Smart Serve Ontario Launches Education Programs in Chinese

Responsible alcohol service training now available in Mandarin and Cantonese

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - In response to changing demographics, Smart Serve, Ontario's leader in responsible alcohol service training is now offering Mandarin and Cantonese audio tracks as a compliment to its online training program.  The expanded language options, which play the Mandarin or Cantonese audio tracks atop the English training on screen, are part of a series of updates that Smart Serve introduced to its 2011 training and testing platform.

"After English, Mandarin and Cantonese are the second and third largest language groups taking the Smart Serve training. Anything we can do to help these applicants learn and retain the responsible alcohol service curriculum, we must do," said George Schmalz, Chairman of the Board of Smart Serve.

Last spring, in collaboration with hospitality and law enforcement stakeholders, Smart Serve launched a state-of-the-art online training program that incorporates new web technologies into the training modules, making the training interactive and adding audio and visual aids to improve absorption of the content.

"Adding Mandarin and Cantonese audio tracks makes the program more accessible for thousands of Ontarians," said David Levin, interim Executive Director of Smart Serve.  "These latest enhancements support Smart Serve's ongoing goal to maintain Ontario's position of leadership in responsible alcohol service education and practice. One way we accomplish this is by continually improving the accessibility of the training."

Over the past 15 years, more than 900,000 Ontarians have received their Smart Serve certification. This number will approach 2.1 million within the next 15 years. Responsible alcohol service protects servers, licensees, and the public.

About Smart Serve Ontario

Since 1995, Smart Serve Ontario a division of the Hospitality Industry Training Organization of Ontario, has been dedicated to the promotion and education of responsible alcohol service training. The Smart Serve training and certification program is available online for all individuals in the province who serve alcoholic beverages or work where alcoholic beverages are served. For more information, visit www.smartserve.ca

Background: Chinese Languages in Ontario

  • According to 2006 census data, Chinese languages are the third most numerous mother tongue group in Ontario after English and French.

  • In 2006, nearly 500,000 people reported one of the Chinese languages as their mother tongue, representing 4.1% of Ontario's population and 8.3% of Toronto's population.

  • Chinese is also the dominant non-official language in Ottawa.

  • The Greater Toronto Area boasts five separate Chinatowns and is home to one of North America's largest Chinatowns, near Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue.

  • Toronto's Chinatown Festival in August attracts more than 100,000 people, featuring entertainment, exotic foods and markets.

  • In 2008, 110,000 people traveled from Ontario to China, while some 76,000 traveled from China to Ontario.

  • China is the leading source of foreign students at Ontario universities.

  • Approximately 644,465 Chinese-Canadians live in Ontario.
For further information:

Mary Parsons
Marketing and Communications, Smart Serve Ontario
416-695-8737