F O O D , FA S H I O N , B E A U T Y & D E S I G N F O R E V E N T S
Show Issue Planning
MOST THE 20TH
Anniversary Canadian Event
EVENTS SPRING 2017
editorialteam FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Stacy Wyatt DIRECTOR OF SALES Jason Koop ACCOUNT MANAGER Dustin Yarou GRAPHIC DESIGN & TRAFFIC LEAD Veronica Michalczak GRAPHIC DESIGN/WEBSITE DESIGN Helena Poll EVENT COORDINATOR Tammy LO CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS Olivia Stratton EVENT COORDINATOR Pavel Diaz Ramirez TEAM CUDDLERS Jake the Dog & Priya the Cat
storycontributers Christopher J Design Loungeworks Furniture Rentals Hats On For Awareness Universal Event Space - byPeterandPauls.com Canadian Tire Motorsport Park LUXE Modern Rentals McNabb Roick Events Chris Funk - the Wonderist e=mc2 events
photographycredits George Pimentel Ryan Emberley Photography Henry Lin, 424U Photo & Video
Hala Bissada, CFRE
"PLANNING EVENTS FOR MILLENNIALS" ON PAGE 5
Hala Bissada CFRE, President of Hala Inc., is a ten-time international award-winning event-producer, one of Canada’s foremost event fundraisers and an industry thought-leader. Her distinguished honors include 2012 Event Professional of the Year (CEIA), 2013 Best Industry Contribution (ILEA) for establishing Ryerson University’s Event Certificate Program and the Alumni Award of Distinction from Ryerson University. Follow her on twitter at @HalaEvents
"LOVE & WINE" ON PAGE 34
Erin Henderson is the Co-Founder of the sommelier services and wine events firm, The Wine Sisters. Based in Toronto, Erin and her team of certified sommeliers and entertaining experts help clients take their events from Standard to Sparkling with customized wine tasting, parties and wine tours.
Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA "FOOD FOR THOUGHT" ON PAGE 128
Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA is President of Meeting Change. She specializes in corporate social responsibility, pricing strategies and emerging issues in the event sector. Mariela has held international and chapter leadership roles with both Meeting Professionals International and the Green Meeting Industry Council. She is the co-author of several industry related literature and publications. She was named a 2014 Meetings Trendsetter by Meetings Focus, a 2015 Changemaker by MeetingsNet and to the peer-nominated #CMP30 Influencers for the Convention Industry Council. She was inducted into the Meetings & Incentives Travel Hall of Fame in the category of Industry Builder in August, 2015.
Vision Event Photography Fotografia Boutique Paul Casselman Photography Luke Dickson
PUBLISHED BY NATIONAL EVENT MARKETING GROUP INC. 877-212-3976 • WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM All materials that appear in Canadian Special Events Magazine are protected by Canadian Copyright Laws and can only be reprinted with written permission from the publisher National Event Marketing Group Inc. All material is printed at the discretion of the Publishers, but does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Publishers. We endeavor to maintain a high standard of accuracy in the quality of articles published and our articles are intended to promote the businesses and services of event and meeting suppliers to offer education and information relevant to event and meeting planners. Readers are advised to always use their discretion when hiring any product, service or supplier. National Event Marketing Group Inc. can take no responsibility for individual outcomes of any such choice.
"3 REASONS EVENT PROFESSIONALS MUST INNOVATE NOW" ON PAGE 19
As a marketer responsible for trade shows, product launch tours, corporate training programs, and more, Justin Panzer found himself looking for a better way to produce successful events than with the spreadsheets, binders, checklists, and homegrown databases that were creating more work than they were eliminating. So to create a tool that would save time, lower event costs, and allow for collaborative event planning, Justin founded and launched eventuosity, the first cloud-based platform for end-to-end event and meeting management. SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 1
38 1 CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS 3 EDITORâ€™S LETTER 5 PLANNING EVENTS FOR MILLENNIALS
25 20TH ANNUAL CANADIAN EVENT INDUSTRY AWARDS FINALISTS REVEALED 33 FUELED BY EXPERIMENTATION 34 EVENT SPACE: LOVE & WINE
12 THINGS WE LOVE: DAILY ESSENTIALS 15 EVENTS WITH PURPOSE: HATS OFF TO A SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISER
37 EVENT REPORT: WAKE UP - KICK ASS - REPEAT 38 EVENT REPORT: MCNABB ROICK'S IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE FOR LINCOLN
19 EVENT TECH: 3 REASONS EVENT PROFESSIONALS MUST INNOVATE NOW
40 EVENT REPORT: THE GATHERING
20 FUEL UP YOUR EVENTS!
43 CHRIS FUNK: THE WONDERIST
23 2017 READERS' CHOICE AWARDS FINALISTS
44 EVENT FOOD: FOR THE LOVE OF SALAD
50 FEATURE STORY: MOST FASCINATING WOMEN IN EVENTS 2017 115 STACY SAYS: 5 SECRETS TO WINNING EVENT AWARDS 117 EYE ON DESIGN: THE MADHATTERS HOUSE PARTY 127 IMAGE & STYLE: WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY WE KNOW YOU'LL LOVE 128 EVENTS WITH PURPOSE: FOOD FOR THOUGHT 131 ARTIST PROFILE: LUCAS WILSON ILLUSIONIST
Success of any kind is never achieved without hard work and sacrifice. Rarely, do you find someone who has risen to the top of their profession, without personal compromise, especially if they are a woman. Busy professionals make tough choices every day about work, life, family and health. For this issue, I interviewed 20 of the event industry’s leading women to find out their secrets and strategies for achieving success, both in and out of the office. Their individual stories are fascinating, as are their philosophies and challenges, but what I found most compelling is the commonality in their endless search for balance. It seems no matter how high you climb; the same challenges exist. In fact, it’s more like the higher you climb, the harder finding personal space can be. These women make up our "most fascinating list for 2017." They represent a group that has achieved personal success. Whether that’s financial or freedom based, education or accolades; each shared what it is that drives them to move forward, work hard and continue to thrive. This print edition features an excerpt from their full interviews which you can read online in our latest digital magazine at our blog www.canadianspecialevents.com. It is that time again. CSE Live is here and this is the BIGGEST conference ever, with 5 venues and thousands of people participating from the vendors, to the delegates, sponsors, nominees and of course our voters. At press time, we have logged over 5000 votes for their favourite event professionals. Thank you Canada for such an amazing turn out.
If you plan to attend be sure to check out some of the featured events like the Business of Events Forum at Daniels Spectrum or Experience20! The Opening night party at Aga Khan and produced by Janice Cardinale (The Idea Hunter), Chad Brincheski and Eric Aragon (ESP Inc) and Christopher Barry from Tourism Toronto. The event promises to be EPIC. The second day features more education followed by the tradeshow packed with 100+ vendors, insanely creative ideas and bursting with talent for you to explore. The week caps off with the 20th Annual Canadian Event industry Awards Gala. I could not be more proud of this program, and the people who have helped maintain its longevity over the past two decades. I am moved by their commitment and their generosity and I look forward to the years to come as we move the program in a new direction and prepare for the new generation of planners. I want to applaud every one of the event partners who have made this year’s show a success and a special and heart felt thank you to Mike and Michael from Detailz Couture Event Rentals for providing all the furniture and rentals used in this year’s show. Anything you see in the lobby’s classrooms or at the social events you can rent from them. Make sure you stop by and say hello, it’s going to be an exciting week Sincerely,
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PLANNING EVENTS FOR
MILLENNIALS By Hala Bissada, CFRE
Boobyball guests take Planet Booby theme to heart at the Paradise City themed Booby Ball 2016
By 2020, millennials will make up more than 50% of the workforce. They will be the decision makers in their respective organizations and effectively shape the economic future. The shift in philosophies between generations will significantly impact our event industry in ways we never considered. If you have an annual event, such as a non-profit gala and havenâ€™t already developed an event to attract the growing number of millennial philanthropists, it is time to start thinking about it. So who are they? The millennial generation also referred to as Generation Y or the Echo Boom are those born during the 1980s and 1990s; in 2016, that would make them age 16 to 35, with the older ones born to Baby Boomer parents. Today, in Canada, Millennials number approximately 9.6 million. One of the most important characteristics is that they are the first native digital generation. They are socially engaged, brand driven and never without their mobile
phone. Most of them, having been brought up in the digital age, have certain expectations and preferred ways of consuming content. They will certainly be very vocal about whether theyâ€™ve had a good or negative experience - usually through social media. When planning an event catering to millennials there are important factors to consider. In general, Millennials are sincere and spontaneous. They have expressive personalities and the average millennial brands themselves cool and adventurous. They are constantly on the look-out for unique, one-of-a-kind, meaningful experiences. Millennials like to be hands-on and involved in shaping their experience. To get the ball rolling in terms of planning your event and get a buy-in from the group you are trying to attract, recruit a committee of 15-20 energetic and committed young professionals, who will provide input in shaping the party, but also be your ambassadors in promoting and selling the event.
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Since FOMO (fear of missing out) is central to their culture, you need to be creative in designing your guest experience. It needs to be trendy, youthful and unique. Location is critical. Always opt for unexpected venues for the event or plan on transforming a venue space into something that is surprising and fun. SickKids Foundation holds their annual Scrubs in the City, at the Evergreen Brick Works and does a spectacular job transforming this raw space (a revitalized brick making factory) to match their theme. Every year they transport their guests to a new destination—last year’s was London.
Scrubs in the City 2016's London Flag inspired decor Photo Credit: George Pimentel
This is a visual generation unlike any other. Event creative and collateral should be clever and unique. Check out the web-sites for SickKids Foundation’s Scrubs in the City, Toronto Public Library Foundation’s Hush Hush and Rethink Breast Cancer’s Boobyball. Millennials love sensory overload. In the following pages, I describe some “must haves” you should incorporate into your event to make it stand out and create FOMO amongst Generation Y.
Spice Girls tribute group spiced up Scrubs in the City 2016 Photo Credit: George Pimentel
Millennials love interactive, “Instagramable” moments, so it is important to weave in cool photo zones throughout the venue to wow guests and provide plenty of opportunities to share through social media. For example, to promote their Take 5 Bar, Hershey’s had five artists create five different murals inspired by five different musical acts at the Governor’s Ball Musical Festival. This gave attendees a lot of different opportunities to take photos. The theme for the Toronto Public Library Foundation’s 2016 Hush Hush was Heroes and Villains. Guests posed for photos using superhero props and for the Power Plant’s Power Ball theme of Pleasure Principle, guests posed for photos in a sea of inflatables. At SickKids Foundation’s Scrubs in the City they created a Beatles inspired photo opp for their London theme.
Guests dove into a sea of pink balls for their photo opps at the Paradise City themed Booby Ball 2016
Millennials are way more laid back than any other generations and they tends to love a more relaxed event format. Lounge areas, with activities and activations set up throughout the space keeps them entertained and engaged. To maximize revenue, in addition to selling sponsorships and general ticket sales, sell VIP booths at a higher price point with bottle and food service. Guests posed for photos using superhero props at the Heroes & Villians themed Hush Hush 2016 .
One of five Hershey’s Take 5 Bar photo Installations created by 5 artists, inspired by 5 musical acts for the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in NYC .
Make sure your venue has bandwidth to satisfy WiFi demand and offer your attendees charging stations, so that they don’t have low battery anxiety. You can also turn the charging station into a charging lounge where you can incorporate a bar, photo opp and other activities to make it a destination spot at your event. The Lounge could also be branded and turned into a sponsorship opportunity. Millennials love swag. Encourage social media, by offering an incentive for your guests to tweet. For example, offer gifts to attendees if they tweet using your event hashtag. Vending machines where you can tweet for a treat are very popular. Coordinate amusing and interesting activities into your event. Millennials love to play games. Life size pool tables, Jenga, Scramble and mini golf are always popular. Invite retailers to set-up pop-up stores for guests to browse their latest products and merchandise. Turn this into a revenue stream with vendor fees and a percentage of sales go back to the charity. For example feature Nike’s leading edge designs and vibrant colours with a giant shoe pop-up store where guests can connect and explore the new Nike SNKRS app to make their own, custom-made kicks. Incorporate live entertainment into your event like well-known bands, or schedule pop-up performances through-out the evening like magicians, break-dancers or something very custom to your theme. Ensure you also have a top notch DJ. Fun food and beverage activations are also important to this group. Incorporate mixologists into your event, serve craft beers, bring in Food Trucks. Keep food coming throughout the evening. Generate sponsorship revenue by developing unique and custom opportunities & activations for sponsors to showcase their product and service, while at the same time adding a fun element to your guest experience. At Rethink Breast Cancer they brought in Vitamin Water who built a life size Lite Brite Board. Google Play has a fun activation where guests can plug in a set of headphones into a wall with various
headphone jacks to listen to different songs from Google Play Music playlists. Since millennials are more inclined to support multiple charities in smaller amounts you should price your event tickets appropriately, somewhere between $150 and $350 for VIP experiences. Given Millennials are without a doubt technology savvy, if you are not using the latest software and equipment – from using check-in and auction software and event apps, to creating immersive environments with projection mapping and lighting, then you are not current. Attendees (especially Millennials) will find your guest experience behind the times and worse, they will talk about it on social media about it. Below I have described some technologies you may want to consider using at your event. Check in software uses a professional, digital guest list manager to help event managers with a quick and easy check-in and registration solution for any event. The guest list app eliminates the need for paper guest lists and raises the bar for a modern and professional appearance for your guests right from the moment they arrive. Auction management software such as Givergy offers a platform with tools to facilitate the execution of silent auctions and maximizes funds raised in your on-site fundraising programs. This silent auction technology makes it fun and simple for your guests and modernizes your auction by removing the dated “pen and paper” system and replacing it with a digital auction with a catalogue that can be browsed and bid on via provided tablets or personal smartphones. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is wireless, non-contact use of radio frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data between personalized tags and receivers. At an event, guests can be given personalized RFID-enabled wristbands, tickets, etc. that store their information (e.g. name, contact information, credit card information, etc.) and RFID digital receivers can be set up at different touch points (e.g. entrances to VIP areas) or with different vendors on-site to activate social media.
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The party scene at the Power plant's Appetite for Excess themed Power Ball 2015 Benefitting the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Photo credit: Jennifer Rubell
Drones are unmanned aircrafts or flying robots that have recently become commercially affordable and therefore increasingly available to consumers. They can be remote controlled or can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans and with the aid of sensors and GPS. Drones can be brought in to collect aerial footage of the event to capture a unique and unexpected perspective of the scene. Footage can be edited on-site and a short cut can be screened at dinner or a more complete video can be produced and used later in a highlight video. Event apps are becoming more and more commonplace in the event space. Apps can be downloaded by guests to their smartphones in advance of your event and can provide them with valuable information about the event and what to expect in place of a traditional printed program or guide. Incorporate venue or site maps, highlight special activations and activities, include your event schedule, gamificiation and more with a custom-designed app that can also include communications tools such as social media tie-ins and messaging functionality.
Virtual Reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. For example, Samsung is planning on creating a Samsung Galaxy Lounge at the Lollapalooza music festival where they will offer attendees exclusive pop-up performances, meet and greets and surprise appearances. Literally the ideas for activities, activations, and the use of technology are endless. Harness your committeeâ€™s creativity to shape your unique guest experience. Keep in mind that planning an event for this group will be an organic way to begin to foster long lasting relationships with these future business leaders. And they are so much fun to plan! For more creative event solutions from Hala Bissada, follow her on
twitter and facebook at @HalaEvents.
Millennials partaking in a virtual reality activation
Guests taking a photo memento at the 2016 Memory Ball gala benefiting Alzheimer Society of Toronto .
For The Busy Professional
Not all events are held in ballrooms and its no secret that event planners spend hours on their feet, sometimes in crazy locations without access to the creature comforts required to stay hydrated and healthy. This collection of Things We Love is dedicated to making the days you spend on-site, a little easier. Whether you are on a mountain top, in the middle of a field or a stadium, these gems will help you stay bright eyed and raring to go.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Kito+ by Azoi Inc.
Even if you are the picture of health, those long days and moments of high stress can take their toll. Some of us tend to push ourselves too hard, sit too long or even forget to drink enough to stay hydrated. Using Kito+, the simple health tracker that comes in the form of a handy iPhone case can help you stay on top of your vitals and alert you to when you really do need to take a break. It basically measures vital functions with clinical accuracy in just a few seconds so you can monitor your health anytime, anyplace, anywhere. You can check your heart rate, skin temperature, respiration rate and much more, you can even do an ECG! Click here to see a video of the Kito+.
The Next Generation In Portable Hydration Whether you’re a frequent flier, a mile-a-minute mom, a weekend warrior or just someone who thirsts for thoughtful design, HYDAWAY fits the life you live. No more lugging around bulky “empties”, no more disposables in landfills, no more hard to clean bottles. HYDAWAY is flat out ready to go, whenever and wherever. Are you?
Compressed Towels Just add water to one of these "pills" and a face towel will appear. You may have seen these in high end Japanese restaurants or on planes where they provide these refreshers prior to your meal, but we love them for just about anywhere you need to wake, up, clean up or just freshen up. Best part is the price, just $5 for a whole bottle of clean. Buy it now.
12 | CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2017
5 THE PERFECT WORK SHOE
Aravon Women's Maya Pump
Mini Emergency Kit
Any planner worth their weight has an emergency kit in the car, some essentials in their purse and always carries those “extras” just in case. But In a Pinch pushes the boundaries of “prepared” Their innovative emergency kits redefine what it means to be prepared. Filled to the brim with premium essentials, we don’t skimp on what goes inside. And we dedicate the same attention to detail when it comes to designing the outside, combining the sensibility of a fashion label with the function of a modern general store. In turn, over two million women have made a place for Pinch Provisions in their purse, and it has been our honor and privilege to be there for them…IN A PINCH®.
Okay, we know that there are some women who can stand for 14 hours in Jimmy Choos but most of us can make it maybe two hours until we start to feel the burn. Say hello to the wonder shoe, which we think must have been designed by a working woman. Chic, pretty and professional the Aravon Women’s Maya Pump is the holy grail of event planner footwear. Available in black, brown and metallic bronze these shoes have a removable velcro footbed, the Absorb cushioning for continual protection and shock absorption, the stridac rocker sole to “eliminate foot fatigue” and the arch support. There is a lot going on here with more to the shoe than meets the eye and buyers have said that they can really go the distance when you need to be standing all day.
We love this charging bracelet Not only is QBracelet a stunning piece of unisex jewelry that looks hot on just about anyone, it's wearable, so it's one less gadget to lug around when you are on site. No more power pack in your back pocket. This sexy designed accessory is perfect for anyone tired of being stranded with a dead phone and searching baseboards for outlets.
This solves sooo many issues. Need to print wirelessly on site but can't connect your printer? Need to plug in your USB and send files to the guy sitting beside you but the wifi is sketchy? Want to stream, charge or back up? This wireless router fits in your back pocket but packs a whack of power. First, it is a portable Wi-Fi router, so if your venue only allows one connected gadget over wireless, like in MOST Canadian convention venues (need we say more), connect the HooToo and then connect with multiple gadgets. It's also a two-port USB charger for your phones and tablets. THIS is EPIC for event planners. SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 13
toronto | calgary
decorandmore.com Canadaâ€™s Most Awarded Event Design Company
Hats Off To A
FUNdraiser The 8th annual Hats On For Awareness was held to at Universal Event Space in Vaughan. Over 725 guests attended this sold out soiree with a simple mandate: Wear A Hat. Show Your Support and Raise Awareness. Hatsquerade raised over $125,000 which will be distributed to organizations that provide support to those living with mental illness and their families, and which strive to share knowledge and offer treatment. Committee members. Benny Caringi and Enza TiberiChecchia with performers Alx Veliz and Kardinal Offishall alongside visual artist Anthony Ricciardi.
Hats On For Awareness has raised over $600,000 to date. Recipients of donations include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Jack.org and Humber River Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program. Enza Tiberi-Checchia, Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Hats On For Awareness, spoke passionately from the heart about her personal experience with mental illness. “Mental illness did not break me. It broke me open. Mental illness connected me to my life’s work; to change how we see and treat mental illness. I face my life’s work with humility and great privilege. Every person we’ve lost and every roommate I had, while I was hospitalized, stand alongside me.”
2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 15 From co-founder and SPRING President, Benny Caringi: “The
Live Painting with Anthony Ricciardi. Photo courtesy of byPeterandPauls.com .
enormous support from our sponsors, guests and volunteers this evening has been overwhelming. We are truly thankful for everyone’s contributions that will allow us to continue our mission to raise awareness and fund support programs for those living with mental illness and addiction. Our vision is “mental wellness for all”, and we need to be drivers of change to help make that a reality for everyone". The evening was emceed by Tony Monaco, Z103.5 radio announcer with feature performances from Kardinal Offishall and Alx Veliz. Well-known Canadian “hip hop ambassador” Kardinal Offishall delivered an outstanding performance while embracing the cause whole-heartedly. “I'm letting you know that we have to break the stigma and learn to seek help and help others. Many people of colour are taught to ignore or suppress some very detrimental signs that could actually help us prevent or heal mental illnesses.” posted Kardinal to his Instagram.
The trio of Wanda Corbiere, Amira Assal and Laura Brereton won the Best Female Hat contest, wearing their hats to “shine a light” on mental illness. Photo courtesy of byPeterandPauls.com
Event Suppliers Include: • Venue: Universal Event Space - byPeterandPauls.com • MC: Radio personality Tony Monaco (Z103.5) • Performances by: Kardinal Offishall and Alx Veliz (Manager: Carlos Pineda of 1916 Mgmt) • Live Painting: Anthony Ricciardi • Centerpieces: Underwraps Decor • Photos courtesy of: Paul Casselman Photography, Fotografia Boutique and byPeterandPauls.com • Printed evening program: Astley Gilbert • Event Signage: DeeDee Print For more information about Hats On For Awareness, visit www.hatsonforawareness.com. #TALKHATSON
The fundraiser planning committee. Starting from the left, Laurie DeBiasio, Michelle Francis, Stephanie Lane, Benny Caringi, Enza Tiberi-Checchia, Domenica DeSantis, Toni Coletta, Linda McMahon .
PROFESSIONALS MUST INNOVATE NOW
As an event professional, the risk of putting off upgrades to your personal skill set, processes, and tools is that your contribution to achieving organizational goals goes unnoticed which ultimately has a negative impact on your career. So how can you as an event and meeting professional demonstrate value to your organization and stay relevant in an evolving business setting? By maintaining a focus on innovation to overcome the challenges that define our current and future environment, including:
1. A CHANGING WORKPLACE In Why the Problem with Learning Is Unlearning, Mark Bonchek writes that, “In every aspect of business, we are operating with mental models that have grown outdated or obsolete.” Few statements more accurately describe the spreadsheet/binder/to-do list-driven models under which many events are organized. However, these inefficient tools are not the problem. They’re a symptom of a “we’ve always done it this way” mentality that drives how we plan. Early adopters among the eventprofs community recognize that modernizing is the way to improve efficiency and work more strategically.
2. A DATA-DRIVEN APPROACH TO VALUING EVENTS & EVENT PROFESSIONALS There is no shortage of articles telling us that data plays an role in assessing event performance and that there is an expectation attendees to quantify the business value of events. In the Event Technology Engagement Study, the Event Marketing Institute found that “best-in-class event producers” are making data capture a priority to “better understand their attendees, members, exhibitors, and sponsors.” Bottom line: if you don’t adopt tools to help quantitatively prove ROI, plan better, and improve the attendee experience, you may wind up losing support for your events.
3. NEW COMPETITION In his 2016 State Of The Industry letter, Howard Givner, Executive Director of the Event Leadership
Institute issued a call-to-action to all event professionals when he said, “The next generation of event pros has a head start on you…Lifelong learning is required to stay relevant and get ahead.” So maybe nobody can work through a to-do list like you but what other skills will you need to have to add value over the long-term? Integrating new technology into your planning process may create some uneasiness, but given the market conditions noted you cannot afford not to modernize. Recognize the urgency but don’t feel compelled to change everything at once. View innovation as a complement to your existing skill set, not a threat to your job. To see how eventuosity is enabling event producers and meeting planners to realize their innovation objectives, please visit eventuosity.com or follow them on Twitter @eventuosity
FUEL UP YOUR EVENTS! CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK - HIGH POWERED EVENT VENUE Don’t judge a book by its cover. When someone says the word ‘racetrack,’ certain images come to mind; fast cars and daring drivers battling for victory. Though it’s not untrue that on any given weekend the sights and sounds of high-powered, fuel-burning race-cars can be heard throughout the grounds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), it would be unfair to label it as just a racetrack. In 1967 CTMP famously hosted Canada’s first ever Formula One Grand Prix. Today it continues on as Canada’s home of motorsports, hosting some of the most storied drivers and legendary cars in the history of auto-racing. But when business executive Carlo Fidani and Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows purchased the track in 2011, a new vision for the historic facility was born. With brand new event spaces, CTMP now has the ability to host a variety of functions. Apart from various on-track possibilities, newly renovated facilities offer totally customizable opportunities for event and meeting planners to design and create an experience that meets corporate and personal needs. Overlooking the original Grand Prix track now sits the state-of-the-art 23,000 square foot Grand Prix Event Centre, equipped with in-house audio-visual systems and a full-service catering kitchen. Step onto the Grand Prix Patio and witness a breathtaking panoramic view of Lake Ontario. Back inside one can find a comfortable fireside seat in the luxury bar and lounge area. An elevator then brings you to the Grand Prix Rooftop which gives you a unique 360 degree view of the track and its pastoral surroundings. Also located on the park’s 900 plus acres of woodland, are two additional newly renovated facilities; a karting
centre and driver development track. All three event spaces feature contemporary and modern design with the ability to host events for groups of as many as 500 people. These facilities are ideal for corporate groups to host motivational and team-building exercises. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park offers an exclusive opportunity for an exhilarating driving experience featuring high-performance vehicles. Navigate dynamic car control exercises, learn proper cornering techniques, or take an adrenaline-filled ride with a professional driver around the legendary Grand Prix Circuit. For the planner, CTMP is an extremely unique and versatile venue. In the last few years the track has hosted a variety of events including corporate meetings, conferences, gala dinners, fundraisers, milestone parties, fashion shows, weddings, and much more. The possibilities are endless. Whether you are looking to entertain and exhilarate clients by driving exotic cars around a historic circuit, or looking for a celebration space that fits your every need, you’ll find it at CTMP. With the 407 highway now extending all the way to Bowmanville, and the creation of the 412, it’s now easier than ever to get to CTMP. One can now make the drive from downtown Toronto to the track in under an hour. Racing has always been part of the tradition at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park but with everything the venue now has to offer, why stop there? The next step is to take this historic place beyond limits. By Sam Fellows - Sam is a Brand Ambassador for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He is a recent graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, and is an amateur racer himself having competed in club events at CTMP.
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HUGE THANKS to our generous sponsors
The Exclusive Furniture Sponsor of CSE Live!, Experience 20 and The Canadian Event Industry Awards
22 | CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2017
FINALISTS Winners will be announced on Tuesday March 28, 2017 at the EXPERIENCE20! Opening Night Party Favourite AV Company
Favourite Entertainment Company
Favourite Event Supplier
AV Strategies, Vancouver, BC Proshow Audiovisual, Calgary, AB Quest Audio Visual, Toronto, ON FMAV, Calgary, AB PSAV, Toronto, ON Pandor Productions, Toronto, ON Scotia Events Inc., Acton, ON
RSDivas Creative Entertainment, Toronto, ON TDC Entertainment Inc, Mississauga, Toronto Smoking Gun Entertainment, Calgary, AB PM Gigs, Calgary, AB The Character Guys, Vancouver, BC Carol Priest Entertainment, Toronto, ON
Nasco Staffing Solutions, Vancouver, BC Greenscape Design & Décor, Vancouver, BC Superior Events, Toronto, ON Divine Furniture, Toronto, ON Loungeworks, Vancouver, BC Production Canada, Calgary, AB
Favourite Event Rental Company
Favourite Event Decorator
Ashton Creative, Richmond Hill, ON Christopher J Designs, Vancouver, BC Opening Night Flowers, Oakville, ON FaBLOOMosity Inc., Edmonton, AB Flowerz, Vancouver, BC
OneWest Events Inc., Calgary, AB Wedding Belles Decor, Ottawa, ON Debut Event Design Inc., Vancouver, BC R5 Event Design, Toronto, ON Elizabeth Stanley Event Design, Richmond, BC Stardust Events, Toronto, ON Christopher J Design, Vancouver, BC
Handy Special Events, Saskatoon, SK Ottawa Special Events, Ottawa, ON Mastermind Event Rentals Inc., Ottawa, ON Chair Decor, Vancouver, BC Special Event Rentals, Calgary, AB Event Rental Group, Toronto, ON A&B Party & Event Rentals., Vancouver, BC
Favourite Event Catering Toque Catering, Victoria, BC Seventh Heaven Event Catering, Toronto, ON Whistler Cooks, Whistler, BC Kiss the Cook Catering, Toronto, ON Simply Elegant Catering, Calgary, AB The Food Dudes, Toronto, ON Presidential Gourmet, Toronto, ON
Favourite DJ Legends Entertainment, Concord , ON 586 Event Group, Burlington, ON Quality Entertainment, Ottawa, ON Magic Moments DJ Entertainment, Woodbridge Impact DJ, Toronto, ON GirlOnWax Entertainment, Vancouver, BC
Favourite Entertainer Comedy In Motion with Bob Cates, Cambridge A2D2 ~ Aerial Dance Cirque Company, Mississauga Mega Magic - Magician Mike D'Urzo, Toronto God Made Me Funky, Toronto, ON Shugga, Toronto, ON Hypnotist The Incredible Boris, Toronto, ON Glisse on Ice, Toronto, ON
Favourite Event Photography Brian Dennehy Photography, Vancouver, BC Fun & Fancy Photography, Ottawa, ON Leblond Studio Inc., Calgary, AB 424U Photo & Video, Toronto, ON Indigo Events Photography, Toronto, ON Jenn Best Photography, Vancouver, BC
Favourite Event Planner In House Julie Mandarano - Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Vancouver, BC Nancie Huneault - City of Chestermere, AB Tracey Alleston - Shoppers Drug Mart, Toronto Tara Sweeney - Calgary Stampede, Calgary, AB
Favourite Event Planner Independent Sharon Bonner, Bright Ideas Event Coordinators Chantel Beauprem, Say Something Communications Deb Lewis, City Events, Toronto, ON Farida Pedhiwala, Fariday Events, Mississauga, ON Geraldine Cabral, Shake It Up Events, Brampton Daniela Caputo, Event Planner, Montreal, QC Meagan Madill, Curated by M, Toronto, ON
Favourite Event Venue Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver, BC Casa Loma, Toronto, ON Canvas Event Venue, Toronto, ON 130 West – Loungeworks Space, Vancouver, BC Calgary Stampede, Calgary, AB Waterview, Vancouver, BC Distillery Events, Toronto, ON
Favourite Wedding Planner Fusion Events, Toronto, ON The White Book Company, Toronto, ON Mystical Weddings & Event Planning, Mississauga La Chic Soirée, Toronto, ON Lynn Fletcher Wedding, Calgary, AB Lux Events, Saskatoon, SK Beyoutiful Beginnings, Toronto, ON
Favourite Specialty Service Provider Allante Transportation Services, Ottawa, ON Boomerang Marketing, Concord, ON Go2 Productions, Vancouver, BC L. A. Limo's, Markham, ON Succulent Chocolates and Sweets Inc., Vaughan Boutique Websites, Toronto, ON SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 23
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by Wexler Events and Women's College Hospital
OneWest Legacy Gala
The Food Dudes Summer series
Congratulations to the 2017 Canadian Event Industry Awards Finalists All entries were judged by an esteemed panel of experts who represent a diverse cross section of the industry and offer a breadth of knowledge on the critical elements needed to create successful events. The Canadian Event Industry Awards are one of the most rigorous and challenging award competitions in the world for event professionals. The judging is a 4-stage process including pre-screening to eliminate non-qualified entries, a first round analysis to determine shortlists, an in depth evaluation where the entry is critically examined in detail for its caliber and merit and a final judging to elect the winners. To win a CEIA, is a true measure of excellence. Winners will be announced at the 2017 Awards Gala Dinner & Celebration on March 30, at the Paramount Event Space, proudly hosted ByPeter&Pauls.com. Best Brand/Product Launch The Substance Group, Toronto, ON for The Mitchell & Ness Black and Gold Launch Event BC Event Management, Burnaby, BC for The Tsawwassen Mills Launch Black Chalk Marketing, Toronto, ON for Visit California DREAM BIG Black Chalk Marketing, Toronto, ON for The Brussels Airlines Canadian Launch
Best Event Decor $0 – $30,000 Reflections Weddings and Events, Calgary, AB for The Turner Valley Transformation RSVP Event Design, Saskatoon, SK for The Secret Garden Fifth Element Group, Toronto, ON for The Fairmont’s Hottest Place To Be BC Cancer Foundation, Vancouver, BC for The 2016 Hope Couture Fashion Show & Luncheon aNd Logistix Inc., Toronto, ON for Decades – The Start of Something Amazing Celebration R5 Event Design & Management and Fab Fête Event Planning, Toronto, ON for The Whimsical World of Avatar – Madelyn’s Bat Mitzvah
Most Innovative Use of Event Technology
Best Lighting Design for an Event
GTA Selfies, Brampton, ON for The Security Education Conference Toronto (SecTor)
Mandell Entertainment Group, Toronto, ON for The David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert
MetaVRse, North York, ON for The Timeless 360 Photo Time Machine Dynamic Mind Inc, Toronto, ON for The The JTI HORECA Event S4 Entertainment and Audio Visual, Vaughan, ON for The BILD Annual Awards Gala SDImktg, Toronto, ON for The Rogers Fan Hub at World Cup of Hockey
Mandell Entertainment Group, Toronto, ON for The 2016 Cures Gala Orange Frog Productions Inc. and e=mc 2 events, Calgary, AB for Season Of Lights FOS Decor Center, Toronto, ON for The Fall Gala at Blue Mountain
Olga Pankova, Markham, ON for The DT Floral & Decor and Olga Pankova Open House
Best Public Entertainment Event or Festival
Best Event Photography
The Food Dudes Inc., and City of Toronto, ON for Summer Series
Phot-O-Holic Imagery, Markham, ON for The SOCO Kitchen + Bar Patio Opening Party
Curated By M, Toronto, ON for The Cabbagetown Festival
Photos With Finesse, Calgary, AB for Dragonfly In Action
Richmond Hill, Richmond Hill, ON for Tastes of the Hill Multicultural Festival
Photos With Finesse, Calgary, AB for The CPMA 2016: Learn, Network, Build, Celebrate
The City of Richmond and Anigraph Productions, Richmond, BC for The Richmond Maritime Festival
J&J Lawrence Photography, Calgary, AB for Remembrance Day, The Military Museums, Calgary
PM GIGS Inc, Calgary, AB for JUNOfest Calgary ’16
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Brand activation produced by SDImktg at the Rogers Fan Hub at the World Cup of Hockey.
Best Event Produced by an Association, Board or Committee Managing Matters Inc, Toronto, ON for TACG Toronto – Capital Connection Canadian Credit Union Association, Toronto, ON for The 2016 National Conference for Canada’s Credit Unions “Framing Our Future” Calgary Stampede, Calgary, AB for The 2016 President’s Event BC Cancer Foundation, Victoria, BC for The 2016 Jingle Mingle ILEA Vancouver and MPI BC Chapter, Vancouver, BC for "It’s a Wonderful Life": The ILEA Vancouver and MPI BC Chapter Holiday Event Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, Kamloops, BC for The Royal Affair
Best Audio Visual Design for an Event
Best Experiential Marketing Event
Mandell Entertainment Group, Toronto, ON for The 2016 Cures Gala
BiG Entertainment Inc. Toronto, ON
TKNL, Boucherville, QC for The CS300 Swiss Air Plane Delivery
WestJet, Calgary, AB
Quest Audio Visual, Toronto, ON for The Ontario Canadian National Training Conference
Fort McMurray Strong
bb Blanc Inc., Woodbridge, ON for Cisco Connect Toronto 2016 Dragonfly Meeting Solutions Inc. and Solotech Inc., Thornhill, ON for The Canadian Leadership Conference Go2 Productions, Vancouver, BC for Mirage
for The Adidas Athletics Lounge for The WestJet Christmas Miracle: SDImktg, Toronto, ON for The Rogers Fan Hub at World Cup of Hockey BC Event Management, Burnaby, BC for The Tsawwassen Mills Launch Black Chalk Marketing, Toronto, ON for The Spotify Festival Tour Black Chalk Marketing, Toronto, ON for Europe VIA Icelandair
Best Event Produced for a Community Based Charitable Organization
Best Event Decor $30,000 – $80,000
aNd Logistix Inc., Toronto, ON for The Mortgage Professionals Canada National Conference
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, Vancouver, BC for Night at the Aquarium
OneWest Events Inc., Calgary, AB for The Legacy Gala
Fifth Element Group, Toronto, ON for The Discoverability Summit – Content in The Age of Abundance
Engagement Unlimited Events, Vancouver, BC for The PCMA Convening Leaders Hospitality Helping Hands
Rare Indigo and Christopher J Designs, Burnaby, BC for Party in the Park
aNd Logistix Inc., Toronto, ON for The 24th Annual CCPPP National Conference
Cava Rose, Montreal, QC for The Valentine’s Day Ball ‘Street Ball’
Details Convention & Event Management and Travel Alberta, Calgary, AB
Croce Creative, Niagara Falls, ON for The St. Catharines Mayor’s Au Marche
for Tourism Works
Jennifer James Events, Calgary, AB for Jamboree
Ontario Hospital Association, Toronto, ON for HealthAchieve The Idea Hunter and Moniker Partners, Richmond Hill, ON for YPO Culture Shock
Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, Kelowna, BC for The Heart of Gold Gala Hala Inc., Toronto, ON for Laugh Out Loud
Decor & More Inc., Oakville, ON, e=mc 2 events, Calgary, AB and Orange Frog Productions, Calgary, AB for Season of Lights BOLD Event Creative, Burnaby, BC for Northern Lights OneWest Events Inc., Calgary, AB for Midnight in the Park POP Kollaborative Inc., Calgary, AB, Decor & More Inc., Oakville, ON and Designing On The Edge, Calgary, AB for Every ONE Has A Story
26 | CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2017
Best Wedding Under $75,000
R5 Event Design & Management and Fab Fête Event Planning, Toronto, ON for The Surreal Romance Photoshoot
Reflections Weddings and Events, Calgary, AB for Music in the Mountains
POP Kollaborative Inc., Calgary, AB, Decor & More Inc., Oakville, ON and Designing On The Edge, Calgary, AB for Every ONE Has A Story Christopher J Design, Vancouver, BC for Birch & Snow
Best Corporate Team Building Event e=mc 2 events, Calgary, AB for The WestJet IGNITE20 Senik, Montreal, QC for Hackathon Hypnotist The Incredible BORIS, Thornhill, ON The Canadian Tire PartSource Conference
bb Blanc Inc., Honda of Canada Manufacturing Holiday Party 2016
RSVP Event Design, Saskatoon, SK for Ukrainian Chic Evelyn Clark Weddings, Calgary, AB for Love in Bloom Julianne Young Weddings Inc, Calgary, AB for Gatsby Meets GQ
Best Fundraising Event Providence Healthcare Foundation, Toronto, ON for The 2016 Silver Ball Boom Goes The Drum Inc., Calgary, AB for LOOK2016 BC Cancer Foundation, Vancouver, BC for The 2016 Inspiration Gala Alison Silcoff Events, Montreal, QC for The Daffodil Ball Solutions with Impact, Toronto, ON for The Boat Rally for Kids with Cancer Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, Kelowna, BC for The Heart of Gold Gala Portage, Montreal, QC for The 13th Soiree des Grands Philanthropes – Tribute to Monique Leroux
Best Show Booth/Brand Display or Pavilion Black Chalk Marketing and Impact XM, Toronto, ON for The WB Games Tradeshow Booth BOLD Event Creative, Burnaby, BC and Go2 Productions, Vancouver, BC for The Mirage Room
Surreal Romance by R5 Event Design & Fab Fete
Ontario Hospital Association, Toronto, ON for HealthAchieve DX Design, Quebec, QC for The VIP Booth for a Major Sponsor of a Summer Festival
Best Wedding Creative
Mandell Entertainment Group, Toronto, ON for The David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert Cantrav, Vancouver, BC for The Cargill President’s Club Gala
Best Multiple Day Incentive or Convention Pacific Destination Services Inc., Vancouver, BC for The Global New Partner Program Rare Indigo, Burnaby, BC for The 2016 Round Table Convention aNd Logistix Inc., Toronto, ON for The Mortgage Professionals Canada National Conference
Art of the Party, Burnaby, BC for The Kulvinder & Aman Wedding
Cantrav, Vancouver, BC for The Whistler Education Forum
MB Events, Montreal, QC for The Tulip Wedding
Best Trade Show/ Exposition
Kim Miyama Events and Artam Design, Toronto, ON for Stephanie & Jerry’s Wedding Christopher J Design, Vancouver, BC
Mandell Entertainment Group, Toronto, ON for The 2016 Cures Gala
Reflections Weddings and Events, Calgary, AB for Trees in Cascade
R5 Event Design & Management and Truly Yours Planning, Toronto, ON for Crystal Dreamscape Wedding
HealthAchieve by Ontario Hospital Association
Best Entertainment Production
aNd Logistix Inc., Toronto, ON for Discovery 2016 Ontario Hospital Association, Toronto, ON for HealthAchieve Dragonfly Meeting Solutions Inc., Thornhill, ON for The MCAP Tradefair
for Love is a Riddle SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 27
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Let It Snow by Decor & More Inc.
Midnight in the Park by WestJet and FMAV
Best Technical Support for an Event
Best Event for a High Profile Charity
e=mc2 events, Toronto, ON for The SOCAN Awards
Mandell Entertainment Group, Toronto, ON for The 2016 Cures Gala
bb Blanc Inc., Woodbridge, ON for The Honda of Canada Manufacturing Holiday Party 2016
e=mc2 events and Fluid Events, Toronto, ON for The Teddy Bear Affair
Nasco Staffing Solutions, Toronto, ON for The Beyonce: Formation World Tour
Best Event Produced for a Corporation by an in House Team or Planner
Alison Silcoff Events, Montreal, QC for The Daffodil Ball e=mc events, Vancouver, BC for The Night of a Thousand Stars Gala 2
Best Event Decor $80,000 + Decor & More Inc., Oakville, ON for Let It Snow R5 Event Design & Management, Toronto, ON for Crystal Dreamscape Wedding Kim Miyama Events and Artam Design, Toronto, ON for Ladies Night DX Design, Quebec, QC for The VIP Lounge for the Major Sponsor of Summer Festival
Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) and Seneca College, Toronto, ON for Bloor Street Entertains (BSE)
Outstanding Logistical Achievement
Providence Healthcare Foundation, Toronto, ON for The 2016 Cuisine & Cuvee
Solutions with Impact, Toronto, ON for The Boat Rally for Kids with Cancer
TKNL, Boucherville, QC for Northern Arena Montreal
WestJet Airlines, Calgary, AB for Midnight in the park
Sensix Communications and Events Inc. and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Montreal, QC for Light the Night Montreal
WestJet Airlines and FMAV, Calgary, AB for Midnight in the Park
Canadian Tire Corporation, Toronto, ON for Pin Party 2016 Centennial College, Toronto, ON for Paint the Town Green McMaster University, Hamilton, ON for Light Up the Night Economical Insurance, Waterloo, ON for The 2016 Leadership Summit
Most Creative Catering Presentation Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, QC for The 2016 MAC Ball Toque Catering, Victoria, BC for Farmed & Foraged Toque Catering, Victoria, BC for The Mung Wedding
Best Wedding Over $75,000 Lynn Fletcher Weddings, Calgary, AB for Fearless Love Jennifer Bergman Weddings, Edmonton, AB for a Winter Wedding Weekend In The Canadian Rockies
PDW Inc, North Vancouver, BC for TEDWomen 2016 Welcome Party Boom Goes The Drum Inc., Calgary, AB Beakerhead Trico Presents: for The World of Social Entrepreneurship Production Canada, Vaughan, ON for Galaxy – A Night Under the Stars
Andreanne & Co, Montreal, QC for for Sara & David’s Wedding
Pacific Destination Services Inc., Vancouver, BC, Dragonfly Meetings, Toronto, ON and The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, AB for The National Partner’s Meeting Tunnel 9 Welcome Event
Can-Indian Food and Hospitality Inc., Etobicoke ON for The Can-Indian-Deepak Wedding
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON for MacQuest
Kim Miyama Events and Artam Design, Toronto, ON
PM GIGS Inc, Calgary, AB for JUNOfest Calgary ’16
Boom Goes The Drum Inc., Calgary, AB for The Wyne & Godfrey Wedding
for Stephanie & Jerry’s Wedding
SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 29
Expert Planning and Design
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30 | CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2017
Best Event Produced for a Corporation by 3rd Party Planner
Emerging Leader Award
Mandell Entertainment Group, Toronto, ON for The Klick Town Hall & Holiday Party 2016
Eryne Sarabin, Tycoon Events, Edmonton, AB
Site 6 Events Ltd, Edmonton, AB for BioWinter Lodge
Meghan Hird, POP Kollaborative, Calgary, AB
Cantrav Services Inc., Toronto, ON for Nissan Club Excellence BC Event Management, Burnaby, BC and Centerplate Catering, Vancouver, BC for The PCMA Opening Reception Curated By M, Toronto, ON for The Toronto Life Magazine’s 50th Anniversary Loungeworks, Vancouver, BC for Sin City | Holiday Party Wexler Events & Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, ON for The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Kim Miyama, Kim Miyama Events, Toronto, ON Amy Martin, OneWest Events Inc., Calgary, AB Jessica Tkachuk, Boom Goes the Drum, Calgary, AB Courtney Westwood, Vancouver Rowing Club, Vancouver, BC Alex Cheng, Boutique Websites, Toronto, ON
Wedding Professional of the Year This category has been pre awarded to Arthur Kerekes, Fusion Events, Toronto, ON
Caterer of the Year
for Women’s College Hospital
Brent McClenahan, Lindsay Klein, Adrian Niman, The Food Dudes Inc., Toronto, ON
Best Overall Catered Event
Armando Arruda, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, QC
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, QC for The Daffodil Ball
Entertainer of the Year
Toque Catering, Victoria, BC for Farmed & Foraged
Danny Kramer Dance Band, Winnipeg, MB
Toque Catering, Victoria, BC for The Mung Wedding
Mega Magic - Magician Mike D’Urzo, Toronto, ON
Toque Catering, Victoria, BC for The Lafreniere Wedding
Olga Pankova, Markham, ON Hypnotist The Incredible BORIS, Thornhill, ON
Best Public Festival or Event Town of Richmond Hill - Tastes of The Hill
Event Professional of the Year Corey Mandell, Mandell Entertainment, Toronto, ON Derek Mcdonald, Boom Goes the Drum, Calgary, AB Michelle Planche, Paradigm Events, Toronto, ON Hala Bissada, CFRE, Hala Inc., Toronto, ON Alex Bickers, SW Audio Visual, Vancouver, BC
Most Outstanding Event Up to $200,000 Fifth Element Group, Toronto, ON for The Addams Family Mansion Cantrav Services Inc., Toronto, ON for The Nissan Club Excellence Solutions with Impact, Toronto, ON for The Angels Catwalk for SickKids Hala Inc., Toronto, ON for Laugh Out Loud
Most Outstanding Event Over $200,000 Senik, Montreal, QC for Connect Dev™16 Boom Goes The Drum Inc., Calgary, AB for LOOK2016 BC Event Management, Vancouver, BC and Centerplate Catering, Vancouver, BC for PCMA’s Opening Reception Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, AB for SAIT’s 100th Birthday Party Solutions with Impact, Toronto, ON for The Rally for Kids with Cancer
Most Creative Catering Presentation Toque Catering - Lafreniere
Solutions with Impact, Toronto, ON for The Boat Rally for Kids with Cancer Total Events, Lachine, QC for In the V.I.P .
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Make your next event Make your next event a thrilling underwater adventure a thrilling underwater adventure
TORONTO’S NEWEST TORONTO’S NEWEST EVENT VENUE EVENT VENUE With nine galleries to explore, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada provides a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Event options include venue With nine galleries to event explore, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada provides buyouts, receptions, and meeting & party rooms. a truly one-of-a-kind event experience. Event options include venue buyouts, receptions, and meeting & party rooms.
647 351 3474 ext. 2645 RipleysAquariumofCanada.com 647 351 3474 ext. 2645 Events@RipleysAquariumOfCanada.com RipleysAquariumofCanada.com Events@RipleysAquariumOfCanada.com
32 | CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2017
FUELED BY EXPERIMENTATION THE SHOWROOM - PRESSURE FREE ZONE TO BUILD ON NEW IDEAS
Do you ever flip through Instagram event photos and imagine how you would recreate it if you could? Maybe move the sleek cocktail lounge, envision how you would set the long rustic dinner table or use a fifteen-piece oval bar your own way. Would you rearrange the furniture in the room? Could the colour scheme turn completely on its head? Social media is a playground for event planners and designers. Our feeds are an excellent aggregator for finished looks and fully-formed ideas but as creatives, we are consistently looking for inspiration and imagining our next show-stopping looks by cutting and pasting mental images. These mental pictures ultimately form the basis of our next big event ideas. Event design is fueled by experimentation. Finding a new approach and new modes of design requires a hands-on experience to play and try out new configurations, without the pressure of a three-hour window of time to set up. Where would you go if you wanted an authentic and tactile environment to move pieces around on your own, be creative, and think outside the box. Enter the 'showroom'. What was once a ‘look but don’t touch’ environment is now the go to zone of creativity for today’s visual learners. It’s a space where clients, designers and vendors can freely collaborate in an experimental, pressure-free zone to build on new ideas. Whether it means pairing a sofa with the right coffee table or using furniture to imagine your next lounge, your suppliers are always ready and willing to open their doors and let you in to their creative world. www.luxerentals.net
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Love & Wine By Erin Henderson
What is it that makes wine country oh-so-romantic? Is it the sweeping landscapes filled with pristine rows of vines or maybe the majestic wineries that could double as midcentury castles? Perhaps it’s simply the relaxed vibe inherent in regions where people “work the land” or maybe it’s all it of the above - and then some. Even as pristine blankets of snow cover the ground, romantic energy still buzzes through the silent vines with amorous couples escaping the city, husbands and wives celebrating a special anniversary, newly engaged lovers planning their Big Day. The wine regions of Ontario just beckon those seeking romance.
Indeed, if you’re going to talk l-o-v-e, it seems w-i-n-e isn’t far behind.
I was visiting Niagara recently updating information for my book, “Lake Ontario Uncorked: Wine Country Road Trips from Niagara Peninsula to Prince Edward County”, and I dropped in for a visit with Honsberger Estate; a property that’s been farmed for five generations, but only in the last five years has the family decided to turn their sprawling vineyard and refurbished barn into a welcoming event space. Brides and grooms now flock to this romantic farm setting, eager to celebrate their nuptials in casual, wine country style. Driving up the narrow, gravel path to the winery, past the old Victorian house that has been the family stead since the 1800’s, visitors are greeted with a hand painted sign reading, “welcome to our farm” leaning up against a towering, moss-
covered tree. A few feet beyond, is the charming grey and red winery and restaurant, fabulously adorned in country-chic string lights over the patio and another hand painted, wooden sign pointing the way to the tasting room.
Romance is woven into the tapestry of this venue. Peaches, pears, apples and nectarines line the property and the circa 1800s barn is the stage for beautiful vintage weddings. After the “I do’s” outside among the aged birch trees and antique church pews couples memorialize their day in this spectacular setting for formal portraits. Their food philosophy is farm to table so you can be sure everything is sourced locally or grown on the property. The menu changes with the ground so they have a new selection every week and sometimes every day, which means each event menu is custom designed. Honsberger Estates’ is not just for weddings. It is a spectacular venue for incentive programs, corporate events and wine tastings. The easy-going professionalism of the team is as appealing as its rural setting. Even groups looking to bring in their own wine are mercifully free from sticky regulations and unbending policies. Though, to not enjoy Honsberger’s premium dry Riesling, rosé and Cabernet Franc wine, is to miss out. Elegant and supple with intriguing notes of ripe blackberry, char and a faint, young, tobacco leaf. Tannins are smooth and well integrated. Pure and fresh, there’s a quiet, seductive power to this wine. If you would like assistance in creating an engaging experience, contact The Wine Sisters at email@example.com
34 | CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2017
Honsberger Cabernet Franc 2014, $25 Honsberger Cabernet Franc 2014, $25
Honsberger Cabernet Franc 2014, $25 .
Event Venues TORONTOâ€™S MOST CREATIVE VENUES
ARTSCAPE SANDBOX ARTSCAPE GIBRALTAR ARTSCAPE POINT SANDBOX ARTSCAPE GIBRALTAR
DANIELS SPECTRUM ARTSCAPE DANIELS WYCHWOOD SPECTRUM BARNS
Artscap eVenues. c a
WAKE UP KICK ASS - REPEAT Talk about a design challenge! Your client walks in and says “we want a look for our meeting and the theme is “Wake Up - Kick Ass - Repeat” Aaaand go... If you are Christopher J Design, you don’t even blink, you just gather your team and let the brainstorming magic happen. That’s exactly what they did when they came up with this fabulously kitschy design ensemble for an international high-end hotel chain’s regional sales meetings. This 3-day event needed some pizazz to live up to its funky moniker. Christopher and his team, with the help of Can-West Display created an all-white lounge, complete with leather lounge furniture and break out tables for 100 attendees. Custom cushions were printed with the meeting's logo alongside massive shoes and Kicking Horse Kick Ass blend coffee bean bags as vessels for succulent arrangements. Pantone colour of the year was the inspiration for the punch of colour, while black alarm clocks and accessories added whimsical yet bold statement pieces.
Together with our event partner, McNabb Roick, we were able to create a magical event that surpassed our objectives and helpead us to tell our Lincoln reinvention story in a highly immersive and memorable way.
MCNABB ROICK'S IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE FOR LINCOLN On February 9, 2017, renowned Toronto event producer, McNabb Roick transformed Waterworks into a fully immersive environment for Lincoln.
Lincoln Continental. Guests also had the opportunity to try a virtual reality Lincoln experience and watch a live artist installation.
To support Lincoln’s brand reinvention, Lincoln Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. invited media and influencers to attend a VIP reception and dinner for the unveiling of the all-new 2017 Navigator Concept and to reintroduce them to the distinguished brand.
As the dining room space was revealed from behind gorgeous draping, an electronic harpist towered high above the guests while neon inspired art moved along the custom designed tables and ended up on a large blank screen with a slowly detailed outline of the Navigator Concept. When the projection was complete, the screen dropped revealing the Concept.
During the reception, unique sensory environments were created to showcase the craftsmanship, sound, beauty and design that have set Lincoln apart. Guests were invited to experience Lincoln’s exclusive Revel sound system in an immersive sound room that transported them to downtown Toronto and the jungles of Borneo. A Mirror and crystal space was created to encourage guests to reflect on the design and beauty of Lincoln in an environment that surrounded Lincoln’s flagship vehicle, the all-new 2017
Throughout the evening, visual images were projected on the tables creating a “video dining show”. The five senses experience was complemented by a dinner created especially for the evening by internationally acclaimed chef, Susur Lee. Supplier: Westbury National Photos courtesy of Ryan Emberley and Henry Lin
A Mirror and crystal space was created to encourage guests to reflect on the design and beauty of Lincoln accompanied by a live artist installation.
Neon inspired art moved along the custom designed tables and ended up on a large blank screen
An electronic harpist towered high above the guests
The experience was complemented by refreshments and dinner created by internationally acclaimed chef, Susur Lee.
The Gathering is the most talked about marketing summit in Canada. A production partner for the event since it’s inception 4 years ago, the team at e=mc2 events work alongside their client, (Cult), their team and their partners to execute the summit, speaker series, social events, sponsor and brand activations. They also produced the coveted Pinnacle Awards Gala, all in 2 days, in the snow, up hill….both ways. The Experience: Over 750 marketing professionals converge on the town of Banff each February for The Gathering, an annual coming together of the world’s most coveted brands to share secrets and learn from the courageous leaders and trailblazers of cult brands. The two-day summit includes a takeover of the infamous Banff Springs Hotel with speakers from around the globe. This conference is so unique, so out of the box, a description cannot even come close to capturing its moving parts.
Photos courtesy of: Luke Dickson
Designed to honour the Chief Marketing Officers of cult brands, The Gathering has developed criteria for what makes a cult brand great, the process of selection, interviews and ultimately the invitation to attend as a cult brand honouree has being recognized globally. The alumni program and introduction of the “Emerging Brands” ensures that attendees can mingle with the greats of the marketing world while being part of a secret society where new cult brands emerge. The agenda included speakers from Airbnb, The Chive, Levi’s, Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, Zappos, Make a Wish Foundation and Fender. The summit has two streams and featured multiple keynote speakers including Jonathan Mildenhall from Airbnb and Guy Kawasaki – most notably from Apple and now with Canva. The Gathering is a one of a kind event for a one of a kind client that gives participants a once in a lifetime experience. Click here to learn about The Gathering 2018. .
Partners and Sponsors e=mc2 events, Decor & More Inc., Proshow Audiovisual, FM Systems, Orange Frog Productions, Fairmont Banff Springs, Nexus Exhibits, SOS Charging Solutions, Bizzabo Suppliers: Production Canada
“The coming together of the world’s most coveted brands, their influential leaders, along with the enlightened professionals who opt to listen to what these visionaries are willing to share. Each year it keeps growing, keeps casting a wider net of influence and keeps igniting real relationships.” -- Ryan Gill, President & Founder, Cult
The Fusion of Humanity & Creativity: the two guiding principles I use in everything I do. -- Jonathan Mildenhall of Airbnb
ILLUSIONIST, MAGICIAN AND CORPORATE ENTERTAINER
Chris Funk calls himself the Wonderist. People label him as an illusionist, a magician, and those are sufficient terms, but he is, foremost, an entertainer. He explains, “I am here to make people laugh and then leave scratching their heads wondering how the things I do are possible. I want to put a smile on someone’s face or a question in their head about something outside their world. I do what I do to take people out of daily life and have them experience something that they’ve never seen before, hopefully making their day a little brighter.” His driver is to get a room full of people captivated and let it become an amazing collective experience where everyone can witness something new together. This is what makes every show unique. People will always react differently and he never hears the same laugh twice. He is motivated by the passion people share for his performances; the opportunity to grab hold of someone’s attention and not let go until they’re smiling and transported from their world into his. Chris started off being inspired by the greats. He watched Copperfield as a kid and immediately started
trying to figure out exactly how he did every little thing. Over the 24 years that he has been performing magic, his inspirations have changed with him, shaping what he does today. He is inspired by music and the rhythm of his show, as well as the actual music he plays in his act. The timing of a joke, a pause and then the laughter as everyone catches on — that’s a song; call and answer. As a performer, Chris is inspired by monumental life events. Eight years ago he moved into magic full-time and that moment of capturing his freedom, knowing he was going to pursue his dreams, lit a fire within that propels him forward at tremendous speeds. He is performing magic now all over the world and every day he creates new experiences that he can share with his audiences. “Laughter and the shocked expression on someone’s face when they’ve just witnessed something impossible will never get old, whether I perform in every country on Earth or tour Canada for the rest of my life, and that’s what keeps me going”. For Chris, anything is possible. Hard work really does pay off. You can find Chris Funk at ChrisFunkMagic.com
TEN WAYS TO EAT
YOUR VEGGIES Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, paleo, raw diet… the list goes on, as North Americans becoming more and more health conscious about what they eat – leaving the expectation for food diversity high and next to impossible to please every single guest. Fortunately a growing number of caters are stepping up to the plate. From artistic fruit and veggie arrangements to mouth-watering low-caloric martinis – there are many ways to spice up your dishes with fresh, nutritious ingredients that will leave your attendees feeling light on their feet and eager to stay engaged in all the event's other activities.
Think height, texture and design when considering serving salad at your high end events. Planners demand innovation and it it up to your catering team to deliver. Use Pinterest and Instagram for BIG ideas on how to get guests to eat their veggies.
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Create an [Employee] Connection.
As Canadaâ€™s leading event technology partner, FMAV links you with your audience in ways that resonate. Whether itâ€™s presenting awards or getting to know each other on a new level, we help you build strong connections for memorable experiences. To learn more about creating a connection with your audience, visit us at fmav.ca
Live events that create a connection
INGREDIENTS 2 oz whipped cream vodka 2 oz frangelico 1 oz orange liqueur 1 graham cracker 1 tbsp. of brown sugar (optional) 1/4 oz heavy cream (optional) 1 martini glass 1 martini shaker Ice
DIRECTIONS Place the graham cracker in a small plastic baggie and crush until it turns into cracker dust. Once the graham crackers are all smashed, add 1 TBS of brown sugar to the bag and shake it. Empty the graham cracker sugar dust onto a plate. Wet the rim of the martini glass, then carefully roll the rim of the martini glass around in the graham cracker dust to line the top of the glass. Set the martini glass aside and fill the martini shaker about 1/3 of the way full with ice. Add to the shaker 2 oz of Vanilla Vodka, 2 oz of Frangelico, and 1 oz of orange liqueur. Shake and strain it into your martini glass. To make it creamier and thick, add a 1/4 oz of heavy cream. Enjoy!
FASCINATING WOMEN IN EVENTS 2017 BY STACY WYATT
QUIRKY AND BOLD, BRILLIANT AND ELEGANT, INDEPENDENT AND COLLABORATIVE, TENACIOUS, COMPASSIONATE, FIERCE… ALL WORDS I COULD USE TO DESCRIBE THE GROUP OF WOMEN THAT WE HAVE CHOSEN TO FEATURE IN THIS ISSUE. THEY ORIGINATE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, RANGE IN AGE FROM EARLY 20'S TO MID 60’S, HAVE INCREDIBLY DIVERSE SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS, EDUCATION AND INTERESTS. WHAT UNITES THEM IS THEIR SHARED PASSION FOR EVENTS, THEIR COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE AND THE UNIQUE PATH EACH ONE HAS TRAVELED ON THEIR ROAD TO SUCCESS. THESE WOMEN MAKE UP OUR "MOST FASCINATING LIST FOR 2017." READ ON TO UNCOVER THEIR STORIES, PHILOSOPHIES AND STRATEGIES ON WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED IN THE BUSINESS OF EVENTS AND SECRETS TO STAYING ON TOP.
ALISON SILCOFF PR E SIDENT, A LISON SILCOF F EVENTS INC., MONTR E A L, QUEBEC
WHAT YOU NOTICE FIRST ABOUT ALISON IS HER SOPHISTICATION. SHE BRINGS A DISTINCTLY ELEGANT REFINED BRITISH POLISH TO HER EXPERIENCES. Alison Silcoff runs a high-end, boutique event agency in Montreal. She is a talented event professional with exacting skill and exquisite taste. Her focus is on corporate, non-profit and social events across Canada, the US and Europe. Highly respected for her exceptional work, Alison Silcoff Events has won 16 Special Events International Gala Awards, more than any other company in Canada. Her signature event is Canada’s best-known fundraising gala, The Daffodil Ball, benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society, which she has produced for the last 24 years. After graduating with degrees in Math and Law from the prestigious Cambridge University in England, Alison moved to Canada and took a job as the Marketing Director for the world-renowned Régine’s Disco in Montreal. She also held the position of Program Manager for Bank of Montreal where she organized their corporate events worldwide before starting her own company. What you notice first about Alison is her sophistication. She brings a distinctly elegant refined British polish to her experiences. Her attention to detail is extraordinary and her events are orchestrated to the second. Alison’s standards are high. She demands excellence from her team and her suppliers, and she pushes the boundaries to achieve the incredible results she delivers for her clients , which is what makes her one of the top women in Canadian events.
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BIG GE ST SURPRISE: “How supportive other people in the events industry worldwide are. Through ILEA, I have met people from all over who are willing to share ideas, problems and solutions”. BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: Finding good employees to join our team. PASSION PRO JECTS : Cambridge University, McGill Chamber Orchestra and Special Events Magazine. IF I COULD CHA NGE IT : I fervently wish that EVERYONE in the industry agreed to charge for RFP’s. BUSINE SS ALLIANCE S: Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine; A Board Member of the Event Leadership Institute (headquartered in New York); ILEA Influencer: “Andrea Michaels has been an inspiration to me for many years, for her energy, her drive, her creativity, her unwavering high standards and her humour”. WORDS TO LIVE BY: No event is too small. No detail is too minute. No standards are too high. Alter Ego: Investment banker at Goldman Sachs. ASPIRING ADVICE: “Expand your horizons by attending as many events of all types as you can, volunteering and reading about events in industry publications and in magazines. Work for an event company where you get an in-depth exposure to all aspects of events and offer to work in as many areas as you can. Lower your expectations and be prepared to do anything and everything. ALISON #DRIVEN #PERFECTIONIST #MULTI-FACETED
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JOCELYN FLANAGAN FOUNDER AND CEO, e=mc2 events inc., TORONTO, CALGARY, VANCOUVER
Jocelyn has built one of the most successful companies in the Canadian event industry. Not only is she what we call an icon, she is undoubtedly one of the most innovative people in the business. Steadfast, strategic and smart, she took her time, building a foundation upon which she would create a rock - solid business that has not only stood strong through recessions but which actually grew during one of the worst economic downturns in Canadian history. Besides being an incredibly talented producer, Jocelyn is an absolutely brilliant business woman.
during the final moments before doors open and she never looked back. She now employs 29 full time staff across 3 offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: With 3 offices that produce over 100 events a year, Jocelyn’s newest challenge is determining which events and conferences to work on and visit. “Our team is really great and I am so proud of all the work we do; I just wish I could see it all”.
STEADFAST, STRATEGIC AND SMART, SHE TOOK HER TIME, BUILDING A FOUNDATION UPON WHICH SHE WOULD CREATE A ROCK SOLID BUSINESS...
Her first foray into events was in the sports sector, which makes sense since she was a competitive figure skater. Planning games, tournaments and scouting opportunities allowed her to gain a breadth of knowledge about travel, itineraries and logistics, but this didn’t fuel her creative drive, so when she had an opportunity to work with an elite group of musicians from the Bahamas as their tour producer she jumped at it. The last stop of the tour was at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa for the Induction Gala of the High Commissioner of the Bahamas. She walked in for sound check, got one taste of the chaos and excitement
PASSION PROJECTS: Advisory Board of MusiCounts. MusiCounts is Canada’s music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), which helps to keep music alive in schools and communities across Canada.
e=mc 2 events as an organization supports numerous charitable initiatives throughout the year like; YWCA Toronto, Presents for Peace – YWCA Metro Vancouver, Closer to Home Community Services in Calgary, along with the variety of organizations they support on event services.
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IF I COULD CHANGE IT: “There is a big challenge out there about the question of value. Being a relatively new industry still, we still have to fight for our value to clients. I would like to create some standards around this to ensure that everyone in the industry is speaking the same language in terms of value proposition and charging for our value.” WORDS TO LIVE BY: "My team has 4 Core Values:" Honourable – We do what’s right even when no one is looking. This speaks to our Health & Safety standards and our transparent billing model. Insightful – We trust our intuition to guide our decisions. Innovative – We strive for new approaches in all that we do. Invested – We put our heart and souls in to everything we do. INFLUENCERS: “My parents. My dad was the ultimate entrepreneur and I learned a lot from his skills in running his businesses over the years. He started his own company when I was 12 years old, so I just grew up thinking that entrepreneurship was the normal thing to do.
My mom taught me the diplomatic, kind & patient side of business, and I am happy to merge these lessons in everything that I do.” ALTER EGO: “I have often thought that if I didn’t own my company, I would be working in a corporation in their Corporate Social Responsibility department. We are very lucky that we have been exposed to so many incredible charitable organizations and corporations who support them, both having tremendous impact in their respective areas. To be in a position within a corporation that has the ability to directly affect change through sponsorship and donations seems like a role that I would like very much”. ASPIRING ADVICE: “Get immersed in to as many events as possible. Volunteer in a number of different positions to gain exposure to all sides of the business. Too often, many people assume our jobs are easy, because when done well – it LOOKS easy, however it is so important to know from the beginning that what we do is not easy, nor glamorous! JOCELYN #FEARLESS #GENUINE #INTUITIVE
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ANGELA DEVEAUX F OUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, PUBLISHER , WEDLU XE MAGA ZINE , TORONTO, VA NCOU VER & USA
Wedluxe is a stunning magazine. The visuals, the design, the layouts, contentâ€Ś the IDEAS! It may be meant for wedding planners and brides, but you would be hard pressed to find a serious event professional in Canada without a copy in their office and a hotlink to their digital issues. The magazine, its events and products are the brainchild of Angela Deveaux, who has catapulted her brand to the very top of her industry. Her creative is unparalleled and Wedluxe is a unique property which plays a pivotal role in the world of creative event professionals. For everything she has built and for who she is as a woman and a professional, Angela tops our list of leading women in Canadian events.
Angela was running her own design/marketing company when frequent client requests for custom invitations led her to develop her own line of wedding stationery. As a designer, she was constantly interacting with wedding planners and industry, while her husband, a video-savvy elementary school teacher was filming weddings during the summer. Serendipitously finding themselves serving the same market with flourishing side businesses, they were both focused on attracting luxury consumers but found there was no Canadian outlet to help them and so, with a fierce determination and all the passion that a couple in love, serving people in love driving them, WedLuxe was born. The luxury wedding media brand is a
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WORDS TO LIVE BY: "Be true to your word; think big and never give up." INFLUENCERS: “Without question, the biggest influencer of my business success is my husband and business partner, Bruce Patterson. We have worked together full time for twelve years, and aside from the fact that we spend every waking second together (and we still love it!), he is the reason I’ve pushed through the fear and taken a lot of risks along the way. I’m not sure how we could have grown our company unless we were doing it together because it is a lifestyle that we both love and contribute equally to in our individual ways. He’s seen me through a lot of ups and downs and I’m very grateful to be on this adventure with him." ALTER EGO: Creative director for another company or interior designer. division of her multimedia business, Cloud Nine Creative Inc which owns WedLuxe Toronto and WedLuxe Vancouver & Western Canada in addition to The WedLuxe Show, a luxury experiential event and the quarterly WedLuxe Global Trend Report. Along with her business partner and husband, Bruce Patterson, Angela has also actively grown Cloud Nine Creative into one of North America’s leading multimedia companies offering design and film production for luxury clients such as Frank Stronach, Michael Buble, Roberto Alomar and Luke Walton. BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “This changes daily as no two days are ever the same, but perhaps the most difficult part of my work is dealing with how disappointed (and often, angry!) people become when we don’t publish their submissions. I’m a people-pleaser so I find it excruciating to cut content as I do realize how much time, effort and money often go into creating content but inevitably we end up disappointing people from time to time because we can’t print or feature everything.”
HER CREATIVE IS UNPARALLELED AND WEDLUXE IS A UNIQUE PROPERTY WHICH PLAYS A PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE WORLD OF CREATIVE EVENT PROFESSIONALS.
TRENDCASTING: “I do see a few emerging trends in the luxury sector that are exciting, and globalization has been the catalyst for most of them. With Instagram, it is easy to see what is happening in real-time and WHO is doing the amazing work around the world. Paris-based Bureau Batek is the leading influencer for trends in the event industry as so many of their runway decor installations start trends that trickle into wedding decor! Specifically, I see the palm/tropics vibe everywhere, reflective surfaces, lasercut everything, and a lot of influence from the Dutch Master's era in floral (dark, organic, unstructured). I also think unique collaborations between artists from different sectors is something we will see happening more and more. For instance, Nike recently did a super-cool collaboration in London with Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy along with floral installation artist Rebecca Louise Law. These kinds of unique partnerships are popping up all over and are a great inspiration for the wedding and event industry! Imagine how weddings could transform further if artists of completely different genres from outside the world of event decor could be integrated and work in partnership. I do see that happening in small doses already and hope to see more of it. I also think balloons are making a comeback!" ASPIRING ADVICE: “Talk less, do more. Set new goals religiously, and meet them, even when you’re scared. Nothing worth having comes easily. There are no shortcuts. Time is money so use your time wisely." ANGELA #CREATIVE #GRACE #DESIGNER
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PRESIDENT & CEO, HALA INC & HALA LUXURY WEDDINGS AND MILESTONE CELEBRATIONS, TORONTO
WHAT MAKES HALA REMARKABLE AT HER ROLE IS HER LASER LIKE FOCUS ON THE TINIEST OF DETAILS. People always say they were born to plan events, but in the case of Hala Bissada, this may actually be true. From grade school to her senior year she organized everything from scavenger hunts to toga parties, but it was her first official event as a volunteer while attending Ryerson that was the catalyst for a career that has literally became a lifelong passion. The project was a 6k run for SickKids Foundation which raised $15,000. Post event, the organization offered Hala a job but she turned them down to finish her education. The next year, she did it again, this time doubling the revenue to 30K and so when the offer came again to join the team at SickKids, she took the leap. After 5 years Hala left SickKids Foundation for a role as Chief Development Officer at Children’s Aid Foundation where she managed their high- profile events until she stepped down to start her business Hala Events, which has been the recipient of ten international awards and boasts a stellar reputation for
creating exceptional world-class events in Canada and abroad. Hala’s most notable projects include charity events such as the Teddy Bear Affair, the ROM Centennial Ball and the Book Lover’s Ball. Recently she launched a social division: Hala Luxury Weddings and Milestone Celebrations. What makes Hala remarkable at her role is her laser like focus on the tiniest of details. What makes someone a great planner could be their creativity or their design skills or their business acumen but Hala Bissada excels at everything, which is what has allowed her to rise to the top and stay there. She says that as an entrepreneur, the most challenging thing about her job is managing risk: operational risks, financial risks and market risks as events are often one of the first things corporations cut. This is not what you would expect a planner of high end luxury events to say is their greatest challenge but it is quintessential Hala, to combine the business with the beauty.
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PASSION PROJECTS: Ryerson University Alumni Board where she launched the Gould Street Party which has now become an annual event; Hala developed the Special Event Certificate Program for Ryerson University where she still teaches the curriculum. WORDS TO LIVE BY: Always be transparent, ethical and respectful. TRENDCASTING: “Technology, technology, technology. It’s a game changer in our industry.” MOST MEMORABLE: “The ROM Centennial Ball was the most complex and extraordinary event we have ever had to execute. Over the span of six hours, spectacular auditory and visual effects wowed guests including dynamic architectural lighting on the ROM’s iconic Michael Lee-Chin Crystal exterior façade inspired by the event’s “kaleidoscope” theme. In the cocktail reception space, eight iconic Museum artifacts were projected in 3D and dramatically evolved on the ROM’s interior Chen Discovery Wall using 3D projection mapping technology. Dinner guests were led to private galleries throughout the Museum by costumed escorts themed to complement the dining spaces. Each dinner space was lit and decorated with designs customized to complement the look and feel of the artifacts on display. Following dinner, the celebration culminated with blended live music featuring a DJ and three classical musicians, sound reactive 3D projections and dancing. ASPIRING ADVICE: Gain experience wherever you can; volunteer at a firm you are really interested in; join associations, read industry publications, don’t try to be everything to everyone, make your offerings manageable until you expand your business. Surround yourself with top notch suppliers. HALA #DYNAMIC #BOLD #CREATIVE SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 65
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GRAIL NOBLE PR E SIDENT A ND F OUNDER OF Y ELL OW HOUSE EVENTS, TORONTO & MONTR E A L
Grail Noble knows a thing or two about telling a story. Her focus since starting her career has been on the experience, rather than the environment. The message is her mantra and the event is her medium. When she began her career, the industry was still very focused on theming and décor as a way to engage attendees. Today, Grail says she sees the industry as having moved past that to understand that the marketing and brand building value of experiential is apparent and companies know they have to include this in their marketing mix.
is fueled by seeing ideas and visions come to life, giving people a sharable, meaningful experience, making a difference and providing a great place to work. These are the qualities that make someone an influencer, a leader and ultimately a success.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS: Google’s Think Week. From the brain lab, to a Q&A with You Tube stars to the digital experiences, to donut wall and milk & cookies bar; Bloor Street Entertains, which raises $1 million for Aids Research. They stage 23 dinners in high-end retailers paired with top “From the beginning, I was interested in events from a chefs and florists to create a dining experience like no other marketing and messaging perspective. followed by a 600+ person after-party; Anyone can “throw a party”, but creating EVENTS ARE A WASTE Pandamonium. for the World Wildlife Fund. a marketing tool that delivers a message We took it from a standard formal dinner OF MONEY IF THEY event in a hotel to a fully experiential through a live experience is something very different and often difficult to do DON’T DELIVER A cocktail event in a furniture store with well. ”Events are a waste of money if they BRAND EXPERIENCE virtual reality displays of disappearing ice don’t deliver a brand experience that flows, a moving performance by the moves people to act, purchase, donate, THAT MOVES PEOPLE Strumbellas, and displays and experiences perform, connect or feel an emotion” TO ACT, PURCHASE, connected to the cause in every corner. Grail’s love of live events began during her DONATE, PERFORM, PASSION PROJECTS: Helping Hands days at Western University where she Jamaica where she has helped build CONNECT OR FEEL planned everything she could, from frosh several schools and Education without week to fundraising events. Her first Borders for South African schools, a nod AN EMOTION. professional role was at Congress Canada, to her South African heritage among others. after which she moved to YTV, NBA and Molson’s before ALLIANCE S: EO (Entrepreneurs organization), SMCC starting her agency at 33. Today she runs Yellow House and ILEA Toronto. Events, a leading event marketing and planning firm with offices in Toronto and Montreal. A power agency, Yellow WORDS TO LIVE BY: Do The Right Thing; “I believe House has been on Profit’s 100 Fastest Growth list for several that if something feels wrong, you should pay attention years, has received the BDC Business Scalability Award and to why. Operating with integrity, honestly, transparency Grail has been named to the Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in and honour always pays off in the long run”. Canada list multiple times. Her clients include monster brands ASPIR ING A DVICE : Get involved. Volunteer, take like Google, Siemens, Kjiji, CANFAR and Samsung. internships, join committees, be engaged, go to industry Beyond her success with her clients, Grail is focused on events and stay on top of trends. Read. Every. Single. Day. helping everyone around her thrive. Known for being a Read the news, read about ideas and follow publications brilliant place to work, Yellow House is an environment about things that matter to you and your clients. Know what where planners grow into leaders. Grail is fiercely is going on in the world. See what people crave and what committed to helping her team succeed both personally moves them, create sharable moments and Always… put the and professionally. She teaches them to think strategically, attendee experience first. gives them the tools, empowers them, and then steps back and trusts them to make decisions for her clients. She GRAIL #FUNNY #CREATIVE #CARING SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 67
JANICE CARDINALE PR E SIDENT, THE IDE A HUNTER , TORONTO
KNOWN FOR HARNESSING THE MAGIC IN EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES, JANICE HAS A RARE ABILITY TO IDENTIFY AND TRANSLATE TRENDS FROM THE WORLDS OF FASHION, DESIGN, BEAUTY, AND MUSIC INTO UNSPEAKABLY ENGAGING EVENT EXPERIENCES.
Although no stranger to events, 15 years ago Janice Cardinale was more likely to be found walking the red carpet rather than positioning talent on it. Before Idea Hunter, Janice was at the helm of an uber successful accessory import business. In a stroke of what she calls luck and brilliance, she found a little product called Spanx and became the first and only Canadian distributor for this revolutionary hosiery before anyone even knew what they were. Her transition moment came at a show while sampling a Swarovski crystal tattoo product, she was asked by a client to bring them to her daughters Bat Mitzvah. She set it up for the party goers and so the journey into events began. Eventually,
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the demand for her ideas fueled her creativity to a point where she recognized an opportunity to not only create a viable business but to do something that fed her creative spirit. With no experience or formal education in the field of events she leapt and Party Extras was born. A few years later the business moved into the corporate arena through the acquisition of the Junior Jays program as a client and thus began what is now The Idea Hunter. Known for harnessing the magic in everyday experiences, Janice has a rare ability to identify and translate trends from the worlds of fashion, design, beauty, and music into unspeakably engaging event experiences. Janice is passionate about ideas. She is bold, with a powerful drive to succeed and to create Her reflexes are fast. When she sees something that she thinks is going to catch on, there is zero hesitation. She just reaches out, finds a way to make it work and turns it from an idea into a trend. This is what makes her incredibly successful at what she does and why she has grown The Idea Hunter into one of Canada’s most successful event businesses. BIG GE ST SURPRISE: “That events are like fashion. Janice adopts and introduce ideas to the event industry like she is showing a new set of trending accessories to fashion retailers. Just like fashion, the younger generation inspires her to continue to reinvent, challenging her to come up with interactive experiences and fresh thought provoking ideas.
BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: “The hours; making tough choices between family, friends and business”. PASSION PROJECTS: This year was the beginning of a project called “The Giving of Yourself”. Inspired by a dear friend and colleague, she and her daughters set out on the streets of Toronto to give out boxed meals to people in need, people living on the streets. According to Janice, “handing out these boxes that we made ourselves full of fresh food was one of the greatest experiences of my life.” On the heels of this, she has reached out to other clients, businesses, colleagues, family and friends to get involved next year and build the opportunity to give more. In July of 2017 she is headed to Zanzibar, Africa with 10-15 medical professionals to help children from an orphanage most of whom have HIV and have been abandoned where she will be documenting the journey and bringing it home to inspire others.
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Full Service Event Management & Design Full Service Event Management & Design ESPINC.CA .
"BE WILLING TO TAKE A RISK AND STAND BEHIND IT SO THAT YOU NOT ONLY BUILD YOUR OWN CONFIDENCE BUT THE TRUST IN OTHERS"
BUSINESS ALLIANCES: Tourism Toronto, ILEA and MPI. PAC Board Member, Committee Chair and guest speaker, Seneca College Event Management - Event and Exhibit Design. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY: “Be willing to take a risk and stand behind it so that you not only build your own confidence but the trust in others; be passionate about what you do and it will reflect on others and in the words of David Tutera, “Never Say No”’. INFLUENCERS: “Jeffry Roick, I sat with him and he asked me, when are you going to stop giving your ideas away and start making money? This was and has been one of the greatest lessons of my life. How I run the business today is because he taught me to think clearly about how to make a living selling ideas. The other is Leslee Bell. Leslee, has helped me many times over the years, gave me direction and slapped my wrist when I needed it. She was and will always be one of the greatest influencers in my life”. TRENDCASTING: “Technology, experiential, urban and authentic. The world continues to change rapidly. Stay on top of them, read, absorb and adapt to them as quickly as they come”. ASPIRING ADVICE: “The business of events at any level is stressful but if you understand the facts of it you will be fine. 75-80% of the business is at a desk behind a computer. 20 to 25% is on site at an event. Watch, listen and learn because there is not a day that goes by in my life that I do not learn something new about our industry”. JANICE #BOUNDLESS #CREATIVE #VISIONARY #TOUGH (that’s four but we always let Janice break the rules).
OWNER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MELISSA ANDRE EVENTS (MAE)., TORONTO AND LOS ANGELES
MELISSA HAS GARNERED AN INDUSTRY-WIDE REPUTATION FOR HER UNPARALLELED DESIGN PORTFOLIO AND A-LIST CELEBRITY CLIENTS. People used to ask me to describe why I loved living in BC without using the words water, beauty, weather. I couldn’t do it, even if I verbally used other phrases, inside my head I was still seeing the ocean, the ranges and the stunning landscape. That’s how it is with Melissa Andre. The name itself is just synonymous with beauty. Melissa creates beautiful things, beautiful environments and Melissa herself is beautiful. There just is no other word. Based in Toronto and Los Angeles, Melissa's special events planning and design firm has been highly recognized for producing imaginative and luxurious celebrations worldwide. With nearly a decade of experience, Melissa has garnered an industry-wide reputation for her unparalleled design portfolio and A-list celebrity clients. With a client list like DRAKE, GQ, Veuve Clicquot, THE WEEKND, DSquared2, Katy Perry, RocNation, Lacoste, Guerlain, Ronda Rousey, and Reebok, Melissa no longer just designs for celebrity, she has become one herself. Her work has been featured in countless publications and she is a favourite of many Canadian wedding magazines because of her stunning images.
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BIGGEST CHALLENGE? Finding a home or an event to create all the ideas my team is working on. PASSION PROJECTS: Dress for Success, She’s the First, Girls not Brides and several other charities supporting girls. INSPIRATION: I am inspired by the creative. Designers, artists, poets, storytellers, musicians, writers. Creators of all kinds. ALTER EGO: If I was not in the event business, I would definitely be working in the creative team for a fashion label. Givenchy… Tom Ford… Chanel. I’d love to own a boutique hotel. There are so many things I still plan on doing. The journey is just beginning. ASPIRING ADVICE: "Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did." --Newt Gingrich MELISSA #BEAUTIFUL #STYLE #INSPIRED
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TAHIRA ENDEAN CMP, DES, CED
EVENT PRODUCER, #BCTECH SUMMIT, BC INNOVATION COUNCIL, VANCOUVER
SHE HAS A SPARKLE IN HER EYE THAT IS INFECTIOUS, WHICH IS PROBABLY WHY SHE IS ONE OF THE MOST WELL LOVED PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY... EVER. If the event industry had a Wikipedia of its own, I think Tahira would be the author. If you want to know anything about technology in events; have a conversation about future trends, debate about the best way to create engagement or toss around ideas for innovative industry opportunities…just ask Tahira Endean. She says that her best kept secret is that it takes everything for her to walk into a room full of strangers and meet new people, but that is the very last thing you would ever imaging is going on in her mind if you met her. Tahira is funny, witty, charming and bold. You would know what I mean the second you see her. She has a sparkle in her eye that is infectious, which is probably why she is one of the most well-loved people in the industry... ever. Ironically, she would never see it, which is one of the reasons Tahira is just one of the most fascinating women in our industry. She is a wealth of information, a collaborator, an action maker; she gets people together and makes things happen. Aside from being a gifted and highly respected event producer, Tahira Endean is a remarkable person. She started her journey into event planning, after a lifealtering surgery forced her to shift career paths. A graduate of the Event and Convention Management Diploma program at Thompson Rivers University, her first role was working on the planning team of an industry conference, put on by four of BC's then event associations. Since then she has played a major role in the development of the BC event world and has been on the powerhouse teams a Rare Indigo, Cantrav, Quick Mobile and now BC Innovation Council.
BIG GE ST SURPRISE S: “I am always surprised by how I continue to love working in events. Even with the hours required, the challenges faced and the hoops to jump through. Seeing the collaborations, innovations, ideas, connections and relationships built out of what we create never gets old”.
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BIG GE ST CHALLENGE S: “Managing the volume of individual requests, each important in its own way. No one individual realizes the balancing act an event producer undertakes to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of participants”. IF I COULD CHANGE IT: "Borrowing terminology I first heard from David Adler and Mary Boone I would create more collaboration athletes and artists in our industry. Every event requires teamwork, every team will be slightly different, and we must be adaptable, flexible and yes, collaborative to continue to evolve events in our new digital, human condition". WORDS TO LIVE BY: "Always act with integrity; be empathetic: to your clients, team, stakeholders and participants; friends, family and colleagues; deal with the paperwork; sign contracts, stick to budgets, be clear about what can be provided – by you and for you. INFLUENCERS: "Among many is Carla Felicella who was my Director for key years as I moved from meeting planning to event production. Her mentorship, belief in the team, understanding of time to both design and to access resources to improve and evolve, and her sheer delight in the team’s success allowed each of us to grow exponentially in the few short years we worked together". TR ENDCASTING : “Personalization: ability to make the event for me through choices available, often seen on mobile first. Localization: embrace the local culture, food, experience. Naturalization: people-first planning from getting outside to healthier food choices and understanding the neuroscience of learning and connection to create a more comfortable experience for all”. TAHIRA #INSIGHTFUL. #COLLABORATIVE #INSTINCTIVE #PERSUASIVE (THREE JUST WASN’T ENOUGH)
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DEBRA LYKKEMARK OWNER , CULINA RY CA PERS CATER ING A ND SPECIA L EVENTS, VA NCOU VER
A TRUE CANADIAN SUCCESS STORY, DEBRA HAS BEEN AWARDED AND RECOGNIZED FOR HER BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENTS BY ALMOST EVERY CANADIAN BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION.
Debra Lykkemark is one of the most respected business women in the event industry in North America if not worldwide and rightly so, she has spent her entire life honing her skills. From the age of 13 when she was bussing tables in Calgary, Debra knew what she wanted to do and she has never wavered in her drive or direction. Over the next six years she continued to learn, eventually becoming dining room manager at one of most popular restaurants in the Calgary before moving to Vancouver. Working toward her dream of opening her own restaurant, she attended the Dubrulle French Culinary School and after graduating I apprenticed for two years until talking two friends into opening a 20 seat café. That was the start of the empire she has built today. By 1991 they outgrew the space due to the volume of their corporate catering business and by 1993 they were showing such great revenues, they expanded again into the event market. In 1996 her team won the contract to cater for 4500 people for the NHL All Star Gala. It was a massive undertaking that put Culinary Capers on the radar of the DMC’s and event planners as a company that could handle
very large events. Since then they have catered some of the largest of most important events in the world, including the BC Canada Pavilion in Torino, Italy, the BC Canada Pavilion in Beijing for the Summer Olympics and several properties at the Vancouver at 2010 Olympics. Debra has continued to grow the business, most recently opening her own venue, the Waterview Special Event Space. A true Canadian success story, Debra has been awarded and recognized for her business achievements by almost every Canadian business magazine and industry association. She has accomplished tremendous things in her career yet she remains one of the most down to earth, approachable and kindest people in the business. She is always willing to help, support industry initiatives and offer her advice and expertise to young planners. This list of top ‘Canadian women in events would not be complete without Debra Lykkemark. BUSINESS ALLIANCES: ICA (International Caterers Association) for 10 years, two as President. There was no compensation for this position and it involved traveling every few months to oversee the Washington, DC head office, the annual conference and board meetings. Also ILEA, Tourism Vancouver, the Board of Trade.
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IF I COULD CHANGE IT: "Educating the client on the cost of doing a customized high end event. If they are using a professional event planner they are getting that expertise. If they are trying to do their event on their own to save money and do not have experience in the industry, it can be very challenging." WORDS TO LIVE BY: "Have integrity in everything you say and do, if you lose that, it is a long uphill climb to win back trust. Build a team of positive, bright people with can do attitudes. You can train people a lot of different skills, but you cannot train someone to have a can do positive attitude. Work life balance for you and your team is very important." INFLUENCERS: â€œSue Adams, my original business partner and mentor, and my husband Michael Harries who has backed me every step of the way. Sue was my partner for the first five years in the business. I had no business experience, but Sue had two successful restaurants so she took on the role of mentoring me. Michael gave me the initial money to start up the business." ALTER EGO: "I have done some consulting to catering companies to help them grow their companies and profits. I really enjoyed it and would like to do more of it in the future."
TRENDCASTING: Chef attended action food stations; family style service or food stations instead of buffets; using local seasonal sustainable food on menus." ASPIRING ADVICE: â€œHave a marketing and strategic plan for your business. I did not have a plan or a budget for marketing until my husband came on board when the business was five years old. When he started marketing the company and we created a strategic plan to guide us we started to grow very quickly." DEBRA #FUN #CREATIVE #SUPPORTIVE
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SARAH JACOBS BARRS
DIR ECTOR EVENTS, K LICK HE A LTH, TORONTO
SARAH IS AN INNOVATOR. SHE IMAGINES THE IMPOSSIBLE AND THEN TAKES THE CALCULATED RISKS TO MAKE THEM A REALITY. Sarah’s first job was at Women of Influence. Much like the trajectory of her career, she moved quickly through her roles as receptionist to event coordinator, executing the Young Women of Influence program, as well as the RBC Women Entrepreneur Awards. From Women of Influence, Sarah moved on to Solutions with Impact and in 2015 She joined Klick Health as Director of Events, where she has led the team in the production of ground breaking live experiences that have changed the face of health industry events including the award-winning MUSE and Klick Ideas Exchange*. In 2016, Sarah was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) as a WXN Future Leader in Canada’s Most Powerful 100 Women Awards program. The awards recognize talented leaders in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors and work to inspire current and future generations to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In being named to WXN’s Top 100,, she joined the ranks of a prestigious community of previous recipients including Margaret Atwood; astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar, former Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean, and Indigo Books & Music Founder and CEO Heather Reisman.
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Sarah is an Innovator. She imagines the impossible and then takes the calculated risks to make them a reality. She is bold and passionate about her work. She has immense talent and a willingness to push the industry forward through ground breaking ideas. BIG GE ST SURPRISE: “When I first started out, I was surprised by how tight-knit the Toronto/Canadian events industry was. It was surprising that even though people in the industry are competing for the same business, most were really good about recommending and working with each other to produce the best events possible." IF I COULD CHANGE IT: "The public’s perception of our industry is that we’re a bunch of party planners. Most people have no idea how much conceptual development, creativity, attention to detail, on-the-fly problem-solving and organization goes into orchestrating events." BUSINE SS ALLIANCE: WXN – Top 100. It’s important to shine light on women in business, support our peers, and recognize their accomplishments. Soho House – It provides me with an inspirational environment in which I can interact and network with a ton other creative, intelligent and innovative people in the events and other industries. WORDS TO LIVE BY: "No is a complete sentence. In a Vogue interview, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were asked their best piece of career advice and this was Mary Kate’s answer. It truly resonated with me as I have found saying ‘No’ to be a
powerful tool and something I don’t think people do enough." “When someone tells you it can’t be done, it’s a reflection of their limitations, not yours. I learned this from a Boston Marathon bombing survivor who spoke at one of our company’s inspirational healthcare events series and it really stuck with me." INFLUENCER: Joel Hock, CEO of Solutions with Impact. “I’ll forever be grateful to Joel for giving me a chance at a real career in the events industry. Seven years ago, I was looking for a fast-paced, inspiring, and challenging job and that is exactly what he offered me. We worked together for almost five years during which I learned the ins and outs of event production, working hard, and dealing with people.” ALTER EG O: "As part of the work I did with Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), I was able to travel to Israel to visit the SACH home and children that were being treated. I was able to watch an open-heart surgery on a child. This experience made me realize that if I weren’t in my current role I would have gone to medical school to become a doctor." ASPIRING ADVICE: "Work harder than anyone else. Be so good others can’t ignore you. Remember events aren’t all glamour." SARAH #FEARLESS #CONFIDENT #SMALL (BUT MIGHTY)
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ALISSA HURLEY CMM, DES, CED VICE PR E SIDENT, MA R K ETING, F MAV, O TTAWA
HER KNOWLEDGE OF THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF THE INDUSTRY AND HER PASSION FOR WHAT SHE DOES IS WHAT MAKES HER STAND OUT AS ONE OF THE MOST FORWARD THINKING WOMEN IN CANADIAN EVENTS TODAY. Alissa never considered a career in events, events just seem to have found her. While attending Ryerson she had a job in an office which shared space with a company that conducted events for the tech industry. They needed some additional help and the next thing she knew, she was the conference coordinator for the largest technology conference and trade show in Canada. That was the first in a series of pretty big jumps, which Alissa has continued to make in her career and her position in the
Canadian event marketplace. Her knowledge of the technical side of the industry, business acumen and her passion for what she does is what makes her stand out as one of the most forward thinking women in Canadian events today. BIG GE ST SUR PR ISE: “All the very different career options in events. Most of my students enter my class with an idea that they want to be a wedding planner. I’ve worked in corporate meetings, trade shows, social events, both planner and supplier side. There are just so many options.
BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: “The most challenging (and exciting) part of what I do today is the diversity of talented colleagues and clients that I get to work with. No two days are the same - event technology is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace and innovation is everywhere. It comes from people in our organization that are so passionate about technology as well as our clients who challenge us to stay ahead of the curve. IF I COULD CHANGE IT? “I don’t think I would change a thing”. WORDS TO LIVE BY: "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. I believe that curiosity is at the root of most success and if you follow your curiosity, it will lead you to exciting places." INFLUENCER: “I would consider my current boss, Bill Brown, President and CEO of FMAV to have most strongly influenced my business success. We’ve worked together in a couple of companies now (previously at Maritz Canada) and I
consider him a mentor. He’s a collaborative leader and has always provided very insightful advice, whenever I need it”. ALTER EG O: “If I was not doing this job I would probably be walking dogs. Seriously, my husband and I run a dog boarding facility on our property and I would probably do that full time if not in my current role. One day”. ASPIR ING A DVICE : " Try everything! Volunteer for anything that interests you to get exposure to different types of events and roles in the event industry. You’ll meet some fantastic people along the way.” TR ENDCASTING : “I’m always interested in event technology trends and I believe that the trend of Virtual Reality will give way to Augmented Reality for events. Combining augmented reality with digital décor solutions will make events very interesting in the future.” ALISSA #TECH SAVVY #EARLY ADOPTER #GEEK
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MARSHA BRUMER PR E SIDENT, MB EVENTS, MONTR E A L
WHAT SETS HER APART IS UNIQUE SENSE OF STYLE, HER INCREDIBLE EYE FOR DESIGN, COLOR AND CREATIVE AND HER TALENT FOR TAKING AN ORDINARY IDEA AND TURNING IT UP TO TEN.
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Marsha’s hashtag is #mbeventsstyle and nothing could be more perfect to describe who she is. Style is what she brings to the industry like no one else. Based in Montreal, MB Events has been producing high end fundraisers and luxury weddings for 19 years. With a solid foundation on the social side of the industry, Marsha and her team now spend much of their time focused on their brand event side, which means making connections with English speaking marketing agencies from across Canada to provide support on the ground in Montreal and work together to collaborate on everything from brand activations to experiential marketing events. Marsha is well known across the country, her contacts are amazing and she has developed a mutual and sincere trust with her clients, colleagues and team. What sets her apart is unique sense of style, her incredible eye for design, color and creative and her talent for taking an ordinary idea and turning it up to ten. PASSION PROJECTS: Fondation Communautaire Canadienne-Italienne, and with Sheila Kussner’s Hope & Cope Fundraising events. IF I COULD CHANGE IT: “The event industry as wezknow it has changed in the past few years. More and more, multiple facets of what each professional is doing are overlapping. Event planning is a service and hence not regarded as a tangible selling product, so clients might not necessarily see the importance of what that service brings. If I had to change something I’d redefine our title. WORDS TO LIVE BY: "CREATE|INNVOVATE|CELEBRATE my website moto! Once the event is created… whether it is a wedding, or a dealership launch, how we innovate and make it stand out is a priority." INFLUENCERS: “Christine Pickrell, Owner of Westmount Florist. We have both experienced the event industry and its development for many years and her own success speaks for itself. She extends to me so much trust, faith and confidence in what I do, whether she’s involved on that particular event or not. When you are around someone like Christine, you know you’re good at what you do." ALTER EGO: “I would have become involved with managing and creating an event venue, as the city of Montreal is in desperate need of a grand space to host events for larger scaled events. MARSHA #TRUST-WORTHY #CALM (UNDER PRESSURE) #ACCESSIBLE .
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MILENA SANTORO CMM CMP PIDP
F OUNDER OF MS PRODUCTIONS, EDMONTON, MILA N A ND ROME
MILENA HOLDS SEVERAL INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS AND HAS MAINTAINED TREMENDOUS FOCUS IN HER CAREER ON BOTH CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND “TEACHING IT FORWARD”. Milena will tell you she was “born in the kitchen”. A child of immigrants who came from Italy, she has been around food and hospitality all her life and grew up in the catering, restaurant and events industry. By the time she went to Expo86 in Vancouver to work on the opening ceremonies, she was sure this was where she would stay; rooted in creating special celebrations for people all over the world Her company, MS Productions Inc. maintains offices in Canada & Italy and most recently she has launched @MarryMeItaly, a wedding planning division based in Rome and Milan which focuses on luxury destination weddings in Italy. Recognized as an Ambassador to Italy by the Italian Government and the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Canada, Milena has successfully created B2B opportunities through planning and hosting events and missions between Italy and North America. She works with an exclusive network of highly respected luxury brands and producers of the MADE IN ITALY excellence. Milena is one of the most educated event professionals in the industry. She holds several industry certifications and has maintained tremendous focus in her career on both continuous learning and “teaching it forward”. An author, international professional speaker, educator and mentor, she has been constantly molding the future of the events industry, as an educator at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Mount Royal, Vancouver Community College, Red Deer College and other universities in Canada. Highly sought after for as an expert planner, contributes regularly to industry columns, magazines, radio programs, podcasts and television shows.
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BUSINE SS A LLIA NCE S : ILEA Edmonton as Past President, Association of Bridal Consultants as Country Coordinator Canada West, Events Edmonton - Producers of Taste of Edmonton, Chair of the Canadian Food Championships, Executive Director of the Volunteer Management Institute and Chair Educational Advisory Board for VCC Vancouver Community College. BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: “Balancing work and life has always been a challenge. As an entrepreneur you don’t have the same luxuries of employment. I’m really mindful of what events I take on. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality; Quality of event, client and alignment of how this event will represent your brand, and most important where do you want to be spending your time? With family or onsite? I made a choice years ago, going from doing 200 events a year to present producing 20-30 quality events per year. This feeds my soul”. WORDS TO LIVE BY: "Charge what you are worth; not every client, is your client, contract & deposit before any work is done, period."
TRENDCASTING: "There is so much happening in our world of trends today, everything from home décor, lifestyle, travel and of course events. Thanks to the influence of social media like Instagram etc. the amazing work that is being shared is outstanding. I’m seeing a new concept of Pop up events, anything from mini bridal shows to cooking demo’s and makeup application demos. Events are getting shorter in length but very high impact and WOW factor." ASPIRING ADVICE: “This industry is not as luxurious as it seems. It’s a lot of elbow grease and people skills. You have to work really hard to make a name for yourself and with that, comes great success. Be humble and be kind. Be open to always learning from your clients, the people you work with, the vendors that you engage and our industry of constant change. Lastly, COLLABORATE, COLLABORATE, And COLLABORATE!!! You cannot do this alone and you don’t have all the answers. Create a team that you trust, work well together and are open to new ideas and pushing the boundaries” MILENA #RESOURCEFUL #ENTHUSIASTIC #MAMMA
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MICHELLE PLANCHE PR E SIDENT, PA R A DIGM EVENTS, TORONTO
What Michelle gets done in one day, is what the very best planner gets done in a week. Michelle is just that good. She is a remarkable combination of a serious, organized planner, mixed with a Toronto fashionista mixed with the girl on the dock in Muskoka hanging out on a Sunday drinking wine with her toes in the water. Michelle is that person you just really want to hang out with; plus she is an incredible Producer. She has built a solid company, spanning 20 years and we are proud to call her one of Canada's most fascinating women in events. Producing fashion shows in school was the kick off to a lifelong love affair with fashion and events. In her early twenties Michelle created a foundation called the Art of Fashion which is now an annual event she produces herself. From the very first show, she garnered her first big client and Paradigm Events was founded that year (1997). Paradigm grew organically, producing fashion shows and working for a variety of corporations eventually moving toward associations with opportunities to plan large conferences, incentives and events in both Canada and the US. In 2001 Paradigm Events expanded to open up a satellite office in Muskoka. One of Michelle's signature events is Girlfriends Getaway Weekend which draws over 3000 women annually to the Town of Huntsville. Since 2011, her company expanded into the USâ€“specifically in South Beach, Miami. She attributes her strong start and part of her success to her relationship with CanSPEP, which has been a solid support system for her career and company for almost two decades.
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BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: "Getting through busy periods without getting too run down and finding a balance in my personal life." WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE? "If I could change one thing about the industry it would be the amount of waste our industry produces. As a part of this initiative I have created a platform for planners called Recycle Your Events on Facebook to try and encourage sharing goods from events to reduce waste". WORDS TO LIVE BY: "My top three business philosophies are always meet deadlines promised, under promise and over deliver and think outside of the box." INFLUENCERS: "I would say the biggest influence on my career have been my clients. Trust and loyalty is very important to me. The more freedom and trust I have from clients the more I want to over deliver. Having someone believe in me inspires me to want to do more". PASSION PROJECTS: Teaching event planning at the college level for over 15 years. "Teaching keeps me on my toes, allows me to give back and has always been a security blanket for me" ALTER EG O: " I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and like having control over my destiny so if I was not event planning I would be running another business. I am also very passionate about helping people find their passions and I would be interested in acting as a business coach to get people through the challenging first step to determining what they really want to do." TRENDCASTING: "Trends that are the strongest right now are incorporating experiential brand and sponsorship activations into events, shorter â€œTed Talkâ€? style conferences and seminars, and a focus on food and beverage knowledge through experiences, more tangible and trackable outcomes, and hands-on learning at events." MICHELLE #RESOURCEFUL #CREATIVE #OVER-ACHIEVER
CATHERINE RUNNALS PR E SIDENT, BR A NDLI VE MA NAGEMENT GROUP INC, VA NCOU VER
TODAY SHE IS ONE OF VANCOUVER’S MOST ACCOMPLISHED PRODUCERS AND BUSINESS WOMEN, IS A TOP 40 UNDER 40 RECIPIENT, WAS NAMED EVENT PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR AT THE CANADIAN EVENTS AWARDS IN 2012 AND TOPS OUR LIST AS ONE OF THE CANADA’S TOP WOMEN IN EVENTS.
With a degree in broadcast communications, Catherine did not plan to become a planner. In fact, she started her career in television, on the set shows like Front Page Challenge and Shari Lewis’s Lamb Chop. When the landscape in broadcasting began to change and there were fewer and fewer jobs, she made the jump to the music industry spending most of the 90’s on the road working with acts such as Sheryl Crow, The Pretenders, The Tragically Hip, Chantal Kreviazuk and Dido. In 2004, Catherine started BRANDLIVE Management Group with partners Jordan Melville and Paul Runnals. A brand activation event management company, BRANDLIVE is behind some of BC’s largest public gatherings such as Honda’s Celebration of Light, Canada Day at Canada Place and the Squamish Valley Music Festival. Today she is one of Vancouver’s most accomplished producers and business women, is a Top 40 Under 40 recipient, was named Event Professional of the Year at the Canadian Event Industry Awards in 2012 and tops our list as one of the Canada’s top women in events. BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: “I don't get the chance to do many gigs anymore; while I'm always on site dealing with quality control or clients, I am quite removed from the day to day planning of events because running the company is too big a job. The most challenging part is the HR. It's hard to give clients great service when there is so much staff turn over!
PASSION PRO JECTS : A Better Life Foundation, Creative B.C. and several school initiatives at her son's public school. IF I COULD CHANGE IT “Easy, I would make it standard to get paid to do proposals like in the commercial real estate business” BUSINE SS ALLIANCE S: Board Member Tourism Vancouver, MacKay CEO Forums. “ It has been been invaluable to my development as a leader”. WORDS TO LIVE BY: "No job too big or small, regardless of rank in the company. Better looking at it than looking for it. Never let them see how the sausage is made." ALTER EGO: Cruise Ship Director. TR ENDCASTING : “Colour blocking, adoption of technology in planning & execution as well as the importance of music in conference and event work”. CATHERINE #CONFIDENT #WARM #COLOURFUL.
ERIN BISHOP OWNER , PR INCIPA L PLA NNER , F ILOSOPHI EVENTS, VA NCOU VER
SHE TAKES EVENTS WHICH ARE COMMON IN NATURE, TURNS THEM UPSIDE DOWN AND MAKES THEM UNEXPECTED, UNIQUE AND TRULY MEMORABLE.
Erin Bishop has been in business since 2010. She fell in love with events, organically while attending a gala. She decided this might just be her “thing.” Landing a job as an event assistant with a local company confirmed her theory and shortly thereafter she launched Filosophi Event Planning What makes Erin a unique and interesting addition to our list is her strategy and passion for working with clients who share her penchant for straying off the beaten path. She takes events which are common in nature, turns them upside down and makes them unexpected, unique and truly memorable. Filosophi is known for working with unusual spaces not intended for events, for mixing cultural traditions and for finding fresh ways to approach potentially tired occasions, pushing the boundaries of what’s expected and never shying away from a big idea. A gifted leader and a sharp business woman, Erin has grown her brand from one planner and one assistant, to a team of 7 lead planners and 25+ seasonal assistants in just over six years. She says her success is rooted in the people that make up her team and feels incredibly blessed to be surrounded with such immense talent. Erin Bishop of moving mountains and carving new paths in the world of events. She is bold, innovative and brave and we think, one of the most interesting women in Canadian events today.
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SURPRISE S: “The amount of emotion and connection - particularly as I specialize in weddings. There are not many jobs that end with your client saying things like " I love you!!! This was the best day of my life!!!" and it's extremely emotionally gratifying. Being a part of something that is so important to a client forges a great bond that lasts a long time. THE TOUGH STUFF: “The hardest thing about event planning is maintaining balance, particularly with weddings. Meetings tend to be in the evening or on weekends. Working in this industry, you must accept that you are giving up the idea of a 'normal' schedule and it can be a challenge to adapt your life and the lives of those closest to you around that. My family has a reunion every summer in August and I haven't been to it in 9 years.” WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE? “With social media allowing us to see the best work by the best and most creative people all around the globe, it can be easy to get caught up in wanting to go bigger, all the time. There is a
lot of pressure on couples to really wow with their wedding decor regardless of whether that is something important to them or not. There is a movement in wedding photography around the hashtag #momentsnotmountains which is a bit of a commentary about the fact that the emotions and candid moments at a wedding matter so much more than getting that epic photo of the couple all tiny amidst a massive and impressive landscape background. I think it would be great if that mentality could permeate all aspects of event planning - we should celebrate each other for making something that truly made our clients and their guests happy, not something just because its visually stunning, or particularly inventive. Because we aren't here only to make pretty things, first and foremost we are here to make amazing memories and experiences.” WORDS TO LIVE BY: Never dismiss an idea - employ an "everything is possible" mentality and work backwards from there to make it so. Celebrate and highlight the individuality of each client and occasion. Don't be constrained by trends and norms.
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ALTER EG O: â€œI think I would be in advertising â€“ I always had an interest in sociology, physiology, writing and art so I think it would combine many things I love." ASPIRING ADVICE: When it comes to events, people say organization is the most important thing or having the capacity for hard work on really long days, but to me, the one thing you should have and always remember is a sense of grace under pressure. In events, pressure will always find you, and how you respond to that pressure will affect everyone around you from other vendors, to clients and guests, to your own team. If you can remember that its a party and no one is going to die, take a deep breath and keep a clear head for tackling problems as they arise, you'll make it far. ERIN #CREATIVE #DEDICATED #EASYGOING
CAROLYN LUSCOMBE CSEM, CSEP, CMP
PR E SIDENT & CHIEF EVENT A RCHITECT, ECLECTIC EVENTS INTER NATIONA L, TORONTO
Carolyn Luscombe is a maverick., some may even say she is a rebel. She beats to her own drum and never, ever follows suit. She is down to earth, grounded, real (to the point of raw at times) and completely without pretense. Her company, Eclectic Events has been producing award winning events in Toronto for over 22 years. They are busy. She and her team produce hundreds of events a year and yet she is rarely seen out. In fact, she freely admits she is known for being rather private and difficult to predict. “People don't know what to expect… and I kind of like it that way.” This penchant for avoiding the spotlight works for Carolyn, because she runs a very successful event agency. A bookworm, Carolyn is likely one of the most well trained and educated event professionals in Canada. After graduating with a diploma in Entertainment Administration in 1995 she earned her CSEC, CSEM, CSEP and CMP. In 1998 she began developing the curriculum and teaching at George Brown College in Toronto where she is still an instructor today. WHAT AMAZES ME IS: “People don't read... they don't read contracts, they don't read production schedules, they don't read emails... a lot of heartache could be saved if people read their documents. The level of care and follow up is sometimes overwhelming and we try to align ourselves with professionals who see the value in being an (pro)active part of making an event a success.” BIGGEST CHALLENGE? After 22 years, I don't find my job to be incredibly difficult overall but if there were anything challenging, it would be the seeming lack of time. I am responsible for our events, our staff, our accounting and often there are times when everything is a screaming priority. I buckle down and get it done in the end. Unique challenges can present themselves at any time on a project and when you're confident in your ability to master any difficult situation, it's just not as daunting.
WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: “An increase in integrity, ethics and morals across the board. In an unregulated industry, the way in which we conduct ourselves in business is of paramount importance - for us as business owners and for the overall industry. If we give the illusion that it is full of bad apples, this makes clients (rightfully) wary and reduces the credibility of our industry as a whole”. BUSINESS PHILOSOPHIES: “We are committed to excellence, passion, integrity, all while raising the bar in our industry and adhering to the utmost ethical conduct; We are innovators, trend-setters and are always moving forward; We understand that you’re only as good as your last event. SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 105
INF LUENCER : There is no one person that has influenced my success or the success of the company. We are not modeled after anyone and we march to the beat of our own drummer, keeping our own independent read on business and the event world. TRENDCASTING: Great Gatsby and Roaring 20s have returned as major themes this year. Art deco looks are also very popular this year. On the flip side of that, the buzzwords of the year are "innovation" or "reignition" and that creates a fun playground for theme development.
The most obvious trend of the year is Canadiana in celebration of Canada's 150. ASPIRING ADVICE: Keep a laser sharp focus on where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Don't let people or setbacks derail you. Be innately open to learning and opportunity and don't assume anything. None of us started at the top and we all had to work extremely hard to get there, you will too. CAROLYN #INTROVERT #INSIGHTFUL #GENUINE
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JANET McCARTNEY PR INCIPA L, PDW INC, VA NCOU VER
There is probably nothing Janet does not know about the event and destination management world. Since 1986, she has been deeply ingrained in the culture of events, holding senior leadership roles at some of the most prominent brands in Canada including Director of Marketing at Tourism Vancouver, Director of Sales and Marketing for CP/Fairmont Hotels in the Rockies. She has also been integral in the development some of the industry’s most vital events including PATA, Rendezvous, TIAC and Expo 86. Today, Janet and her sister Katherine run PDW Inc. an integrated experiential agency that specializes in producing creative experiences globally. Fulfilling a dream to run her own business, Janet started PDW In 1999. With her powerful rolodex in hand, she secured three contracts within a 2 week period. Katherine joined her the following year as a partner and in 2002 they began their journey with TED. In the beginning, they maintained their corporate clients however as TED’s mission grew, and their roles as Directors grew, the focus needed to be with TED. Today PDW boasts 40 full time employees and 10 contractors. While TED remains their core client, the agency does take on select clients. Janet is a rare human. Her sense of commitment and honour toward both her work and her life’s purpose are profound. She is one of the most respected event professionals in North America, leads an incredible team of talent, holds a multi-million dollar work portfolio yet freely admits to being more comfortable in a barn than at a party. “My kinship with the natural world is the essence of who I am.” When asked what she would be doing if life has taken her on a different path, she said she would be working on animal welfare issues, helping protect the vulnerable species that face mass extinction and teaching other about the need for eradicating the inhumane practices towards animals that still exist today.
INFLUENCER: “Chris Anderson, who is my client and the head of TED. He has shown me a different style of leadership, has allowed me to dream big and through him and the TED community shown me a different person in the mirror than I once thought I was. I was always driven, hardworking and committed to the task, but I never thought of myself as a world-changer and that never seemed important to me. Now I realize that I possess all the characteristics of a person who can make a difference and I see the areas that need my help. This has been important to my business success because it has given me a different sense of purpose. I try to instill this in the young people I work with, because we need them engaged on a deep level with the business of work and career as a place to find fulfillment, and the understanding that they can find it if they want to." BIG GE ST CHALLENGE: “Time management has become almost impossible – our fast-paced environment and expectation around response times have created an exciting but challenging workplace." PASSION PROJECT: Animal welfare organizations that need introductions or assistance with fundraising. WORDS TO LIVE BY “We earn our right to live our lives, and the work that we do is important so always put the best effort into it. “Every vendor is a partner. Every venue is a partner. Every client is a partner. Both parties have to benefit equally.” TRENDCASTING: “Technology is a huge part of our lives, but not all of it is useful. The trend and challenge is to find smart technology: VR, AI, interactive and anything that enhances a user experience is big. Attendees at events do not expect one dimensional platforms, they are expecting information and experience to come to them in many forms”. ASPIRING ADVICE: Work hard. At the finish of each day feel proud that you were highly productive, made yourself proud of your commitment and dedication, and didn’t take no for an answer. JANET #RESOURCEFUL #TENACIOUS #CURIOUS SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 109
MAKE AN IMPACT. LEAVE AN IMPRESSION.
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DANIELLE ANDREWS WPIC PR E SIDENT, THE WEDDING PLA NNERS INSTITUTE OF CA NA DA , TORONTO
TRACEY MANAILESCU CO-F OUNDER OF THE WEDDING PLA NNERS INSTITUTE OF CA NA DA , TORONTO
Danielle wanted to be a Criminal Lawyer. Tracey’s background is Early Childhood Education. The two could not have had more opposing career paths and starts, however somehow, in both of their early roles, all paths seemed to lead them back to events. Danielle was known in her circles for throwing overly lavish social events while Tracey’s job at the Y was heavily involved in events. Close as two sisters can be, when Danielle decided to make her passion for planning into a profession and got her wedding planning certification, Tracey was not far behind.
They began their wedding business shortly thereafter and the company grew very quickly over three years. In year three and in a stroke of absolute brilliance, they petitioned the Government of Canada to allow them open an Institute for certifying wedding planners based on all the trials, growth experiences and legalities that they encountered. Their goals? To provide the tools, education and resources that they wished they had been given when they first started. It was an eight-month process and finally in July of 2003 WPIC Inc. was born. The organization is a
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training and certification company geared towards bettering and educating wedding professionals around the world. They train industry professionals from resorts, hotels, venues, and independent companies. Since 2003, we have trained and certified over 7000 alumni. Both Tracey and Danielle attribute their success in part to their loyal and almost fan like alumni. The thing that makes what they have built so extremely rare is that they are not just a school or a training program, they themselves have become mentors and family to the thousands of planners who have gone through their program. They take a personal approach to everything they do, have remained connected and accessible through social media and a solid marcom plan and they have created an incredible brand. Biggest Surprises TM “I think the thing that has surprised me the most is the kindness and generosity of other wedding pros in various fields of the business. There is an overall sense of community when you align yourself with those with common goals and ethics” DA “I think the thing the has surprised me most about the business of wedding
BOTH TRACEY AND DANIELLE ATTRIBUTE THEIR SUCCESS IN PART TO THEIR LOYAL AND ALMOST FAN LIKE ALUMNI.
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and events, is how many people outside the industry do not understand how hard we have to work to pull off these events. I guess that just means we all do our jobs well and make it look effortless”. BIG GE ST CHALLENGE S: DA “Budgets and cost of services are frustrating. There are so many amazing ideas and exciting designs for weddings and events, but most of the time they are cost-prohibitive. There is so much more we could do” TM finding time to grow our business, make changes that we need to, attend, and participate in all the conferences and growth opportunities that I would like, and then finding the balance within my own family which is my top priority. WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE? Both Tracey and Danielle separately shared that they wish people would see that there is enough business for everyone; that there is no need to be jealous or miserable with each other. Working together, networking and sharing best practices makes everyone better “You will never hear the Directors and Officers of WPIC Inc. publicly gossip or slander
anyone else in the wedding industry. We try to instill this in every class we teach, within our Association and within our business dealings.” WORDS TO LIVE BY: DA Never stop learning. If there wasn't a need for constant education, there wouldn't be so many conferences. the wedding and events industries are trend-based, so you must constantly be learning in order to stay relevant and work hard, play hard. ” TM Influencers: Both said each other, no hesitation. ALTER EG O: DM Criminal Lawyer. Trendcasting: "Pretty" definitely rules the day, every event needs to be photo-worthy and "postable". Clients are very focused on the guest experience of events, so food, decor, and entertainment are a lot of fun right now. DANIELLE #CREATIVE #CONFIDENT #CAPABLE TRACEY #EMPATHETIC #CREATIVE #PROBLEM SOLVER
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5 Secrets to
Winning Event Awards Entering award competitions for event professionals is important. Not just to win but also for the experience. Valuable lessons come out of the time and effort spent preparing and packaging your entry and the application process represents a great opportunity to pause, review and take stock of your business, while offering a chance to set team goals for the upcoming year. Here are my five insider tips to making all that effort pay off and bettering your chances to win
USE RELEVANT PHOTOS Nothing frustrates a judge more than reading an amazing description then flipping to the images and they say nothing about the event. You describe all the amazing components to your event, such as the food, décor, AV or entertainment and then you offer photos of a flower arrangement or ice sculpture. It is critical that the images mirror the story you tell in your description or sadly, your entry could be penalized. A winning entry can lose out because the images were poorly chosen. You don’t need to have million dollar shots…they just need to match the writing.
TELL THE EVENT STORY, NOT YOUR STORY Keep your focus on the event’s story. Try to avoid falling off course and adding extraneous information that is not relevant to the category. For example, if your event was a non-profit, explaining a little about the charity’s goals makes sense if it helps support your objective statement or provides context to the branding decisions. Just be sure to make it succinct.
DON’T OVER SELL IT Sometimes less is more. The judges have little time and a lot of entries to go through which can literally take days to complete. Not only do they need to review every entry, but they need to remember them and be able to compare one to the other. Use BOLD statements with clear, snappy writing so the judges will understand the event’s message and why you think it was award worthy, without getting lost in flowery language.
TELL THEM YOU DESERVE IT Do not be shy about stating that your event deserves to win, but be sure to back it up. In your objective statement clearly show the value your event has; the work that was done and the outcome of the project. Provide reference points for judges to look for in your overall description. In life and business confidence is key; use that same philosophy in your entry. It does make a difference.
SPEAK TO THE ACTUAL CRITERIA Most award programs give you the judging criteria in advance. If the judging criteria is creativity, logistics and meeting objectives, and these are the only things being judged, then focus on these things in your entry and forgo the extra 10 hours work on copy that doesn’t relate. While its critical to send in a thorough and strongly written entry, it’s more important to address the items which are going to earn you points. For example you may be in love with the table treatments but if you are entering Most Outstanding Event your judges will not focus on these centers so why mention them. SPRING 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 115
Stardust Decor & Events www.stardustevents.com (905) 479-7000
â€˜Tis the Season to Shine. Let the decorating begin
Create an unforgettable event with Spectacular DĂŠcor, Draping, Centre Pieces, Creative Floral Arrangements, Linen and Chair Covers, Furniture, Entertainment and Activities. Everything you need for a memorable party. For expert decorating of your corporate holiday event, contact us at (905) 479-7000. www.stardustevents.com .
LOUNGEWORKS REDEFINES WONDERLAND FOR A HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
STRATEGIC PARTNERS INCLUDE AV Strategies: av and lighting Christopher J Design: tabletop decor, lounge decor and food station decor Vision Event Photography: archival photograph, photo booths & video capture
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The Mad Hatter’s House Party became the perfect creative springboard for this multi-faceted employee appreciation event.
Vancouver’s Loungeworks led the production of this post-holiday “Mad Hatter’s House Party” theme. The client wanted to express appreciation to their hard-working staff for a year of long hours and big successes. More than just another “staff thank you event” this annual soiree plays a vital role in the company’s HR profile. With an incredibly diverse group of employees, a key objective was to create a space, away from the office, where they could connect, engage and socialize. Employees are encouraged to bring their significant others and everyone, regardless of age or taste, needs to find lots to do and a lot to eat and drink. This client was very focused on ensuring Loungeworks created an environment where the guests were continually encouraged to engage, which meant that interactive activities and entertainment needed to be layered into the plan.
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Originally the client requested they work with “A Mad Hatter’s Garden Party” as a theme and presented some simple images that they liked. Having worked with this client and being familiar with their stakeholders, Tom Stulberg and his team at Loungeworks have developed an appreciation for what works with the audience and what doesn’t for the client’s event and legal department so they got to work adapting the “ask” with a counter proposal they believed would deliver the desired results. Loungeworks went back to the client with a “Mad Hatter’s House Party” concept. The plan was developed around 3 key areas; the Back Yard, The Living Room and the Dining Room.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF VISION EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY
It featured Loungework’s furniture lines and used considerable amounts of Transformit structures to create distinct treatments for each unique space.
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ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF VISION EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY
Three distinctive spaces: The Mad Hatter’s Garden, the Kitchen and the Living Room, each offered a variety of interactive experiences for guests.
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-- Tom Stulberg, President, Loungeworks
Once every few years you do a job that just works–in every way. It looks great, runs well and tickles the fancy of everyone involved. This was one of them. Everyone stepped up and with the support and understanding of a great client, we could develop a clear vision and execute an outstanding experience for 1500 guests.
All photos courtesy of Vision Event Photography .
WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY We Know You'll
1 Wireless Charging Bag by Knomo
A planner cannot function without their mobile devices and no one wants to be stuck when that battery hits 5% with no outlet in sight. Thanks to London-based luggage designer Knomo, you can now charge on the go with their Drop & Go bags that feature a pocket with built-in wireless charging www.knomobags.com
3 Helix Cuffs by Ashley Chloe
Wearable Translator by iLi From ordering food, to getting directions to buying tickets for a train, not being able to speak the local language can be a problem. Travelling and communicating just got easier with this mini translation gadget. Tokyo-based Logbar launched its iLi wearable translator that records words in one language and then audibly translates them into another. This small and light device, which can fit easily on a lanyard, translates in real time with no Bluetooth or WiFi necessary. www.iamili.com
Fashion and technology blend with real world applications in this smart and sophisticated cuff, perfect for on the go event planner. Helix Cuffs by Ashley Chloe breaks new ground by hiding its core function and offering a truly mobile solution in a fashionable wrist cuff. No more wires means both hands are free. www.ashleychloe.com
Ring ZERO by Logbar Control smartphones, home appliances, and more simply by gesturing. Play music, send tweets, take photos, turn TV, lights, A/C, and other home appliances on/off and even play games. Simply pair the Ring with your smartphone and start gesturing! Your phone can be up to 15m away.Battery life is 12 hours in active mode or 3 days on power saving mode. www. logbar.jp
Thought How The Co-operators AGM helped raise awareness and funds to tackle the issue of Food Deserts in Canada For its 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Winnipeg, The Co-operators wanted to go beyond its usual sustainability practices to introduce a sustainability theme that would be featured throughout the year. They used their event, to bring awareness to a critical issue affecting Canadians. This is an example of a growing trend in corporate business events; using gatherings as opportunities to give back, create exposure and build philanthropy. They focused on food deserts. A food desert is a neighborhood where residents have little or no access to fresh and affordable food. A growing concern affecting food access and affordability for Canadians is the closing of supermarkets in city centres and their relocation to suburban areas. In addition, two other factors have greatly influenced food prices for Canadians in 2016: the value of the Canadian dollar and climate considerations. “We were inspired by the AGM's location in Winnipeg and emerging concerns around accessibility of affordable and healthy food, and selected the issue of food deserts in Canada", commented by Wendy Carruthers, Senior Manager, Member & Co-operative Relations for The Co-operators. Working with the Fairmont Winnipeg, Food Matters Manitoba and the Immigrant Integration Farming Community
Co-op, The Co-operators highlighted the challenges faced by those who live in food deserts in Manitoba and celebrated those who are actively working for change. In addition to the sustainable practices that have become embedded in their AGMs, as outlined in their Green Meeting Guide, The Co-operators included an educational campaign about food deserts in Canada, with a display that represented the rising cost of food in the past year. They also supported two Manitoba-based organizations that are actively working to address food desert concerns. A financial contribution was made to Immigrant Integration Farming Community Co-op (IIFCC) to offset the environmental footprint of the event, along with a donation of the food from the educational campaign and the event’s herb garden centerpieces. The IIFCC’s main project is the Rainbow Community Garden, a community-based garden started by a group of new immigrant and refugee families from 14 different countries with the goal of improving community access to local, organic, fresh and nutritious produce while contributing to the beautification of the city of Winnipeg. IIFCC has been growing local produce and vegetables from their members’ home countries in the Winnipeg area since 2008.
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In support of the social element of sustainability, this year's AGM community fundraiser supported Food Matters Manitoba (FMM), an organization that partners with communities to make food more available and affordable. Through activities like the development of local greenhouses and gardens, and community cooking classes teaching kids and families how to prepare healthy meals, FMM believes that Manitoba can be a healthier and happier place. The food desert theme was well-received by AGM attendees, bringing awareness to a social issue affecting communities across the country and encouraging active participation in finding a solution. Through social, environmental and economic initiatives, The Co-operators is committed to being a catalyst for a sustainable Canadian society.
The easiest way to improve food access and affordability in Canada is to take measures against food waste. A 2014 study by Value Chain Management found that $31 Billion of food is wasted annually in Canada. Here are a few practical ways to reduce food waste that The Co-operators shared with AGM attendees to get them started on making a difference: • Know the difference between “best before” and “expiry” dates. Expired food should be discarded. Visit www.inspection.gc.ca for information on when food can be safely consumed after the “best before” date has passed. • Keep perishable items in visible areas of your refrigerator. • Pack dinner leftovers into lunch containers to make it easier to take them to work or school. • Save food scraps such as roast chicken bones and vegetable peelings to make soups. Once cooled, these can be stored in the freezer until you’re ready for them. • Look in your grocery store for imperfect fruits and vegetables that are often discarded. These can also be found frequently at farmers’ markets. • If you are planning an event, consider donating leftover food to one of the many charitable organizations that need food donations.
John Harvie, Chairperson of the Board, and Dave Able, Co-operators Director, present the sponsorship cheque to Food Matters Manitoba representatives Angela Chotka, Chair of the Board, and Stefan Epp-Koop, Acting Executive Director .
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CANADA'S ONLY FOUR TIME GUINNESS WORLD RECORD HOLDING ILLUSIONIST Lucas knew what he wanted to do with his life since his first performance as a child. Today, he is Canada's only four time Guinness World Record holding illusionist having performed in front of millions around the world both live and from his numerous TV appearances. And he's just getting started. He has had a lot of BIG moments in his young career. From an appearance on Dragon's Den that ended in two different dragons competing to sponsor his next record attempt to an appearance on Good Morning America where he was presented with his fourth world record title for escaping from 98 straight jackets in one hour. But, he says, it is his appearances at McMaster Childrenâ€™s Hospital that gives him the greatest satisfaction. The Gift of Magic is a program Lucas started at McMaster Children's Hospital in 2012. What he had to give was the gift of magic and so he started to share it with those in need of some magic of their own. Over the past 4 years, Lucas visits the hospital every few months where he puts on a magic show for the patients and leaves them with a magic kit of their own. On stage or off, Lucas Wilsonâ€™s story is one of success, hard work and the magic of a dream. For event producers, he offers full production, Las Vegas quality shows featuring world class illusions to small, intimate shows for social or corporate events. Working with planners to customize each and every experience, his style is perfect for any type of event. You can learn more about Lucas on his website at www.lucaswilson.ca
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Canadian Special Events is Food, Fashion, Beauty & Design... for events. The magazine, which is also available in print, is designed to prov...
Published on Mar 22, 2017
Canadian Special Events is Food, Fashion, Beauty & Design... for events. The magazine, which is also available in print, is designed to prov...