Director of Operations, Liberty Entertainment Group
James Peden has spent much of his life immersed in the hospitality industry. Born and raised in Mississauga, he began his career at his family-owned banquet hall, where his passion for food, beverage
and all things hospitality, was sparked. He dedicated himself to exploring all avenues to expand both his knowledge and hands-on experience; his early career as a server and bartender afforded him opportunities at fine-dining restaurants throughout Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. It was in Niagara that James discovered a new obsession: the art of wine. After accumulating more than 10+ years of experience and training, James passed his Advanced Sommelier Certification with the Court of
Master Sommeliers in 2019. He is currently studying for the Master Sommelier (MS) Diploma.
In September 2019, James was hired by Canada’s foremost events and entertainment company, Liberty Entertainment Group as wine director across its restaurant properties and special events venues. After building and training an impressive team of sommeliers and managers, he was promoted to director of operations in 2021. Most recently, James was elected president 2022 – 2023 of CAPS Ontario, Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, where he leads a board of hospitality industry volunteer members. His vision is to enact positive change for the wine trade in Ontario through inclusion, diversity and enhanced education for all wine and hospitality professionals.