAT THING TO DO.’ THEY WERE ASKING, ‘ARE YOU OK IF WE SHARE IT WITH EVERYBODY ELSE?’ I SAID ‘ABSOLUTELY, LET’S GET IT OUT THERE’… I’LL SAY…THAT’S HOW IT BEGAN IN CANADA. THE U.S. WAS A LITTLE BIT AHEAD OF US… [AND] ALTHOUGH THEY WERE AHEAD OF US…IN THOUGHT…IT LITERALLY TOOK TWO OR THREE DAYS FOR ME TO HEAR ABOUT IT AND GET THE FIRST PRODUCT MADE.” CLAUDE PROVIDED THE GENERAL BACKSTORY BEHIND THE HAND SANITIZER BOTTLES: “THE FIRST [1000 ML] BOTTLE [THAT WAS DONATED TO THE MUSEUM] WAS THE FIRST PRODUCT THAT WE PRODUCED FOR HAND SANITIZER FOR THE PANDEMIC, AND IT WAS DONE BY HAND WITH THE MANAGEMENT TEAM HERE AT BLACK VELVET… AT THAT POINT WE WERE IN THE PROCESS OF APPLYING FOR THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE AND DISTRIBUTE THE PRODUCT THROUGH HEALTH CANADA, BUT IT WAS TAKING SO LONG. THE PROCESS WAS RIGOROUS AND THE CITY WAS DESPERATE. IN MY CONVERSATIONS WITH TYLER [KASCOR], HE WAS IN NEED OF PRODUCT [FOR THE CORPORATE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE]. IT WAS ALL OVER THE NEWS THAT THERE WAS A NEED FOR PRODUCT, AND WE KNEW THAT THE FORMULA WAS AN APPROVED FORMULA BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (W.H.O) AND THAT THE HEALTH CANADA FORMALITY WAS AN INTEGRAL PART AND AN IMPORTANT PART, BUT SO WAS GIVING THE FIRST RESPONDERS AND THOSE MOST VULNERABLE IN THE COMMUNITY SOMETHING TO USE. SO WE DID OUR FIRST BATCH BASED ON THE W.H.O FORMULA, AND I GOT THE MANAGEMENT TEAM TOGETHER AND WE WENT OUT ON…WHAT WAS AN EMPTY LINE AT THE TIME, AND WE PUT HAND SANITIZER TO THE LINE. WE BOTTLED IT BY HAND, WE CAPPED IT BY HAND, WE LABELLED IT BY HAND, AND IN ALL JEST AND FUN THEY HAD ME DOING THE CAPS. SO BECAUSE I HAVE THE SOFTEST HANDS OF THE GROUP IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG BEFORE I BLISTERED, AND BY THE TIME I WENT HOME THAT NIGHT I WAS BLISTERED AND BLEEDING… I WAS PROUD TO THOUGH… IT FELT LIKE WE WERE DOING GOOD.” CLAUDE DESCRIBED THE CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED WHEN THE DISTILLERY SHIFTED TO MAKING HAND SANITIZER: “…THERE WAS CHALLENGE BECAUSE FIRST OF ALL WE DIDN’T HAVE BOTTLES THAT WE WERE GOING TO USE. SO THAT FIRST GENERATION [1000 ML] MODEL [THAT WAS DONATED TO THE MUSEUM]…IS ACTUALLY WHAT WE USE TO BRING LIQUID FROM THE BLENDING AREA TO THE QUALITY ASSURANCE LAB FOR TESTING… WE HAD A PALLET OF THOSE BOTTLES AVAILABLE AND CAPS, AND THAT’S WHAT WE USED…JUST SO WE COULD GET SOMETHING OUT THERE… WHEN YOU’RE DOING IT BY HAND, IT DIDN’T TAKE ANY RETOOLING. THERE WAS NOTHING THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE OTHER THAN GET LIQUID TO THE BOWL, WHICH THIS PLANT IS SET UP TO DO… BECAUSE WE BOTTLE WITH THREE SEPARATE LINES ALL THE TIME WE WERE ABLE TO SEGREGATE A TANK, CREATE THE BLEND, AND…TRANSFER THAT BLEND INTO THE BOTTLING TANK WHERE WE…HELD THOSE BOTTLES UP TO A NOZZLE, FILLED THEM UP, PUT A CAP ON THEM BY HAND, PUT A LABEL ON BY HAND, [AND] BOXED THEM UP BY HAND. WE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE PROPER BOXES, SO WE WERE USING…[SPARE] BOXES THAT WE HAVE PLENTY OF HERE BECAUSE OF HOW MUCH WE BOTTLE… WE HAD DONE AS MANY CASES AS THE DAY WOULD ALLOW US TO DO, AND IN MY CONVERSATIONS WITH TYLER [KASCOR]…THERE WAS A TIME LIMIT…WHERE WE HAD TO HAVE THIS PRODUCT TO…THE CITY STORES... SO WE LOADED IT UP…AND I DROVE IT OVER TO THE CITY STORES AND DELIVERED IT… I WAS BEAT, BUT I WENT HOME FEELING GOOD.” CLAUDE ELABORATED ON THE TIMELINE OF EVENTS: “…IT WOULD BE HARD TO PINPOINT THOSE DAYS [BECAUSE] IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST. I KNOW THAT I GOT AN EMAIL ON MARCH 16TH [2020], AND THAT EMAIL…TALKED ABOUT WHAT KENTUCKY WAS DOING, AND THEN THAT SAME DAY I EMAILED ‘SPIRITS CANADA’ AND I ACTUALLY HAD ASKED FOR THEIR HELP TO GET HEALTH CANADA INVOLVED [BECAUSE] I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO GO ABOUT THAT.” “I’M GOING TO SAY ON TUESDAY WE HAD A DISCUSSION AND BY FRIDAY WE WERE DELIVERING PRODUCT.” “…I THINK I HAD IT TO [TYLER KASCOR AT CITY STORES] BY THE END OF THE DAY ON THAT FRIDAY.” CLAUDE COMMENTED ON WORKING WITH TYLER KASCOR SUPPLYING THE CITY WITH HAND SANITIZER: “…I HAD SO MANY CONVERSATIONS WITH TYLER. I REMEMBER HIM BEING EXTREMELY GRATEFUL… I JUST KEPT SAYING, ‘LOOK, WE’RE HAPPY TO DO IT.’ HE…[ASKED] ‘WHAT’S YOUR PRICE?’ I SAID, ‘WE’RE NOT GOING TO CHARGE YOU FOR IT’… HE WAS SO HAPPY… HE COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT WE WERE NOT ONLY WILLING TO DO THAT, BUT DOING THAT AS QUICK AS WE DID… THEN WE HAD MULTIPLE CONVERSATIONS AFTER THAT LEADING UP TO THE GEN. 2 BOTTLE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHEN WE WERE WAITING FOR THE HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL TO BE DONE… I WAS…TALKING TO HIM DAILY SAYING, ‘HOW ARE YOU DOING ON SUPPLY?’ AND HE WOULD SAY, ‘WELL WE’RE GETTING DOWN THERE, HOW ARE YOU DOING WITH THE APPROVAL?’ AND I KEPT HIM ABREAST OF THE APPROVAL PROCESS AND WHERE WE WERE AT…UNTIL WE COULD FINALLY GET HIM SOMETHING THAT WAS BOTTLED ON THE LINE…” CLAUDE SPOKE ABOUT THE HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL PROCESS FOR DISTRIBUTING THE [GEN. 2] HAND SANITIZER: “…[‘SPIRITS CANADA’ HAD] THE CONTACTS AT HEALTH CANADA WHEREAS WE DON’T. SO HEALTH CANADA GOT US IN TOUCH…THROUGH THE TRADE ASSOCIATION [AND PROVIDED]…THE DOCUMENTS THAT YOU HAD TO FILL OUT…AND GET WHAT WAS REFERRED TO AS AN NPN, OR A NATIONAL PRODUCTS NUMBER… IN ORDER TO DO THAT YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY THE FORMULA, YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY YOUR PROCESS, YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY THE QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAMS THAT YOU HAVE, YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY WHAT YOU PROPOSE AS LABELLING AND THEN IT GOES THROUGH THEIR INTERNAL PROCESS AND COMES BACK TO YOU… THROUGH THE TRADE ASSOCIATION, I WAS LEARNING THAT OTHERS HAD BEEN APPROVED BEFORE US AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL HOW COULD THAT BE?’ THERE WERE DISTILLERIES IN EASTERN CANADA MAKING PRODUCT… IT TURNED OUT THAT MY SUBMISSION WAS LOST SOMEWHERE IN CYBERSPACE, SO THEY DIDN’T HAVE IT AND WHEN…I GOT IT TO THEM THAT AFTERNOON…WITHIN AN HOUR WE WERE APPROVED AND I GOT THE LICENSE…” “…ON APRIL 3RD [2020] I HAVE THE APPROVAL FROM HEALTH CANADA AND WE STARTED TO MAKE BATCHES [AND] GET MORE INGREDIENTS. I HAD ORDERED BOTTLES, THEY WERE COMING IN AND…I WAS WAITING FOR LABELS TO BE MADE… FROM THE FIRST GEN. 1 BOTTLE TO THE SECOND ONE WAS…A TWO…OR A TWO AND A HALF WEEK PERIOD…” AFTER THE HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL, THE HAND SANITIZER FORMULA AT BLACK VELVET WAS CHANGED DUE TO THE INACCESIBLITY OF GLYCERIN AND THE NEED TO DENATURE THE ALCOHOL: “WE ENDED UP HAVING TO CHANGE THE FORMULA A LITTLE BIT AGAIN WITH HEALTH CANADA’S APPROVAL…FOR THAT [GEN. 2] BOTTLE BECAUSE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF GLYCERIN… ONCE THE WORLD CAUGHT DRIFT OF THE FORMULA AND EVERYBODY WAS TRYING TO BUY ALCOHOL…THEY SNAPPED UP ALL OF THE GLYCERIN AND OUR ABILITY TO GET GLYCERIN TO KEEP UP WITH THE VOLUME JUST WASN’T THERE… BETWEEN GEN. 1 AND GEN. 2 THERE WAS [ALSO] THE CANADA REVENUE PORTION OF THIS, BECAUSE WE ARE TAXED ON ALL ALCOHOL SALES… WE WERE LITERALLY GIVING THIS PRODUCT AWAY, AND IF WE WOULD HAVE BEEN TAXED AT IT AT THE RATE OF ALCOHOL, IT WOULD’VE BROKE THE BANK. IT WOULD’VE KILLED US, SO IN DISCUSSIONS WITH THE CRA…WE LEARNED THAT WE HAD TO DENATURE THE ALCOHOL. SO FROM GEN. 1 TO GEN. 2 WE ADDED ACETIC ACID, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY VINEGAR AND THAT WAS TO DENATURE THE ALCOHOL SO THAT IT WAS NOT APPEALING TO ANYBODY TO DRINK. THE ORIGINAL FORMULA HAD HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IN IT AS DID THE FINISHED FORMULA, OR THE END FORMULA. SO THE ONLY DIFFERENCE WAS THE REMOVAL OF GLYCERIN.” “…GEN. 1 HAS GLYCERIN IN IT, GEN. 2 DOES NOT. WE WERE NOT ABLE TO GET ANY MORE GLYCERIN.” “SO HOW WE GOT THE PRODUCT OUT SO FAST WAS WE HAD FOUND SOME GLYCERIN IN EDMONTON AND HAD IT SHIPPED OVERNIGHT TO US. THAT’S HOW THINGS GOT TO GO SO FAST, BUT THAT WAS ONLY ONE BLEND, AND THAT ONE BLEND IS WHAT WENT INTO [THE] GEN. 1 [HAND SANITIZER].” WHEN ASKED WHAT THE INGREDIENT GLYCERIN WAS INCLUDED FOR, CLAUDE RESPONDED: “ALL GLYCERIN DID WAS IT HELPED TO ADHERE TO THE HANDS. SO [IT WOULD HAVE] A SLOWER EVAPORATION RATE.” THE DEMAND FOR THE HAND SANITIZER WAS HIGH, WHICH CLAUDE MANAGED: “I WAS WORKING WITH ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES HERE IN LETHBRIDGE…AND WE HAD SHIPPED THEM SOME PRODUCT FOR TESTING BUT…I WAS RECEIVING SO MANY CALLS. MY PHONE DID NOT STOP RINGING ONCE WORD STARTED GETTING OUT THAT WE WERE MAKING HAND SANITIZER… THERE WAS NO WAY THAT WE COULD’VE HANDLED THE FOOT TRAFFIC FOR ALL OF THE INDIVIDUALS THAT WANTED IT. I WANTED TO DO MY BEST TO HELP EVERYBODY THAT I COULD, BUT THERE WAS ONLY SO MUCH WE COULD DO… THERE WERE PEOPLE FROM ONTARIO AND PEOPLE FROM VANCOUVER ISLAND THAT WERE PHONING ME ASKING ME FOR HAND SANITIZER… OUR ABILITY TO PROVIDE IT FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY JUST WASN’T THERE. SO I DIRECTED THEM TOWARDS ‘SPIRITS CANADA’ TO TRY AND GET THE DISTILLERS IN THEIR PROVINCE TO HELP THEM OUT WHILE I FOCUSED ON THE ONES IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. SO [DISTRIBUTING THE HAND SANITIZER] REALLY STARTED OFF WITH CITY STORES FOR FIRST PROVIDERS AND THEN IT QUICKLY BRANCHED OUT TO HEALTHCARE FACILITIES. THEY WERE CALLING ME DESPERATE FOR PRODUCT. I ALSO HAD A GENTLEMAN…WHO OWNS THE MEDICINE SHOPPE ON 20TH STREET IN LETHBRIDGE, AND HE CONTACTED ME AND…SAID, ‘…WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?’ AND I SAID, ‘COULD YOU HANDLE THE FOOT TRAFFIC FOR PEOPLE COMING IN THERE?’ AND HE SAID, ‘ABSOLUTELY, I WOULD LOVE TO DO THAT’… HE’S JUST SUCH A WONDERFUL MAN, HE DID NOT WANT TO PROFIT FROM THIS, AND IT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME THAT I PARTNER WITH SOMEBODY WHO WASN’T GOING TO PROFIT FROM IT… IT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME THAT NOBODY PROFITEER FROM BLACK VELVET OR HEAVEN HILLS’ NEED TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY. SO [HE] AND I AGREED ON A PRICE PER BOTTLE, WHICH WAS A FRACTION OVER THE COST JUST TO ALLOW HIM TO COME AND PICK PRODUCT UP AND PAY FOR HIS TIME, AND EVEN THEN I’M SURE IT NEVER DID... I GOT CALLS FROM MEDICINE HAT WHERE THEY NEEDED IT FOR THEIR WOMEN’S SHELTER, FOR THEIR SENIOR CARE HOMES, [AND] FIRST PROVIDERS. SO I LOADED UP THE TRUCK AND I DROVE TO MEDICINE HAT AND I DROPPED…AROUND FIFTY OR SIXTY CASES OF HAND SANITIZER OFF THERE AND CAME BACK HOME. I WAS ALSO GETTING CALLS FROM SENIOR CITIZENS WHO COULDN’T GET OUT… SO I WOULD THROW A CASE IN THE TRUCK AND I WOULD RUN IT TO THEIR HOUSE AND I WOULD PUT IT ON THEIR PORCH. I REMEMBER ONE LADY…WHO HAD JUST HAD A BABY…TWO DAYS BEFORE ALL OF THIS WAS HITTING THE NEWS, AND HER STORY TUGGED AT MY HEART… I THREW A CASE IN THE TRUCK AND I PUT IT ON HER DOORSTEP… SHE CAME OUTSIDE AND SHE WAS BAWLING. SHE WAS SO HAPPY THAT I WAS DOING THAT FOR HER… I JUST DID WHAT I HAD TO DO AT THE TIME WITH WHAT I COULD DO AND MY OWN WORK KIND OF GOT PUT OFF TO THE SIDE A LITTLE BIT, IT WOULD GET DONE LATER IN THE DAY… I STILL HAD TO FOCUS ON…THE SAFETY OF OUR OWN EMPLOYEES AND THE PROCESSES…AND…POLICIES THAT WE HAD TO PUT IN PLACE… SO I JUST…JUGGLED IT ALL AND DID WHAT I COULD THROUGH THAT PERIOD OF TIME.” “…THE DEMAND IN THE BEGINNING WAS EXTREME… IT WAS BEYOND ANYTHING THAT WE COULD DO AND THEN IT TAPERED OFF SLOWLY AS OTHER PRODUCTS OR OTHER FACILITIES THAT WERE DOING THIS FOR PROFIT STARTED TO GET THEIR PRODUCT ONTO THE SHELVES… WE WERE NEVER IN THE BUSINESS TO BE THE SUPPLIER OF HAND SANITIZER FOR THE WORLD, WE WERE SIMPLY TRYING TO HELP… ONCE THE REST OF THESE PRODUCTS STARTED TAKING OVER AND THINGS STARTED PARING DOWN A BIT, WE COULD ACTUALLY TAKE A BREATHER…” “…WE WERE DOING ALL WE COULD IN THOSE EARLY TIMES. THE DEMANDS WERE COMING ALL DAY EVERY DAY IT JUST DIDN’T STOP. SO I’LL SAY IT WAS JULY WE REALLY STARTED TO SEE THINGS SLOW DOWN AND IN AUGUST, SEPTEMBER MORE AND MORE PRODUCT WAS ON THE SHELF. WE COULD ALL SEE IT IN THE GROCERY STORES OR WHEREVER WE HAD GONE AND I WAS HAPPY FOR THAT.” CLAUDE REVEALED HOW FAR THE BLACK VELVET MADE HAND SANITIZER TRAVELLED AND HOW THEY DECIDED WHERE TO SEND IT: “…SOME ENDED UP IN SASKATCHEWAN AND DEFINITELY SOME ENDED UP IN B.C., WE WERE SHIPPING INTO CRANBROOK... FOR AREAS THAT DIDN’T HAVE A LOCAL DISTILLERY…IN THE AREA, I WAS MORE THAN WILLING TO HELP. SO THAT’S…WHERE THE HELP WENT. FOR AREAS LIKE CALGARY WHERE ALBERTA DISTILLERS IS, AND I KNEW ALBERTA DISTILLERS WAS DOING ALL THEY COULD TO MAKE PRODUCT AS WELL, I JUST KEPT DIVERTING PEOPLE TO THEIR LOCAL DISTILLERIES.” CLAUDE EXPLAINED HOW BLACK VELVET HIRED PEOPLE OUT OF WORK DUE TO COVID-19 TO BOTTLE THE SANITIZER BY HAND: “…THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS CALLS THAT WE WERE HAVING AS A SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM, THE COMPANY WANTED US TO REACH OUT TO OUR EMPLOYEES TO SEE IF THEY HAD ANY FAMILY MEMBERS WHO WERE DISPLACED BECAUSE OF COVID, BECAUSE SHUTDOWNS WERE HAPPENING NOW, RESTAURANTS WERE CLOSED… I HAD SENT OUT A NOTICE TO ALL THE EMPLOYEES ASKING IF ANYBODY HAD FAMILY MEMBERS DISPLACED, AND WE HAD A HALF A DOZEN EMPLOYEES SPEAK UP. SO WITHIN A DAY OR TWO WE HAD A HALF A DOZEN NEW EMPLOYEES HERE WHO WE REALLY FOCUSED ON THE MAKING OF HAND SANITIZER… WE TOOK THEM TO THE LINE [AND] WE STARTED THE PROCESS OF TEACHING THEM HOW EVERYTHING WORKS. WE PUT A COUPLE OF EXPERIENCED PEOPLE ON THE LINE TO WORK WITH THEM AND WE JUST STARTED OFF SLOW. WE KNEW THAT EVENTUALLY THE SPEED WOULD PICK UP AND IT LITERALLY TOOK LESS THAN A DAY FOR THESE NEW HIRES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE DOING AND BRING THE NUMBERS UP…FOR SOMETHING THAT WE HAD TO LABEL BY HAND… THE REASON THAT WE HAD TO DO IT THAT WAY [BY HAND] WAS BECAUSE TO BRING IN A LABEL THAT WOULD WORK ON OUR EQUIPMENT IS ABOUT AN 8-10 WEEK PROCESS. SO I WENT TO 'CANCOM LABELS' HERE IN LETHBRIDGE. I SPOKE WITH THE OWNER...AND HE WAS OUTSTANDING… HE GOT LABELS MADE WITH HIS TEAM QUICKLY FOR US, FOR BOTH THE BOTTLES AND THE PAILS [OF HAND SANITIZER]… HE DONATED THE LABELS FOR THE PAILS AND GAVE US THE OTHER LABELS AT COST SO…THAT HELPED TO KEEP THAT COST DOWN.” WHEN ASKED IF THE DISTILLERY IS STILL MAKING THE HAND SANITIZER, CLAUDE REPLIED: “NO IT’S DONE. SO THROUGH THE HEALTH CANADA PROCESS, AS HEALTH CANADA EVOLVED SO DID ISSUES WITH PEOPLE WHO WERE ABUSING THE PRODUCT. SO THE LABELLING CHANGED AND AS THE LABELLING CHANGED…OUR DECISION WAS TO PACKAGE A WHOLE BUNCH BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER… PEOPLE WERE GOING BACK TO WORK SO WE WERE LOSING OUR ADDITIONAL LABOUR. THE LABEL HAD TO CHANGE AND THE DEMAND WENT DOWN, THE MATHEMATICS JUST SAID WE’LL STOP MAKING IT… WE STORED A FEW THOUSAND CASES HERE AT THE PLANT AND A FEW HUNDRED PAILS AND DID SO WITH THE MINDSET THAT IF THINGS RAMPED BACK UP AGAIN AND WE WERE NEEDED, WE COULD EASILY TURN ON THE TAP. SO WE COULD BE THERE AGAIN IF SOMETHING DIRE HAPPENED... I DON’T ENVISION THAT HAPPENING BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY PLACES OUT THERE THAT ARE MAKING [HAND SANITIZER] NOW, BUT IF NEED BE WE WOULD…” “NOVEMBER 27TH [2020] WAS THE FINAL DAY THAT YOU COULD SHIP PRODUCT THAT DIDN’T CONTAIN A LARGE RED STOP SIGN EMBLEM ON THE LABEL TO PREVENT KIDS FROM DRINKING THE PRODUCT. SO THE LAST THING WE WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH IS ANY HARM TO...THE COMMUNITY. WHEN PRODUCT IS IN A GEL FORMAT AND PEOPLE HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE...GELLED HAND SANITIZER, THAT’S JUST WAY BETTER FOR EVERYBODY. SO I LET ALL OF THE CUSTOMERS THAT WE HAD…KNOW THAT THAT WAS THE…DEADLINE… OUR LAST CUSTOMER FOR THE PRODUCT WAS THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE, AND THEY TOOK ALL OF THE PAILS THAT WE HAD REMAINING IN INVENTORY AND PURCHASED THEM.” CLAUDE REFLECTED ON THE ROLE THE COMPANY HAD IN DONATING THE HAND SANITIZER TO THE COMMUNITY: “…THERE ARE THE THINGS THAT I AM SO PROUD OF FROM A HEAVEN HILL PERSPECTIVE... THE OWNERSHIP OF THIS COMPANY NEVER WANTED TO MAKE PROFIT OFF OF THIS… IT WAS ALSO IMPORTANT TO US TO DETERMINE WHO REALLY NEEDED THE DONATIONS… ANY NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION WE DONATED TO FROM THE DAY WE STARTED [UNTIL] THE DAY WE STOPPED, AND ANYBODY WHO WAS A FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS WE SOLD IT AT COST, AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE WAY WE CALCULATED THE COST IT WAS ACTUALLY UNDER COST. SO I WOULD SAY THAT THE UNIQUE PIECE ABOUT BEING A FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED COMPANY, IS THAT THE OWNER CAN MAKE THAT DECISION ON DAY ONE AND STICK TO IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH… I’M NOT SO SURE THAT THERE’S ANOTHER DISTILLERY IN CANADA THAT DID THAT…AND THAT’S THE PIECE I THINK THAT SEPARATED US FROM THE REST.” “…HEAVEN HILL SUPPORTS THE COMMUNITY… THIS FAMILY CAME IN ON DAY ONE AND DID A DONATION TO THE [LETHBRIDGE] UNITED WAY. WHEN CORONAVIRUS HIT THEY CAME TO THE TABLE FOR THE HAND SANITIZER… THEY TRULY VALUE THE COMMUNITY, AND IT’S THE FIRST TIME IN MY CAREER THAT I’VE GOTTEN TO PARTICIPATE AT THIS LEVEL, AND I AM SO THANKFUL THAT IT WAS DURING THE PANDEMIC THAT THAT HAPPENED.” CLAUDE BRIEFLY COMMENTED ON THE HISTORY OF THE LOCAL DISTILLERY: “…THERE IS SUCH A HISTORY BEHIND THE GILBEY COMPANY WHO USED TO OWN BLACK VELVET. [THEY] HAD A FACILITY IN TORONTO AND A FACILITY IN LETHBRIDGE… THERE WAS A WHOLE LOT OF LOBBYING FROM THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT HERE, AND [CURRENT MAYOR] CHRIS SPEARMAN HIMSELF AT THE TIME, TO MAKE THIS THE FACILITY THAT STAYED… IT DID [STAY] AND I THINK IT’S BECAUSE IT’S AN EFFICIENT FACILITY [AND] IT HAS OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEES. FROM A PERSPECTIVE OF DISTILLERIES IN THE WORLD, IT’S VERY MODERN EVEN THOUGH IT WAS BUILT IN 1973. WHEN YOU LOOK AT DISTILLERIES THAT’S ONE OF THE NEWER ONES OUT THERE. SO THE ASSET WAS THERE AND THE PEOPLE WERE THERE.” IN HIS CLOSING THOUGHTS, CLAUDE SAID: “…I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT IT CERTAINLY WASN’T JUST ME. THIS TOOK EVERYBODY IN THIS BUILDING, AND EVERYBODY IN THIS BUILDING WAS PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS… THESE EMPLOYEES CARE AND THEY HAVE DONE THEIR PART TO STAY SAFE SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO DO WHAT WE DO.” ON OCTOBER 9TH, 2020 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN MET WITH TYLER KASCOR, PURCHASING MANAGER FOR THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE. THEY DISCUSSED THE TWO DONATED BOTTLES OF HAND SANITIZER PRODUCED BY THE BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY. THE DISTILLERY WAS ABLE TO MAKE THE SANITIZER IN THEIR FACILITY, WHICH WAS THEN DISTRIBUTED TO MANY LOCAL SERVICES AND ORGANIZATIONS AFTER RECEIVING HEALTH CANADA APPROVAL. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS DERIVED FROM THE INTERVIEW WITH TYLER KASCOR. TYLER PROVIDED THE BACKSTORY BEHIND THE BOTTLES: “…THESE ITEMS WERE PART OF SOME PARTNERSHIPS THAT WE WERE ABLE TO REACH WITH ONE OF THE LOCAL DISTILLERIES IN TOWN, IN AN EFFORT TO PROVIDE SANITIZER TO THE CITY AND MORE SPECIFICALLY…TO…OUR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL WHO AT THE TIME WERE BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE DESPERATE FOR SANITIZERS AMIDST THE ONSET OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.” TYLER CONTINUED: “…IT WOULD HAVE BEEN…PROBABLY THE SECOND WEEK OF MARCH AND I HAD SEEN A STORY ON CBC… THEY HAD AN INDIVIDUAL…[ON] ‘TALK BACK’ WHICH IS…ONE OF THE RADIO PROGRAMS… THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT…SOME ORGANIZATIONS STARTING TO PIVOT TO DO DIFFERENT THINGS IN RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC, WHICH WAS RELATIVELY RECENT AT THIS POINT IN TIME. ONE OF THEM CALLED IN AND WAS MENTIONING…IN B.C. AT THE TIME...THE DISTILLERIES WERE MAKING THIS TRANSITION TO EFFECTIVELY MOVE OVER TO SANITIZERS AS OPPOSED TO ALCOHOL…I FIGURED…I’M GOING TO REACH OUT TO THE DISTILLERIES AND SEE IF WE GET ANY RESPONSES. WE WERE STARTING TO SEE…STOCK OUTS WITH SOME OF OUR SUPPLIERS, ALREADY ON SANITIZER, AND WHILE WE DO HAVE GOOD RELATIONSHIPS AND GET PREFERENCE AMIDST THE PANDEMIC…[THERE ARE] BIGGER FISH THAN US ULTIMATELY…[THAT] WILL START TO MONOPOLIZE SOME OF THE SUPPLIES… IT WAS PRETTY IMPERATIVE THAT WE GOT SOMETHING… SO I REACHED OUT…AROUND…MARCH…THE 18TH TO B.C....AND I LOOKED IN ALBERTA BECAUSE I WANTED TO FIND RELATIVELY CLOSE CONTACTS THAT WE’D BE ABLE TO UTILIZE…SO WE WOULD NOT SEE ANY DISRUPTIONS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN... WE WERE SEEING GROUNDING OF PLANES, ALL KIND[S] OF SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES START TO CREEP UP, SO I THOUGHT…THE MORE LOCAL THE BETTER… ONE OF THE DISTILLERIES THAT I CONTACTED WAS BLACK VELVET WHICH IS LOCATED WITHIN LETHBRIDGE, AND I STARTED DEALING WITH CLAUDE BILODEAU… HE WAS VERY GRACIOUS AND BASICALLY OFFERED TO WORK WITH US TO COME UP WITH A WAY TO SUPPLY THE CITY SOLELY, AT LEAST AT FIRST, FOR SANITIZERS SO WE WERE ABLE TO MAINTAIN AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE.” TYLER COMMENTED ON THE PACKAGING OF THE SANITIZER: “…INITIALLY THEY HAD…BROUGHT IN A REGULAR KIND OF ONE LITRE BOTTLES, AND ULTIMATELY THEY WERE ABLE TO GET MORE EFFECTIVE LABELLING AND STARTED PRODUCING THEM IN THESE LITTLE…375 ML FLASKS WHICH IS PRETTY FANTASTIC. YOU KNOW THE OVERALL LOOK OF THEM IS…QUITE INTERESTING TO SAY THE LEAST.” TYLER SPOKE ABOUT HOW THE CITY SOURCED THE SANITIZER RAPIDLY: “…SO WE WERE THE FIRST AND ONLY PEOPLE INITIALLY THAT THEY WERE INTERESTED IN SUPPLYING WHICH WAS FANTASTIC FOR US... THEY WERE ABLE TO REALLY QUICKLY TURN AROUND AND SUPPLY US WITH…I THINK UPWARDS OF A THOUSAND LITRES…WHICH WAS A GARGANTUAN AMOUNT… WE HAD ONE LITRE BOTTLES OFFERED TO US AT THE CITY AT A COST OF FORTY DOLLARS EACH AND…FORTY DOLLARS TIMES A THOUSAND DOESN’T TAKE ROCKET SCIENCE TO FIGURE OUT IT’S PRETTY HUGE SUMS JUST FOR...RELATIVELY BENIGN PPE THAT WE WOULD GENERALLY USE AND…CLAUDE WAS WILLING TO PROVIDE THAT TO US FOR FREE, NO ADMIN COSTS, NO NOTHING… AS THEY WORKED THROUGH…DEVELOPING THE [WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION] FORMULAS THAT THEY UTILIZED...IT WAS…HIM AND HIS MANAGEMENT TEAM WHO WERE EFFECTIVELY…TRYING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN OVER THE COURSE OF A WEEKEND FOR US.” “…THE W.H.O HAS A SPECIFIC FORMULA AND [BLACK VELVET] WERE WAITING ON A COUPLE MATERIALS TO SHOW UP DURING THE…WEEK ENDING MARCH 20TH… IT WAS THE FOLLOWING WEEK WHEN WE ACTUALLY WERE ABLE TO TAKE DELIVERY, SO THEY TURNED IT AROUND QUITE QUICKLY FOR US.” TYLER EXPLAINED THE DIFFICULTY OF PROVIDING ENOUGH WITH INCREASED DEMAND FOR SUPPLIES: “…YOU CAN IMAGINE…TRYING TO OPERATE THE CITY AND THEN ALL THE BUSINESSES THAT EXIST WITHIN THE CITY… HOSPITALS, CLINICS. WE HAD PEOPLE CONTACTING US FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE…AT OUR CENTRAL STORES TRYING TO GET THEIR HANDS ON SANITIZER BECAUSE THEY HAD HEARD VERY QUICKLY THAT WE WERE DEALING WITH BLACK VELVET SPECIFICALLY.” “…WE HAD A REASONABLE SUPPLY FOR REGULAR OPERATIONS, BUT IT WAS QUICKLY DWINDLING AND IT’S LIKELY WITHIN…PROBABLY TWO WEEKS WE WOULD HAVE STOCKED OUT…OF ALL FORMS OF SANITIZERS JUST BECAUSE THERE WAS AN IMMEDIATE RUSH, FROM EVERY OPERATIONAL GROUP THAT WE HAVE... THEY WERE ALL OUT THERE TRYING TO GET THEIR HANDS ON IT… ALL THESE PEOPLE WERE JUST CLAMORING FOR IT… WE GOT DWINDLED DOWN EFFECTIVELY TO NOTHING OVER THE COURSE OF PROBABLY TWO WEEKS...” “…INITIALLY WE REALLY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE FULL IMPACT WAS GOING TO BE… WE KNEW WE HAD THE SUPPORT OF…EMERGENCY OPERATIONS...100%... [THE SANITIZER] WAS POLICE, FIRE AND EMS RESTRICTED AND WE REALLY KEPT THAT METHODOLOGY AS MUCH AS…POSSIBLE, AT LEAST FOR PROBABLY THE FIRST MONTH OR SO UNLESS IT WAS…EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES… AFTER THAT POINT WE WERE ABLE TO GET BETTER BURN RATES ON…[THE AMOUNT OF SANITIZER] WE WERE GOING THROUGH AND ULTIMATELY WHAT SOME OF THE USAGE WOULD LOOK LIKE AS SOME OF OUR COUNTERPARTS…[WERE] COMING BACK ONLINE… IT WAS AT THAT POINT THAT WE WERE ABLE TO START RELEASING IT A LOT MORE FREELY.” TYLER SPOKE ABOUT THE CITY STILL USING THE SANITIZER FROM BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY AS OF OCTOBER 2020: “…SO MY UNDERSTANDING IS WE HAVEN’T TAKEN DELIVERY IN A WHILE BUT…THAT THOUSAND LITRES WE GOT IS STILL BEING UTILIZED AND YET WE HAD ZERO CHARGES…” TYLER RECALLED THE STRUGGLE BEHIND SOURCING OTHER PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: “…GOWNS, GLOVES AND N95 WERE VERY DIFFICULT. N95 WAS BASICALLY UNAVAILABLE…FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS IT SEEMED. THE MAJORITY OF THE SUPPLY IS FROM CHINA AND OF COURSE THEY WERE DEALING WITH THEIR OWN ISSUES AT THE TIME... SO IT WASN’T UNTIL MANUFACTURING CAPABILITIES CAME BACK ONLINE THAT WE WERE REALLY ABLE TO GET SUBSTITUTIONS...” TYLER COMMENTED ON THE EXPERIENCE OF ORGANIZING IN THE CONTEXT OF THE PANDEMIC OVERALL: “IT’S…[A] ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE... YOU OF COURSE LEARN THE PRINCIPLES OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND, YOU EXPERIENCE IT IN COMMODITIES FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT GENERALLY THINGS ARE SOMEWHAT LOCALIZED… IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT YOU SEE A WORLDWIDE EVENT WHERE YOU HAVE THESE COMPETING RESOURCES FOR PPE'S SPECIFICALLY… IT WAS CHALLENGING AND A LOT TIME SPENT UP FRONT, ESPECIALLY AS EVERYONE WAS REALLY FIGURING OUT HOW WE WORKED TOGETHER, HOW WE WORK UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS WHEN I HAVE NO TRAINING FOR AND MANY OF THE COLLEAGUES HAD NO TRAINING FOR EITHER. WE’RE LITERALLY JUST TOSSED INTO IT AND TOLD TO OPERATE WITHIN IT SO…IT WAS A BIG INVESTMENT ON A LOT OF PEOPLE’S PARTS.” “…EVERYONE DID A REALLY GREAT JOB WORKING TOGETHER AND CERTAINLY CAN’T THANK OUR STORES PERSONNEL ENOUGH. THEY’VE REALLY DONE A WONDERFUL JOB SO KUDOS TO THEM." FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, A SPARK YQL NEWSLETTER, AND A CITYWISE NEWSLETTER INCLUDING COVERAGE OF THE BLACK VELVET DISTILLERY HAND SANITIZER, PLEASE SEE THE DONATION’S PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20200008002
Acquisition Date
2020-04
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail