Canadian Special Events Magazine Winter 2017

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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







Event Report

Canada's Majestic &


Castles .




2017 WINTER 2017


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contentcontributers magazine

editorialteam FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Stacy Wyatt DIRECTOR OF SALES Jason Koop ACCOUNT MANAGER Penelope Scott ACCOUNT MANAGER Dustin Yarou DESIGN Veronica Michalczak CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS Olivia Stratton TEAM CUDDLERS Jake the Dog & Priya the Cat

storycontributers Seneca College Decor & More Inc. Alex Bickers, Nasco Staffing Solutions Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Boom Goes The Drum e=mc2 events

photographycredits 424U Photo & Video | by Henry Lin Leanne Neufeld Photography L'Atelier Lumière International Photographie Blue Camel 3D Photography Brian Dennehy Photography Jon Benjamin Photography Yavuz Photo | Fahri Yavuz PhotoPhilCro Fotau | Sean Mollitt Children's Aid Foundation Jocelyn Michel PUBLISHED BY CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MEDIA GROUP A DIVISION OF 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.



Recognized as a leader in the event planning industry, Michelle Planche CMP, President, Paradigm Events, leads a team of award winning planners. She is an active member of the event industry and believes in giving back, creating standards of excellence and raising the bar of professionalism.

Erin Henderson


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.

Hala Bissada CFRE


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

Nicole Burke


Nicole has been with the Emelle’s Catering since 2001. Much can be said about Nicole, but what tells the story most, is her personal tag-line “Smiling at Strangers since 1977”. In addition to her work with Emelle’s, Nicole has worked with Capilano College’s Continuing Education. Department, facilitating special event planning workshops.

Jenalee Anderson


Jenalee focuses on growing corporate business for event management firms. She has successfully overseen the development of multiple sales-generating websites using proven digital advertising strategies and on the other hand, has planned many corporate events, consistently delivering on value and ROI.




















I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I am not convinced that the day of the week or the month, should determine when you decide to grow, change or evolve. Whether it is a personal goal or a business decision, that mindset needs to happen organically or the odds are it may not succeed. I do however, believe in organization, goal setting and renewal. The start of a new year is a great time to re-think, re-align and re-organize. At Canadian Special Events, that re-setting happens in June. While everyone else is easing themselves out of the holidays and back into their daily grind, the CSE team is hurdling forward at the speed of light trying to keep up with the madness that ensues during show season. Some may call us crazy for putting out a magazine the first week of January, but we wanted to be the first to help you dive into the new year with creative inspiration, off the hook eye candy and dozens of brilliant ideas. We do apologize for those whose new year’s goal was to eat less, because this is our Giant Food & Wine issue and it is packed with mouth watering articles, delicious images and decadent recipes. Be sure to check out Hala’s feature on Food Trends, Erin;s advice on pairings and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth’s Food Artistry at the Mac Ball. There is so much happening in the next few months. Next week, the 6th Annual Readers Choice Awards nomination portal opens, so be ready to get online and nominate your favourite event professional/supplier or venue. This is an opportunity to help sing the praises of people who support you all year long. At the start of

February, the Canadian Event Industry Awards entries are due. This is the 20th anniversary of the awards and the pinnacle event of the year for Canadian event professionals. Remember, anyone can enter, as long as the event qualifies. Winners will be announced March 30 on the final night of CSE Live at the Paramount Event Space, proudly hosted by new partners and S4 Audio Visual. Speaking of CSE Live. It is hard to imagine it’s been two decades of incredible events, amazing speakers, outrageous parties and the most creative trade show in the industry. If you have been before, if you alternate years, if you haven’t been in a while, mark your calendar now. THIS will be the biggest, most innovative CSE Live in 20 years! Highlights include the new EventSpace Venue tour and lunch, the pinwheel floorplan everyone is so excited about; the Business of Events Forum and The Opening Night Party “Experience 20” co-produced by the Idea Hunter and ESP Inc. CSE is proud to announce its newest sponsors, the Grand Hotel Toronto, Cineplex, Events Work and Boutique Websites and its newest partner, CanSPEP which will be participating in CSE Live, and starting a featured column in February. We are looking forward to another eventful year, filled with great stories, powerful moments and brilliant ideas and we cant wait to share them all with you.









By Hala Bissada CFRE, Hala Events

I had the opportunity to “grill” some of the top foodies across the country to find out what you should expect to see in 2017. .

Selecting your food and beverage menu is one

of the most important aspects of designing your event’s guest experience. Today's savvy and health conscious Guests are just saying no to the traditional rubber chicken dinners. They have seriously upped their food IQ thanks to the prevalence of foodie cooking shows, instagram and online resources where they can study food trends, international flavour profiles, recipes, etc. They are expecting, or rather demanding, thoughtful, delicious gourmet food and savvy imaginative beverages at the events they attend. I had the opportunity to “grill� some of the top foodies across the country to find out what you should expect to see in 2017. Starting with design, traditional event formats are being redefined by moving away from long, seated dinners or static buffet stations to offering interactive live food stations where chefs are emerging from the kitchen to prepare, cook, and serve live, in front of the guests. Although this is not new as a concept, the key to success will be the originality of the food being served, the ability for guests to get involved by selecting the ingredients they would like integrated into their dish (i.e. build your own), the innovative presentation styles and the fun interaction between the chef and the guests.


featurestory Canada is a cultural mosaic and Canadians are embracing and showing a strong appetite for ethnically diverse food. Prepare for international fusions where combining foods from two different cultures will result in unique dishes like Patiala Perogies where Poland meets India. Requests to focus on food from cultures that are not yet considered “mainstream” like Persian, Moroccan and Polish, for example, are becoming much more frequent. There has also been a lifestyle shift to healthier foods and this has impacted how chefs are designing their menus, in particular for corporate meetings, conferences, etc. Some chefs see it as a challenge that encourages creativity. Healthy breakfast drop-offs and boxed lunches are requested more and more for meetings. Healthy ingredients continue to trend, but now they are more accessible and people want to take advantage of their benefits. The use of ancient grains and superfoods will continue to rise including ingredients like goji berries, flax seeds and chia seeds. Given some people’s dietary restrictions and preferences, you will see celiac friendly ingredients being used like dried beans, chick peas, lentils,

fava beans, sweet potatoes, beets and kale. Healthy items like turmeric, apple cider vinegar, bitter melon, kefir and avocado oil will also be in the mix. Creating interesting and imaginative food and beverage activations are also soaring in popularity. Spot appetizers, where the chef will roam the space with a full chef kit around his/her waist interacting with guests while preparing an interesting canapé right in front of them will be something new to experience at events. 10tation owner David D’Aprile shared an interesting activation described as a juice bar wall which capitalizes on the juicing trend that is still going strong. Salad bars with more flair featuring a wide variety ingredients displayed creatively with interesting dressings like Kombucha or toppings like turmeric bacon bits is one of most in-demand stations. More elaborate beverage activations are also being well received by guests like a Caesar bar with a full set of condiments including bacon strips, crab, shrimp, radishes, pickled veggies and fresh vegetables. Yum

David D’Aprile Owner & Founder, 10tation Event Catering

Fresh Juice Bar by 10tation

Citrus dill smoked salmon, everything bagel cream cheese, pickled beet, potato roastie, cider glaze by Food Dudes

Roasted Pumpkin Tart with fresh cheese, Evergreen Herbs, and red onion reduction by Culinary Capers Catering Chick Pea Verrine with Roasted Cauliflower Vegan Entrée by Culinary Capers Catering

Executive Chef Stewart Boyles, Culinary Capers Catering

Vegetarian and vegan options have been elevated to an entirely different level. Gone are the days where a bowl of pasta is an acceptable veggie option. How does Culinary Capers Catering's Chickpea Panisse with organic carrots, green beans and roasted cauliflower sound or Food Dudes’ Kentucky Fried Eggplant with grilled vegetables, smoked onion gravy, buffalo tofu sauce, pickled heirloom carrot herb slaw? These are dishes that would even make meateaters start to salivate. In terms of wedding food and beverage trends, brides and grooms are looking for more simple menus and moving away from seated dinners to more cocktail style formats that include interactive stations with a “wow” factor. The addition of food trucks for sweet or savoury treats later

on in the evening is also something you will see more of both for casual and more upscale weddings as it adds an element of fun. Don’t forget about signature cocktails, as you will see later in this article, drinks are also an important factor. Farm to table is becoming a way of life and not just a trend; some would even say an evolution or movement. You end up with better quality ingredients where you can literally taste the difference. The public is also much more conscientious about where their food is coming from. Although this is fabulous in terms of supporting your local farms, it is sometimes more cost prohibitive for chefs. Smaller intimate events may be in a better position to take advantage of this trend. WINTER 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 7


Think grilled cheese using artisan cheeses and breads, cured meats or unique relishes, or tried and true mac & cheese dressed up with bacon, lobster, or truffle oil; flavours that explode in your mouth and make your taste buds sing. Edgardo Spano, Event Maestro Seventh Heaven Event Catering

BBQ Cajun Shrimp with Mango Coulis by Seventh Heaven Event Catering

Comfort food is still popular, but chefs are moving away from the traditional sliders and mac and cheese to incorporating favourites with a twist or some international flavours like Food Dudes’ Shawarma Taco with braised lamb neck, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, beet pickled jicama, feta, mint gremolata, tortilla strips served with flour or corn tortillas (see below). How about Legs Diamond’s deconstructed Shepherd’s pie made using lamb neck, saffron whipped potatoes, thumbalina carrots and popped baby corn? Edgardo Spano of Seventh Heaven Catering says think grilled cheese using artisan cheeses and breads, cured meats or unique relishes, or tried and true mac & cheese dressed up with bacon, lobster, or

truffle oil; flavours that explode in your mouth and make your taste buds sing. Although food will always be the highlight, cocktails are every bit as artisan as cuisine. With a renewed interest in cocktail culture, you would be doing yourself a favour by taking careful consideration of what you serve at the bar. Shake and stir up something new and enticing for your guests - the Manhattans and cosmopolitan martinis of yesteryear all still have their place, but cocktail offerings at events are becoming more diverse. Adding mixologists to your event line-up is a great way to up your game.

48 hour braised short rib slider - BBQ sauce, southwest slaw, horseradish aioli, cheddar caramelized onion brioche

Adrian Niman, Founder & Executive Chef at Food Dudes

Porcinni dusted bacon wrapped king scallops, melted spinach, smoked celeriac risotto, kabocha squash by Legs Diamond

Shawarma Taco by Food Dudes

Seventh Heaven Event Catering

Groovemeister a.k.a. Gregory Pettit and Chef Ricky Ray at Legs Diamond in Whislter, BC



Super Chilled Gin and Chamomile Julep -Elderflower snow, black licorice brunoise, basil sprouts, gin and chamomile, violet gel, aromatics of grapefruit by BarChef

Seasoned puffed rice salad served in palm leaf cones from ByPeterandPauls Event Catering

Smoky chicken drumette, buffalo sauce, dill sour cream, butter milk powder, chives by Food Dudes

Shake and Serve; warm mini sugar cinnamon donuts dunked in warm caramel ByPeterandPauls Event Catering



Frankie Solarik, Co-Owner & Bar Chef at BarChef

According to Frankie Solarik of BarChef there doesn’t appear to be any slow down when it comes to guests trying new spirits and flavour combinations. He feels we are going to see more emphasis on spirits like tequila and American rye. Incorporating a combination of flavours, custom glassware, culinary techniques such as blowtorches, liquid nitrogen and plating with garnishes like moss and wood chips will ensure that guests receive a truly unique drinking experience. Although nothing pairs with food quite like wine, beer pairings are becoming very popular as are cocktail pairings, although more challenging to do. For example, Frankie has suggested that some brightly flavoured Asian dishes benefit from a crisp dry lager or pilsner, while pale ales complement the sweetness and richness of southern BBQ. Porters can accompany steak and India Pale Ale tends to work nicely when cutting through rich fried dishes. Frankie recommends pairing cheeses with cocktails, especially creamier styles like Grey Owl and Delice de Bourgogne. Those cheeses act as a really nice backdrop allowing the vegetal notes of cocktails to penetrate the creaminess of the cheese and bring aroma and complexity right through.

Liquid nitrogen and plating with garnishes like moss and wood chips will ensure that guests receive a truly unique drinking experience.

Watch it Sailors Mojito by BarChef

The "Essence of Fall" by BarChef spherified maple and fernet granita, brandy, balsam fir, sweet vermouth, rosemary, aroma of cedar and soil. Photo by Leanne Neufeld Photography

An interesting new feature of Event Catering, is incorporating “flights of beer” from local craft breweries paired with savoury popcorn and fun food stations like uniquely flavoured mac and cheese bars. In addition, they have interactive food stations that not only feature a chef but a brewmaster as well, who can speak to the nuances of the beers in the flight and why they pair nicely with the food being served. Bon Appétit!! Thank you to these superstar foodies for sharing their invaluable time and their incredible insight. Adrian Niman, Founder & Executive Chef, Food Dudes, Toronto David D’Aprile, Owner of 10tation Event Catering, Toronto Edgardo Spano, Event Maestro / Director of Sales and Marketing, Seventh Heaven Event Catering, Toronto Frankie Solarik, Co-Owner & Bar Chef at BarChef, Toronto Gregory Pettit, Co-Owner & Chef Ricky Ray, Legs Diamond, Whistler Romy Jolly, Executive Chef, byPeterandPauls Event Catering, Toronto Stewart Boyles, Executive Chef, Culinary Capers Catering, Vancouver For more creative event solutions from Hala Bissada, follow her on twitter and facebook at @HalaEvents.

Executive Chef, Romy Jolly ByPeterandPauls Event Catering Chef Romy's South Asian creation. Photo by L'Atelier Lumière International Photographie



Seneca Designs for CANFAR's

Bloor Street Entertains By Emily Milic, Seneca College

Seneca College students and faculty transformed five Bloor Street retailers into elegant dining spaces for Bloor Street Entertains; the annual event which takes over boutiques and galleries in the Bloor-Yorkville corridor to raise between $500,000 and $1 million annually for CANFAR.

Photos courtesy of Henry Lin

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our tenth year working with CANFAR on this important event,” says John MacBride, Professor and Program Coordinator of Seneca’s Event Management – Event and Exhibit Design program (EVT). “We are incredibly grateful to CANFAR for providing our students with a unique hands-on learning opportunity and look forward to growing our relationship for years to come.” Seneca has worked on this event since 2005. In 2006, it formally became part of the curriculum as a capstone project in the EVT program. For the past 10 years, EVT students have designed the décor for the ROM and several of the dining experiences in the retail venues. This year, the faculty and students designed M0851, Strellson, Rimowa, Harry Rosen, and Liss Gallery.

Liss Gallery For this international art dealer, Professor Brian Wickens and his team created a playful but elegant artist theme. Festive arrangements of bright florals in yellow, red and orange repeated the colours of the Dr. Suess exhibition on display. Paintbrushes were incorporated into the florals and menus were custom printed as miniature sketchpads for each of the guests to take home. Giant bows on the back of each chair echoed the playfulness of the exhibition. Photography by Henry Lin, floral design by Brian Wickens of Seneca College, rentals by Higgins Event Rentals, with assistance by Yellow House Events.

Photos courtesy of Henry Lin

"We're so grateful for the energy and enthusiasm the Seneca team brings to Bloor Street Entertains every year," shared Kevin Hollett, Senior Manager of Public Relations at CANFAR. "After more than a decade, the faculty know the event and our partners incredibly well, and their knowledge and expertise shows in the professionalism and creativity among Seneca staff and students.” Seneca student Jenny Huynh was happy to have had the opportunity to create a gorgeous space for the fine dining event. “Bloor Street Entertains 2016 turned out to be an amazing experience,” said Huynh. “My group, which included three students plus myself, was in charge of Harry Rosen for Bloor Street. We were lucky to have our professors in guide us through the entire experience, teaching and providing tips.”

Harry Rosen To stay true to the brand of this fashion retailer, Professor Marta Urbanowicz and her students borrowed props from their in-house display team. Mechanical hands and candle gift boxes were combined with hydrangea and vases full of magnolia leaves to create a lush tablescape, punctuated with rectangular candle holders.

Find out more about Seneca’s Event Management program at and learn more about Bloor Street Entertains at

Photography by Henry Lin, floral design by Marta Urbanowicz of Artam Designs Inc., rentals by Event

Rental Group with assistance by Yellow House Events.



"We're so grateful for the energy and enthusiasm the Seneca team brings to Bloor Street Entertains every year." -- Kevin Hollett, Senior Manager of Public Relations at CANFAR

BSE Write Up Professor Marta Urbanowicz and her students borrowed a page from this luxury leather goods retailer’s Lookbook to create an atmosphere consistent with the store’s unique interior. Giant eucalyptus chandeliers were suspended on custom-built industrial stands to float over the heads of the guests. The table was strewn with seeded eucalyptus punctuated by candlesticks in-andout of glass rectangular vases. Menus printed on chalkboards completed the relaxed yet luxurious look. Photography by Henry Lin, floral design by Marta Urbanowicz of Artam Designs Inc., rentals by Chairman-

Mills, assistance by Yellow House Events.

Photos courtesy of Henry Lin .


1997 - 2017



DO YOU PRODUCE THE BEST EVENTS IN CANADA? LOG ON TO... 877.212.3976 • Nominees Announced February 28, 2017 Awards Gala March 30, 2017 at Paramount Event Space PRESENTED BY

CEIA is the hallmark of professional achievement and the highest honour a Canadian event professional can earn. Open to all Canadian events including non-profit, marketing, corporate, public, social and weddings.





The Value of Awards IS


If you’re considering entering and are wondering if industry awards matter, the simple answer is YES. They matter. This is true whether you’re an actor competing for an Oscar, a hockey team competing for the Stanley Cup or a planner producing a great event. The value that an award win can have on your business, your reputation and your team is well worth the effort but the benefits of entering are not exclusive to the winning entries The application process for entering an award competition 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. Should you be nominated or shortlisted, the benefits become even more tangible. From a marketing perspective, the visibility that comes from being nominated is a powerful and cost effective way of connecting with your industry. The reality is, it’s not good enough to just be good at what you do; it is important for others to see you as being good at what you do. Creating, executing, and producing great events takes a lot of work and effort from numerous stakeholders and employees, and to not have that work recognized and celebrated is a seriously missed marketing opportunity.

Submitting for awards that you think your work has earned, shows pride in what your team has produced and being nominated proves that you are among the very best. Winning awards and earning recognition for your team can strengthen existing relationships and more importantly establishes a level of trust in potential clients. It’s a 3rd party acknowledgement that distinguishes you, your company, or your brand in an increasingly crowded marketplace. From the impact on culture, to new business leads, awards are more than just a piece of hardware. They are an important part of growing, improving, and staying at the forefront of your industry. The time and effort that are needed to put together and submit the awards is well worth it when you get the recognition that is deserved from a team’s hard work. This February take the time to enter your events for top honours. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Event Industry Awards and over 627 Canadian event professionals have been recognized for their achievements. Anyone can enter as long as your events qualify. Weddings, AV, catering, entertainment decor, design, festivals, conferences... 37 categories to choose from. Enter online at WINTER 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 19


eventreport: what's cooking bracebridge

Now in its third year, What's Cooking Bracebridge - The Great Muskoka Cookbook Adventure is growing and becoming recognized as a successful tourism and culinary event. The event, which took place this past fall, targets culinary enthusiasts and foodies from the GTA, Muskoka and geographic areas in between and is a hit with cottagers that are extending their stay into the fall and winter season. One of the special things about this event is that programs and activations take place throughout the community at a variety of locations including restaurants, retail and hotel/ resorts. The entire event spans three days - and includes over ten special events including individual culinary features from the celebrity chef gala dinner and demonstration, cookbook author demos and workshops, to a large number of local restaurants featuring ’Bookalicious’ (a special lunch or dinner menu featuring recipes from visiting cookbook authors). This year there was also a pop-up cookbook store featuring chefs doing cooking demos and book signings throughout the weekend. Beth Kelly, Committee Chair, owner The Creative Cook shares her thoughts about the event, "Visitors come to What's Cooking Bracebridge, now a signature culinary event for the town, to engage in hands on learning experiences, explore our local culinary scene and celebrate Canadian cookbook authors. Michelle Planche and Paradigm Events has been an integral partner in the development and growth of this event since the beginning." All together What’s Cooking Bracebridge 2016 featured 14 Culinary Events, 6 Bookalicious Restaurants, 3 Community Event Stops, 24 Double Dip Locations, 40 Volunteers and hundreds upon hundreds of foodies.

Featured Vendors: Events in a Box, Muskoka Party Rentals, Blue Camel 3D Photography

eventreport - calgary stampede

Photos courtesy of Blue Camel 3D

Watch it Michelle Planche CMP, President of Paradigm Events has produced the celebrity chef events during What's Cooking Bracebridge since it's inception. The event is administered by the Muskoka Lifestyle Centre (MLC), a not-for-profit entity working on the advancement of the Bracebridge Tourism Brand, focusing on hands-on and interactive learning activities, commonly referred to as experiential tourism (one of the fastest growing elements of tourism). The MLC is a partnership of the Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce, Bracebridge BIA and the Town of Bracebridge. The MLC and What's Cooking Bracebridge receive administrative and financial assistance from these partners, as well as from FedNor, Celebrate Ontario, Explorer's Edge (RT012) and Foodland Ontario. WINTER 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 21


eventreport: Decor & More

Cobblestone walkway to ballroom

LET IT SNOW Casino Rama hosted its VIP “thank you” Soiree on November 22nd 2016. Décor & More Inc. handled the design and décor for this year’s theme, Let It Snow. Guests entered through a glistening cobblestone walkway, a whimsical promenade leading to someplace magical. Snow covered cedar spilled from swirly columns, as crystal accents splashed light in every direction. White drape with shimmering blue and silver accents sparkled in every direction, snowflakes hung from the sky, bringing light and imagination to life. A spectacular ice feature greeted guests as they arrived in the ballroom. Inside the winter wonderland, a mixture of tables were covered in shimmering white linens and accented with clear ice like chairs. White roses intertwined with white birch dominated the stunning table tops. Multiple stages were home to a variety of wintery, holiday performances including a beautiful winter fairy (A2D2 ~ Aerial Dance Cirque Company) hovering high over guests and a giant Let it Snow marquee accented by an ice floor where Glisse on Ice provided a holiday ice dance duo.


Performance by Glisse on Ice

Performance by A2D2 ~ Aerial Dance Cirque Company

Blending class, sophistication, elegance and whimsy creates the traditional elements in this theme.


Stardust Decor & Events (905) 479-7000

‘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. .


FORWill KTravel The best way to experience a culture is through the exploration of its culinary scene. Culinary tourism or food tourism is now considered a vital component of the tourism experience. Dining out is the most popular activity for travelers and food is believed to rank alongside climate, accommodation, and scenery in importance to tourists. The explosion of food as entertainment is mind blowing in terms of dollars spent and time invested. Food also dominates social media and is the absolute most posted topic over politics, sex and yes even trump. We could fill five issues with the amount of food events we discovered through researching this article, but we

only had a few pages left in this packed issue so we decided, since our focus is events, we would leave the food blogging to the experts and offer up a few of our most favorite food events from across Canada. These may not be the biggest or the most unique, they may not be the strangest, but they are some of the most popular, most innovative and the most fun. We're not done yet. We are so intrigued with food events right now that in the next issue we are going to continue this gastro investigation with more fresh ideas for food and design. For now we suggest you GPS these events and start planning your food trip.



Toronto Veg Food Fest, ON The 32nd Toronto Veg Food Fest was the most successful one yet, with a record breaking attendance of over 50,000 guests. Foodies came together at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto to savour the very best in plant-based fare. Tasty dishes from over 140 local vendors, restaurants and bakeries, plus free workshops, live music programmed by Toronto Downtown Jazz, cooking demonstrations, and a ton of veg-friendly products— the Fest truly offered something for everyone. Guests gathered to celebrate explosive innovation in today’s vegan industry, and learned from the pros in vegan cooking, animal rights, health and nutrition and more. They got to learn tips and tricks from the culinary masters at various cooking demonstrations, as top vegan chefs and home cooks created their own versions of traditional vegan foods. Website:

Chocolate Fest, St.Stephen, NB If you love chocolate, then it makes sense to visit the Chocolate festival put on by the company that’s been Canada’s favourite candy family since 1873; GANONG. Explore dozens of chocolate inspired events including themed dinners, chocolate making and even the lounges for unique Choctails. This delicious festival is all about letting yourself indulge a little in one of life’s greatest pleasures… sweet sweet chocolate. Website:


Chocolate Fest, New Brunswick .

The west coast has become a culinary destination for international foodies and those looking for amazing beaches, majestic sunsets, pristine waters and a cool little town.

Feast of Tofino, BC Tofino is a small town on the very west coast of Vancouver Island. A relaxed community with a fast growing food culture. Feast Tofino celebrates local, sustainable fisheries and is a collaboration between acclaimed local and regional guest chefs, restaurants, fishermen, foragers and farmers. All of whom celebrate ‘boat-to-table’ food philosophy and believe in great food, simple ingredients and good times. Festival goers are treated to the very best local and international guest chefs who travel to the small community to create one of a kind, fresh caught/picked/cured dishes. Website:




Montreal Omnivore Food Festival This is the mother of all food events. Honestly, if you attend ONE foodie event a year it has to be this one. Even for Montrealers who know their food culture, this was an impressive showing. The four day non stop event features 15 chefs, masterclasses, lectures, demos, unique dinner parties, and the hottest event of the festival, the Omnivorous Party. The final day, the world class chefs take over the SAT to serve the ultimate meals. Website:

BBQ on the Bow, Calgary Canada’s oldest sanctioned BBQ competition draws grilled meat fans from around the world. The BBQ on the Bow takes place in Calgary in early September and might be one of our favorites, featuring more than 40 vendors grilling pork, chicken and beef. We had no idea BBQ was a sport. Did you know that there are courses to become certified BBQ judges and that there is Canadian BBQ Society? Next time you order some smoked bones, ask about the sauce, you might just be in the presence of BBQ Greatness. Website:



Lobster Clam Jam, Montreal Considering it’s in May, and it’s in Montreal, this world class seafood festival is one of a kind. If you are a lobsterphile, this is the place for you, but if you just love great Canadian food, this festival offers a premiere culinary experience. It’s is an affordable, family-oriented, event showcasing a variety of renowned local restaurants, giving guests the opportunity to experience a wide selection of meat, fowl, game, fish and of course, lobster and shellfish. It is also happens to be one of the coolest events ever, and we mean cool as in hip, urban and ultra trendy! Chic festival goers turn out in thousands to drink, party and they also look fantastic. Website:

Morden Corn & Apple Festival, MB If you are looking for a warm and welcoming, traditional agri fair, look no further than the Morden Corn and Apple Festival in Morden, MB. Celebrating the spirit of this heartland, where the long and warm growing season has made it the corn and apple belt of Canada, this down-home country festival boasts big time hospitality. They pride themselves on offering free

corn on the cob and free apple juice for festival goers to enjoy while they sample dozens of home-grown, homemade dishes. This is a true Canadian country festival you have to see. Website:

Perth Garlic Festival, ON The idea of staging a garlic festival germinated from a small group of individuals in 1997 and has quickly become one of eastern Ontario's most anticipated annual community festivals. Held the second weekend in August, the Perth Garlic Festival is a celebration to the ‘stinking rose’. The warm August air of Ontario’s prettiest town is scented with the pungent aroma of garlic while thousands of ‘garlic heads’ revel in the many attributes of this wonderful herb. Featuring more than 70 vendors the purpose of the festival is to promote Ontario grown garlic, share ideas on how to grow, harvest, market, cook and most importantly enjoy all the many tasty treats created with this delicious bulb. If you're traveling through or staying in eastern Ontario in August be sure to stop by and enjoy this great small town festival. Website:




CREAMY GARLIC DRESSING 3 garlic cloves 1 whole egg 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 pinch of pepper 1 cup salad oil Blend garlic in blender, add next four ingredients, blend well, then gradually add oil a little at a time, until creamy and thick. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing.



Burlington RibFest, ON There are Ribfests and then there is Canada’s Largest RibFest. It’s all about the sticky, sweet, spicy, succulent, fall off the bone, ribs, chicken and sausage, washed down with cold beer and a couple of crazy good sides. That’s RibFest at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington where 19 award winning ribbers from all over North America gather to complete for the best blend. A family friendly fun, musical entertainment, event that will make your mouth water the second you step out of the car. You can literally taste them in the air from miles away. You MUST go to this event. Website:



The Fall Flavours Festival is osted by Canada’s Food Island and is an initiative of the Food Island Partnership.

Fall Flavours, PEI The Fall Flavours Festival is a unique culinary adventure highlighting authentic Prince Edward Island tastes & traditions. Incredible food, delightful venues, entertaining hosts, one-of-a-kind experiences. Some of the most fabulous and intimate food experiences you can imagine. Signature events feature the very best PEI has to offer. Join local hosts and pick potatoes, catch lobsters, harvest oysters or head off to Culinary Boot Camp. All samples of hands on experiences/participatory Events that let you enjoy food from the source. If you are thirsty attend the brewmasters dinner with PEI produced handcrafted beers. And those are just for starters. Website:



Cornucopia, BC Saskatchewan produces all 3 types of Mustard: Yellow, Brown and Oriental. Each has a different flavour.

This event lives up to its name. Cornucopia is Whistler’s yearly food and drink festival that happens over the course of 10 days and it happens… on a mountain top. Foodies delight in the ultimate cooking experiences with everything from out of this world, gastronomic genius dishes, one-of-a-kind chef dinners, cocktail worships (sorry we mean workshops), engaging debate about food design, wine tastings and so much more. If you find yourself with some free time in-between eating, learning and all-round merriment, make sure to pop in to Bearfoot Bistro’s signature ice bar (don’t worry, they’ll give you a big, warm jacket) for a cocktail or two. Website:

Great Saskatchewan Mustard Fest, SK

Watch it

This event, believe it or not has been celebrating Canada’s favourite condiment for 10 years. It all started with the idea to showcase the great local culinary talent to be found in Regina and to showcasing an ingredient that represents 80% of the mustard grown for global export. Thousands of people turn out to taste crazy dishes made from the yellow gold, have a beer, and enjoy some family friendly entertainment. Website:




GRAINY CHEESE SPREAD 1/2 cup spreadable, fat-free cream cheese 1/4 cup tub style, non-hydrogenated margarine 1/4 cup whole grain prepared mustard 1 green onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 clove garlic, minced Blend together cream cheese, margarine and mustard, in a bowl. Add green onion, honey, tomato paste and garlic. Stir to mix.



thingswelYve STRESS


Cayenne Pepper & Lime Organic Raw Chocolate


1 2 34

After the madness of the holiday season, the calm of January is always welcome. It signals a time to begin anew; to find and keep your balance, to set yourself up with tools for ensuring you stay cool and steady as the pace slowly begins to rebuild in February. This little collection of de-stressing items should hopefully help you in your quest for zen.


Orbits Eye Stones To soothe those tired and weary eyes, these Finnish stone disks bring instant relief. Get them here


Floatation Therapy On a crisp winter day, nothing takes the chill out of your body and the stress from your mind like 45 minutes of pure blissful floating. Warm salt water keeps you afloat as you immerse yourself in total relaxation. Get more info.


Whoever thought chocolate would be good for you? It keeps your stress level down and your immune system up. Made using raw 73% dark chocolate and infused with cayenne pepper and lime oil this is the ultimate cold fighting, endorphin boosting, “gotta have on show day” pick me up. Click here to grab a bar.


Meditation Box Create a calming oasis with this box filled with fine grains of sand that shift with your every inspiration. Get it here.




Wireless Headphones Think these are just to beat boxers and teenagers? No no. these are a busy professionals salvation. Slip these beauties on and slip into your own littler world of sweet silence. The only sounds you’ll hear are the ones you want to hear. Get them here.


Tile Mate - Key Finder, Phone Finder, Pet Finder The ultimate in stress reduction. Never have a frantic “where are my (insert missing item here) moments again! . Simply attach Tile Mate to your keys, wallet or even rover and voila.. instant GPS tracker.


ILEA Vancouver & MPI BC Chapter Holiday Affair International Live Events Association (ILEA) Vancouver joined together with the BC Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) for a holiday event of epic proportions. “It’s a Wonderful Life” was held on December 20, 2016 at the Rocky Mountaineer Station, and the soiree marks the first time the two local groups have collaborated for their annual holiday events. Photo courtesy of Brian Dennehy Photography

Inspired by the 1946 epic fantasy drama It’s a Wonderful Life, this event brought together the industry’s best and most creative suppliers, entertainers and caterers in the region to create an amazingly festive, engaging and immersive celebratory holiday experience. The theme of the event truly echoes the co-operative and supportive working environment that the event and meeting industry in BC is proudly creating. Photo Credits to Jon Benjamin Photography and Brian Dennehy Photography.

Photo courtesy of Jon Benjamin Photography .

-- Alex Bickers, Director of Sales and Marketing, Nasco Staffing Solutions & President, ILEA Vancouver

At ILEA Vancouver we are all about engagement. When the opportunity arose in the early Fall to join our colleagues at MPI to produce the Vancouver event industry party of the year, we jumped at the chance. Industry sponsorship and support has been overwhelming. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the groundwork we’ve layed for many more years of partnership with our industry colleagues.

Photos courtesy of Jon Benjamin Photography .


All Photos on this page what thing courtesy of Jon Benjamin Photography .

-- Heather Sharpe, Event Producer, Sherpa Group Events Inc. MPI BC Chapter Education and Programs Committee



The MPI BC Chapter values collaborating with event professionals in the area and around the world. We are stronger together. This collaboration between MPI BC Chapter, ILEA Vancouver and all of our fabulous suppliers and planners to create 'It's a Wonderful Life' Holiday Party is a perfect example of that.

Photos courtesy of Jon Benjamin Photography .

Joining together for a wonderful life as sponsors are: EdgeCeptional Catering Semiahmoo Resort Culinary Capers The Four Vancouver



The Lazy Gourmet Railtown Catering Summerhill Winery Truffles Catering Anvil Centre The Rocky Mountaineer Station Elizabeth Stanley Event Design Chair Décor Etc. Christopher J Design Stretch Tents Loungeworks Innovation Lighting Showkraft Go2 Productions Sherpa Group Events Inc. PSAV Brian Dennehy Photography Jon Benjamin Photography Nasco Staffing Solutions Greenscape Design and Decor Printboom FMAV HollyNorth Production Supplies Engagement Unlimited The Vancouver Trolley Company VanHattan Entertainment Klik by PixMob Pedersen’s Rentals




partnerupdates ILEA Toronto has spent the past six months building momentum for 2017. We held some incredible events; baseball at the open SkyDome, an AGM with record attendance, and a powerful group of panelists discussing the next generation of branding.

2016 is now behind us and what a year to say the least. To the tragic loss of some of our most cherished artists, to political unrest and natural disasters, it has been one heck of a year and like many of you I am excited for the freshness that the new year will bring.

In 2017 We’ve got great programming in store including topics like event trends, an up and coming event designers showcase, a cameo at the Canadian Special Events Live! and plenty of others presented by local industry experts.

I have been blessed to stay on as a second term President of ILE A Vancouver, with an amazing Board of Directors anyone could ask for. Having this incredible support has allowed our chapter to continue to build upon our foundation of strong programming and to bring even more original and innovative educational experiences to our members and guests. Some of most memorable were our Inaugural Chapter Awards & Gala, our momentous holiday party (in collaboration with MPI BC) and the development of our first ever Chapter scholarship, to be awarded in 2017.

Additionally, we’ve embraced our new name (changed from the International Special Events Society to the International Live Events Association in May). This new name broadens our prospective members list. In the past, the industry often had a hard time defining what “special events” were and who should be a member. But live events opened that up and we remain the principal association representing the creative events professional, globally. I encourage you to join ILEA Toronto. In addition to being one of over 100 local live event professionals, you’ll receive invites to attend our events at member rates, you and your company will be listed in the international directory of ILEA members, be invited to attend ILEA Live in Calgary next August, and be offered a number of member discounts and access to affinity programs. So now is the time! Become a member today by visiting May 2017 be successful and memorable.

When I take a moment to reflect on the past year, the common theme of giving back and engagement runs through everything we do. As we move into 2017, I want to personally encourage each of you, as an event professional to get involved and find something or someone this year to affect change with. Speak to or mentor students, connect with someone just to share ideas and most of all take time to feed your soul with something that you are passionate about. I wish you all the best in the year ahead and I look forward to connecting with you at an event soon. See a list of our upcoming events at Happy New Year,

Best wishes, Alex Bickers Elizabeth Nutting,

Director of Sales & Marketing,

Director of Events, Production

Nasco Staffing;


President, International Live Events

President, International Live Events

Association (ILEA),

Association (ILEA), Toronto Chapter

Vancouver Chapter



Food is At The

Art MAC Ball


Food presentation by the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel outside catering department, reflected the factory theme using unexpected accessories such as paint brushes, paint cans and tubes to awake the artist in every guest. Photography by Fahri Yavuz


The theme of the 2016 MAC Ball benefiting the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art couldn’t have been more evocative: Discover your inner artist! Orchestrated by Debbie Zakaib, Chair of the MAC Ball organizing committee, produced by the agency 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil’s events and special projects company and catered by Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel, the Mac Ball is one of the year’s most anticipated and sought-after events and is well known for its high style, discerning taste and glamor. This event was no exception. The invite suggested silver attire and guests complied by arriving dressed in their most original outfits as they stepped into an artists’ factory inspired by the glam aesthetic of Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory. Their entrance was lined with foil costumed performers guiding their way into the museum. Once inside, the reception dazzled guests with spectacular food, décor and entertainment. Throughout the evening, they would have the opportunity to taste the world of the artist by feeling the movements, seeing the music and hearing the colours. The unexpected appeared over the course of the event as 700 guests were treated to one of a kind, uber imaginative entertainment and experiences. Paint brushes and tools were offered for guests to create their own art on living statue canvases and more factory esque costumed servers appeared with decadent, theme specific canapes. The room was completely enveloped in hues of silver, music and movement including a performance by members of L’École supérieure de ballet du Québec.



The multi-course meal was served impeccably at long buffet-style tables, adorned with towers of mouthwateringly good crustaceans and a thematic menu including melt-in-your-mouth lamb chops and cleverly presented delicacies. According to Armando Arruda, Director of Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth’s outside catering, “We really wanted to reflect the factory theme and did not hesitate to use unexpected accessories – in fact 5,600 of them – such as paint brushes, paint cans and tubes to awake the artist in every guest. We put in

Photography by Fahri Yavuz


hours of research and trials to create the best culinary experience. We are always up for new challenges and the Ball provides us with innovative themes to explore”. Debbie Zakaib, Chair of the MAC Ball commented: “The gourmet menu was stunning; not to mention how inviting, generous, delicious, original, colorful and full of surprises. It was perfectly in line with the theme. We were truly impressed by the attention to details, the creativity and delivery. Our guests were astonished”,



“We are very proud to have been chosen to design and produce the 2016 edition of the MAC Ball. Even though we have had a chance to stage prestigious events all over the world, this particular one offers a real challenge for us. We will be presenting our project at home, in the heart of our city, in front of distinguished guests. The MAC is where artists, their work and the public come together, and this is the setting in which we now have the opportunity to work on one of Montréal’s most eagerly anticipated events. Our team could not be more aware of this, and we are aiming for a result that lives up to the mission we have been entrusted with,” says Yasmine Khalil, President, 45 DEGREES. Honorary co-chairs of this unique event were Manon Brouillette, President and CEO of Vidéotron, Éric Bujold, President of National Bank Private Banking 1859, and Alexandre L’Heureux, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP Global Inc. The evening’s hosts were François Dufresne, President of the Musée Foundation, Alexandre Taillefer, Chair of the Musée Board of Trustees, Debbie Zakaib, Chair of the Ball Organizing Committee, and John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the MAC.

Watch it

Experience the event for yourself in this video produced by Republik in Montreal, Quebec

The organizing committee was made up of Sophie Banford, Anne-Marie Barnard, Ruby Brown, Violette Cohen, Naila Del Cid, Anna Goodson, Nathalie Goyette, Danièle Patenaude, Josée Noiseux, Katerine Rocheleau, Jean-Philippe Shoiry, Marie-Josée Simard, Nicolas Urli and Debbie Zakaib. The Ball raised over $600,000 which will go toward enriching the museum’s educational activities, building the museum’s collection, extending the reach of contemporary Quebec artists and bringing some of today’s leading international artists to Montreal.

The MAC Ball's organizing committee. Photo courtesy of Jocelyn Michel.


6 wine&dine





Wine & Food by Erin Henderson, The Wine Sisters

As a sommelier, my clients always ask me what my favourite wine is and my answer is always the same: I’m far too promiscuous to pick just one. So much of what I’m drinking depends on what’s I’m doing, eating, who I’m with, the weather, my mood... what I’m likely sipping poolside when it’s +40 outside, is much different from what I’m sipping by the fire in January when it’s minus 40 and beautifully crisp.


However, the leading factor when deciding on what bottle to open is the food.

Sample Pairing: Crab Cakes and Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

My company hosts dozens of wine experiences for our clients every year, from large, gala receptions, to intimate dinners for 15 and the element I love the most about organizing these affairs is choosing wine and food pairings. The days of white meat/white wine and red meat/red wine are gone and it’s great fun to play around with flavours and textures. Curiously enough, though, food and wine pairing brings stress and anxiety to my clients. Should you find yourself in the same apprehensive boat as you plan your corporate and social events, I have put together a few simple tips to get the most from your wine and food experience.

If you can squeeze a lemon on it - think fried calamari, raw oysters, ceviche - a good pairing is a crisp white wine higher in mouth watering acid. Wines like Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio work well here.

PAIR BIG MEATS WITH BIG RED WINES Tannins, the physical compound found in red wine that give a drying sensation like you have cotton balls in your mouth, latch on to the proteins and fats of beef and other rich meats, rounding out and elevating the flavours of both food and wine. Sample pairing: braised short ribs and Ruffino “Modus” red blend (Super Tuscan), Italy



TAME THE HEAT WITH LOW ALCOHOL WINES Alcohol just exacerbates the spice of a dish, making it uncomfortable to eat. Opt for low alcohol, and slightly sweet wines like German Rieslings, Alsatian Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminers. Sample pairing: Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Pfaff Pinot Gris, France

WORK WITH THE STRONGEST FLAVOUR OF THE DISH Almost every wine descriptor out there says the contents of the bottles match well with chicken, beef or pasta. Is that Sunday’s roast chicken or chicken curry? Are we talking a beef ragu or Beef Wellington? Fettucini Alfredo or spaghetti with tomato sauce? Look to how the dish is prepared, not just the star ingredient. Sample pairing: Grilled lamb chops and Peter Lehmann Clancy Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet red blend, Australia

SWEET DESSERTS DEMAND SWEET WINE We know wine and chocolate is all the rage in fact our company even offers a wine and chocolate tasting as part of our services - but you need to tread carefully. If your food is sweeter than your wine, your wine will end up tasting bitter, dull and flat. Instead opt for wines sweeter than your dessert to compliment both. Sample Pairing: Pear Tart with Jacob’s Creek Moscato, Australia

LIFE SAVER WINES If you are truly at a loss, opt for a Pinot Noir for red, dry Riesling for white and sparkling wine or Champagne. All of these wines are known to be very food friendly because they are lower in tannins and higher acidity, cleansing your palate for the next bite. If you have any questions regarding the best wine and food pairings for your next dinner function, drop us a line at






FEATURED SUPPLIERS: One Nite Band, OneWest Events Inc., Designing on the Edge, River Cafe, Calgary Show Services LTD., Uniquities and PhotoPhilCro



Event planners can pull off just about anything. Alberta based Boom Goes The Drum is a shining example of how when the rain comes down the planners get busy, as they clearly proved when they produced a spectacular wedding for Sean Godfrey and Jillian Wyne, at The Foundry in Calgary, despite pouring rain, tornados and thunderous chilly skies.

The goals for the creative wedding design was a mix of laid back, understated style a nod to the ‘cabaret’- with touches of highbrow, Grecian aesthetic to create quiet moments of elegance throughout the evening. The end result was an elegant mix of Greco-Roman inspired sophistication and cabaret jazz club, that felt classic and trend setting, timeless and forward thinking.

Jillian and Sean exchanging their vows in front of a custom vignette in Uniquities

“Boom Goes The Drum played a major role in creating and executing the wedding concept, as well contributed to enhancing guest experience while mitigating adverse weather conditions. They brought their expertise in design, programming and logistics, while seamlessly intertwining our personality as a couple into the event design. It was perfect!” -- Jillian Wyne, Bride



A gorgeous array of some of the colourful, beautifully textured canape’s River Café is famous for



The Foundry is one of Calgary’s most sought-after venues, and was the perfect fit for this urban couple .


Guests flowed from the Greco-Roman inspired ceremony into the warmer feeling bar space





GENI US OR LUCKY BREAK? By Nicole Burke, Emelle’s Catering

It is said “you eat with your eyes first” so creating a lasting first impression, is the key to getting the guests to not only try the food, but love it, Instagram it & talk about on social media. Let’s face it, the landscape of food service has changed in the past years. Everyone is a “foodie” pinning pictures of the latest and greatest. So as caterers and planners, you have to dig deep for innovation and big ideas. But where do the ideas come from? Three sources of inspiration we stem from at Emelle's Catering are Necessity, Special Request, Environment.


Special Request

Catering presentation is made from necessity. While I am not admitting to anything (we have never been guilty of leaving the shop without a platter or two) what you have to simply make up, based on what’s available on location becomes the most inventive. Since the biggest challenge we face is the logistics of making a dish work on-site – when you are forced to react, you get to try it, without over thinking. You don’t have any other choice! Consider one of our favorite canapes - our micro fork scallops. WHAT!?!, the bamboo picks didn’t get packed. Hmm, something needs to hold these together. What do we use instead? We have cocktail forks, let’s try these. VOILA! While the size of fork, wasn’t ideal the first time, we went back to our supplier to ask if there such a thing as a micro fork?

Client: I am having a garden party and want it to be over the top & cool. But I only want vegetables and dip. Me: OK, over the top vegetables & dip, got it. Ok, so… vegetables & dip is nothing new and has been done since the dawn of time, but in 2001 when wheat grass was making its way to juice bars and becoming trendy, (and incidentally was about the time of this request) we took a simple order and made it new again by using wheatgrass, a crate, carved carrot crocuses and radish roses. Garden’y; right? The guests loved it. In fact raved so much, that even today, some 15 years later, it is still one of the most requested, signature items we offer. While this is a simple example, it our goal to customize to suit special requests. That’s what’s fun and challenging about the entire process.



Catered presentation using a first nation's canoe by Emelle's Catering in collaboration with Christopher J Designs at the Museum of Anthropology

Environment If you can’t find a theme, just look around! We draw much of our inspiration from the venues we work in. Be it a heritage building inspiring food presentations with old world charm or a museum, evoking visions of west coast first nations, we take direction from the color pallet, greenspace or natural décor elements which allow us to build presentations to fit the space. Recently we had the pleasure of working with Christopher J Designs on an event at the Museum of Anthropology. Once again we were serving vegetables & dip along with cheeses. To create something really unique, Christopher brought a canoe as one of the statement pieces. So instead of a table with a linen, we created the “look” to the fit the space. You can build from there, adding wooden boards, complimentary colors, signage that draws the eye. Anything that adds color and texture will help make the “staples” ever more special.

A spin on the traditional vegetable & dip platter by Emelle's Catering, incorporating wheatgrass, carved carrot crocuses and radish roses


The Children's Aid Foundation's

30TH ANNUAL TEDDY BEAR AFFAIR On November 26, 2016, the Children’s Aid Foundation’s 30th Annual Teddy Bear Affair was held in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the celebrated event which draws some of Toronto’s most dedicated and generous philanthropists. Surprise performance by The Tenors Photos courtesy of the Children’s Aid Foundation

The e=mc2 events team in Toronto was in charge of producing the event elements including entertainment, technical production, décor, production management and logistics. They worked closely with Fluid Events who was responsible for all of the internal management, on-site fundraising, volunteers, CAF youth engagement & involvement, staff engagement, committee, table sales & sponsorship. The production goals for this special anniversary event was to tell the story of the foundation and what it does for the community and the youth. This was evident as soon as guests walked through the doors. To achieve this, they used strong décor elements outlining the faces & stories that have helped CAF communicate their message and the story of the Teddy Bear Affair for over 30 years. The highlight of this event was the way that former youth in care were scripted into the event, creating stories about their own experiences and providing guests with a first hand glimpse into the power and outcomes of the work being done by CAF. Former youths in care were invited to participate, to take centre stage and tell their stories. This inspired an original song written just for The Teddy Bear Affair, which then debuted during the event.


Former youths in care sing an original song written just for The Teddy Bear Affair Aerial artist Anna Amy Ho, also a former youth in care performed alongside a violinist to a backtrack of her story. The rest of the evening was filled with spectacular and moving performances by Sean Jones, Jillea, Jessica Mitchel, Will Lamoureux, Sistema Toronto Children’s Choir, Wexford Collegiate Glee Club, Montreal Rhapsody and a surprise performance by The Tenors. The night raised of $1.9 million dollars for the Children’s Aid Foundation.

"Together with Fluid Events we are proud to be part of one of Toronto's longest standing galas. Telling the story of the Children's Aid Foundation through poignant and engaging storytelling is not a simple feat, but it was made possible by the countless hours and boundless dedication of each and every member of our event team". -- Trevor Howes, Event Producer & Team Lead at e=mc2 events

Sponsors, suppliers and production team include: Bespoke Audio Visual, Décor & More Inc., Curtain Call, Air Magic, Givergy, Production Canada; Andy Stinton, Show Caller; Briane Nasimock, Script Writer; Andrea Weissman-Daniels, Entertainment Creative Director; Bill King, Musical Director Photos courtesy of the Children’s Aid Foundation


Aerial artist Anna Amy Ho

Full service event decor, floral design, lighting production and furniture rentals. • • 1 844 753 7446



' Canadas

Most Majestic &

Rentable Castles


By Stacy Wyatt, Canadian Special Events


All across the country, our rich and colorful history can be found inside the great halls and gardens of our notable castles, forts and mansions. Built hundreds of years ago, these fairy tale like destinations tell the stories of intrigue , war, passions, scandal, love and loss. Our castles are majestic and filled with mystery and magic. Best of all, you can bring some of that enchantment and beauty to your events by renting them to become the backdrop for your special celebrations.


During the Dunsmuir era, approximately 100 gardeners and groundskeepers tended the estate. Interior shot of the main hall with one and many fireplaces.

Hatley Castle Foyer Wood Jim Bryant 66 | CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MAGAZINE | WINTER 2017


HATLEY CASTLE Victoria, British Columbia

Hatley Park National Historic Site, home of Royal Roads University is situated a short 20 minutes from downtown Victoria, British Columbia. The iconic Hatley Castle is the centerpiece of the estate overlooking the breathtaking Pacific Ocean. The 565-acres is surrounded by old growth forest and pristine gardens making this one of the most unique venues in western Canada. A perfect setting for special events, banquets, and conferences. The Castle was completed in 1908. James Dunsmuir commissioned Samuel Maclure, a Victorian architect, to design the Castle, and Messrs. Brett and Hall, landscape artists of Boston, Massachusetts, to plan the gardens and surroundings. Its impressive exterior is matched only by the lavishness of the interior appointments; oak and rosewood paneled rooms, baronial fireplace, teak floors, and specially made lighting fixtures. The wall surrounding the estate, built of local stone, cost over $75,000; the Conservatory, costing a like amount, was at one time filled with white orchids imported from India and a large banana tree grew in the center under the dome. The rooms of the house were filled with flowers from the Conservatory throughout the year. Ten kilometers of road interlaced the estate, and a hundred men were employed in the gardens. The Dunsmuirs moved into the castle in 1908. James passed in 1920, at the age of 69. His wife, formerly Laura Surles of North Carolina, lived on at Hatley Park with her daughter Eleanor until she died in August, 1937. Eleanor died six months later. In November 1940, it was purchased by the Dominion Government to begin its career as a Naval Training Establishment. The college closed in 1994, and in 1995 became part of Royal Roads University. The venue is a popular location for balls, weddings, galas and corporate functions. Incidentally, Robert Dunsmuir, father of James Dunsmuir, built the Craigdarroch Castle in downtown Victoria. Visit to learn more. Hatley Castle and its stunning grounds, including this quaint bridge over its pond, leading to extensive gardens.




Watch it

CRAIGDARROCH CASTLE Victoria, British Columbia

Craigdarroch Castle is a definitively Victorian experience. It is a shining example of a “bonanza castle” — massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age. In this case, the industrialist was Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal. This legendary Victorian mansion, built between 1887 and 1890 on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria, announced to the world that Robert Dunsmuir was the richest and most important man in Western Canada. He died in 1889, leaving his entire estate to his wife Joan, who lived in the Castle until her death in 1908.

Soon after Joan Dunsmuir died at Craigdarroch, her daughters sold the Castle, the 28-acre estate was subdivided and the Castle raffled. Eventually, the winners, having lived in the castle for a time, lost the Castle to the Bank of Montreal over unpaid debts. In 1919 Craigdarroch was extensively renovated by the federal Department of Soldiers Civil Re-establishment (DSCR) prior to opening as a military hospital in September, 1919 when it began its institutional life, which continued into the 1970’s before being taken over by The Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society.



Today the beautiful castle with its 39 rooms and over 20,000 square feet of interior space, is a showpiece of the city. Hosting hundreds of events a year, Craigdarroch Castle was built for entertaining and is a unique choice for celebrations of all kinds. The interior, due to its smallish rooms, is best suited to a stand-up cocktail-style reception or small event but the magical 70,000+ square foot lawns can accommodate the largest of events. Visit to learn more.

The four-story Craigdarroch Castle still has lavish furnishings from the 1890s and is known for its stained-glass and intricate woodwork.




Dundurn Castle Hamilton Ontario by PhilipCurwen

DUNDURN CASTLE Hamilton, Ontario

Dundurn Castle is a historic neoclassical mansion in Hamilton, Ontario. The 18,000-square-foot house took three years and $175,000 to build. The architect was Robert Charles Wetherell. Who completed it in 1835.

This 40-room Italianate-style villa was built on Burlington Heights; the former site of a fortified military encampment established by the British in 1813. Once home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer and Premier of the United Canadas (1854-1856) and his family, Dundurn Castle tells the story of the family who lived above stairs and the servants who lived and worked below to support their affluent lifestyle. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is the museum’s Patron and the great, great, great granddaughter of Sir Allan MacNab. It is currently owned by the City of Hamilton, which purchased it in 1900 for $50,000. The city has spent nearly $3 million renovating the site and the rooms have been restored to



the year 1855 when Sir Allan was at the height of his career. Costumed interpreters guide visitors through the home, illustrating daily life from the 1850s. Dundurn Castle’s associated buildings and structures are set in a picturesque, park-like estate of 13 hectares . The venue does rent out various parts of property and encourages event clients to engage the venues many period staff and offerings, into its events to provide a more authentic experience. Visit to learn more

The castle was home to a single family in the late 1850's. In its heyday, Dundurn was home to lavish events. Courtesy of Hamilton Spectator.





Casa Loma’s long history is riddled with spooky tales of strange noises, voices, apparitions and invisible ghosts of the people who worked at the castle in the early 1900s. Credit Virtual Reference Library

Toronto, Ontario

Casa Loma is Gothic Revival style castle and gardens in midtown Toronto. Casa Loma was built for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt in 1914. The architect was E. J. Lennox. Casa Loma took three years and $3.5 million to build and Sir Henry filled the magnificent castle with artwork from around the world. In its glory, Casa Loma stood as a monument to its creator - it surpassed any private home in North America. With soaring battlements and secret passageways, it paid homage to the castles and knights of days gone by. In the height of their years, Sir Henry and Lady Pellatt hosted grand social events and were deeply devoted to their philanthropic projects. In 1924 the effect of World War I and the changing landscape of the Canadian economy forced the Pellatts were to sell their possessions, abandon their beloved castle and move to their farm in King township. Lady Pellatt passed away later that year at the age of sixty-seven and Sir Henry died on March 8, 1939. Thousands lined Toronto streets to witness his funeral procession. From 1925-36 the venue changed hands a few times, taking on various faces, from a failed luxury hotel, to being used at some point as a popular night spot. In 1933, the city of Toronto took ownership of the property for $27,303.45 The Kiwanis Club of West Toronto began operating Casa Loma as a tourist attraction in 1937 until just a few years ago.

The elegance and breathtaking detail of Casa Loma can be seen from it’s majestic Great Hall to the magnificence of the outdoor terrace which boasts a powerful view of the fiveacre estate gardens below and the city skyline beyond. Hosting over 250 private events a year, Casa Loma is a true oasis within the bustling city. Visit to learn more


In January 2014, the Liberty Entertainment Group led by Nick Di Donato entered into a long term lease with the City of Toronto. Today, Casa Loma is one of Toronto's top tourist attractions and premiere hospitality venues.




Photography by Will Porter




Château Ramezay - Historic Site and Museum of Montréal was selected by a team of experts, in collaboration with UNESCO, as one of the 1001 historic sites you must see in your lifetime.

CHÂTEAU RAMEZAY Montréal, Quebec

Built in 1705 as the residence of then-governor of Montréal, Claude de Ramezay, the Château was the first building proclaimed as a historical monument in Quebec and is the province’s oldest private history museum. Over the years, the Château changed owners and functions several times, with Ramezay's descendants selling the manor to the fur-trading Compagnie des Indes. From 1775, it became the Canadian headquarters for the Continental Army when it seized Montréal. Benjamin Franklin stayed there overnight in 1776, while trying to raise troops to fight for the Americans in the American Revolutionary War.



The aromas and colours unique to this historic garden provides an peaceful oasis in the heart of Old Montréal

Watch it

After the conquest until 1849 the house was again used as a governor's residence, this time by the British governors. For official purposes it was known as Government House and was the governor's official Montréal residence which complemented his other residence in Quebec City. Ramezay salon. In 1878, the building opened its doors to host Université de Montréal's first Faculty of Medicine. The building was bought by the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montréal and converted into an historical museum and portrait gallery in 1894. Sir Andrew Taylor designed alterations to the Chateau in 1895.

Watch this video about the artifacts and collectables at Chateau Ramezay

From 1997 to 2002, the Château Ramezay underwent indoor and outdoor restorations, including the creation of the Governor’s Garden, inaugurated in 2000. In 2003, the Château Ramezay Museum earned the National Award of Excellence from the Landscape Architects of Canada. It has greeted more than a million visitors. The Château Ramezay offers a unique and enchanting setting for events and weddings in the heart of Old Montreal. Visit to learn more



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Jenalee Anderson, Digital Advertising Specialist

You receive an RFP from a potential client and you know several of your competitors have likely received the same RFP. How do you set yourself apart from the crowd? What are these corporate buyers looking for in your proposal?

NUMBERS First of all, notice I said buyers. There is a shift happening in corporations with who is making the decisions on event spend. A choice that was often times left up to an assistant or internal planner is under greater scrutiny and is now the choice of someone in a buyer or procurement role, with little to no experience with events. It’s important for you to speak their language. Make sure your content on pricing, savings and ROI is STRONG. Supplement these numbers with validating reasons why you are worth it.

TECHNOLOGY Are you leading edge when it comes to event technology? Do you use an event app that ties in with registration software, budgeting, session tracking, surveys, the whole sha-bang? Be specific! This is increasingly important to your corporate client. Many want to be known as innovative, outside of the box thinkers, and this is one way to speak to that. Also, it doesn’t hurt to highlight any integrations your technology may have with their in-house software. Think SAP, Concur, CRM’s etc. Greater transparency and tracking of event spend is #1 in these buyers minds. You can also use this portion to educate them on how technology can drive engagement, and ultimately ROI.

CREATIVITY & INNOVATION I just said it, but it bears repeating; corporations want to stand out as innovative, outside of the box thinkers. They want to be assured that you have what it takes to breathe new life into their events. When they ask for a teambuilding activity, they don’t want to hear about another amazing race style scavenger hunt. They want something new, fresh, and creative. It can be hard to convey your creativity and innovation on a piece of paper without giving away your ideas. Mention your dedicated in-house creative team, or your involvement in an international association from which you draw inspiration, or maybe you attend an annual conference that focuses on new ideas and trends in the event industry. I believe speaking to your ongoing commitment to innovation leaves a longer lasting impression than sharing a current creative idea, that come next year, has run its’ course.

REFERENCES OR SUCCESS STORIES? Use this as an opportunity to brag or toot your own horn. What were your biggest and best successful events? If at all possible, choose an event you planned for another client in the same industry – one of their peers. Social influence can play a part in your proposal. People often look for cues to see what their peers are doing. Try to avoid direct competitors as examples, but know the client you are pitching to; know their industry, and give examples that show you can plan an event for them. WINTER 2017 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 77




l ive. canad ianspec i a lev en ts . c o m | i n f o @ ca n a d i a n sp e ci a l e v e nts. com .

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