Canadian Special Events Magazine Winter 2022

Page 1





Trend Report 2022

Bloor Street Entertains



Things We Love

Metaverse the Real Story



Great Places & Amazing Spaces

A Pearle in the City



One Piece of Advice

One Size Does Not Fit All



Future Proofing Your Career

Seven Hundred and Fifteen Days

96 Green Rain for Global Movie Premiere




About CSE CSE is the largest community of eventprofs in Canada, followed by more than 57k+ corporate, non-profit, academic, association, tourism, marketing, planning, and hospitality professionals who engage with us thousands of times a day across multiple platforms. We produce the Candian Event Awards, the Canadian Event Venue Awards, publish Canadian Special Events Magazine, and produce CSE Live, the annual show for Canadian event professionals in Toronto and Vancouver. We are storytellers, offering script and writing services from full-service, ideation and content production to oneoff consultation. We’re a trusted voice in the industry and Canada’s leading social media influencer with an unrivalled ability to connect your product, brand, message, or service with the core of the Canadian corporate event community.

Founder & Publisher Stacy Wyatt

Vice President, Sales & Marketing Jason Koop

Associate Editor Janice Cardinale

Director, Sales & Strategic Partnerships Vicki Zeppa

Marketing & Design Veronica Michalczak

Production & Administration Ian Gadot, Web & Digital Arlen Mirandela, Executive Asst.

Contributers Scott McCallister, VEMM, Bruce Playfoot, Chad Brincheski, Maggie Baird, CMP, Melissa Deslauriers, Heather Reid, Trish Knox, Andrew Roby, Mahoganey Jones, CMP, DES, HMCC - EWD Tony Chapman, Joel Olandesca


Follow Us @canadianspecialevents



Canadian Special Events Magazine

Published by National Event Marketing Group. 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. All material is printed at the publishers' discretion but does not necessarily reflect the publisher's opinions. Our articles are intended to promote the businesses and services of event and meeting suppliers and offer education and information relevant to event and meeting planners. Readers are advised to use due diligence and always use discretion when hiring any product, service or supplier. National Event Marketing Group Inc. can take no responsibility for individual outcomes of any such choice. WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM tel. 437 984-1650


Hello From


It’s been an unprecedented, once-in-a-

The 25th Anniversary Canadian Event



Awards Gala is finally happening in

communities, and ourselves and here we

person this July at CSE Live and promises

are today, about to emerge, almost freed

to be an EPIC celebration. The early-bird

from the chaos and confusion and on the

deadline to enter is April 10th.





precipice of what may be the next gold rush for the event industry in Canada. Fueled





Our signature event, CSE Live, is back, bigger and better than ever, with a new






cancellations, new technologies and a

EventFest. It's happening July 11-13 at

thirst for new experiences, we are a

the venues of Liberty Entertainment

country ready to gather, and our industry

Group in Toronto.

is ready to take off… and so are we.

Lastly, we are growing like crazy, and I

For the last two years, we’ve organically

want to officially welcome Vicki Zeppa, our












community of event professionals in

Partnerships, Janice Cardinale, our new



Associate Editor, who I am over the moon

relationships, created new marketing

to be working with, Arlen Mirandela, who

vehicles, and become a trusted voice to

is busy keeping us all organized and to Ian

57K+ Canadian event professionals.

Gadot, working with me to design the



CSE has so much going on that I’m bursting with excitement and want to share all the news. CSE is thrilled





engagement partner for Ottawa Meet Week for the first time. OMW is a mustattend event happening April 4-7 that includes Destination Direct Canada, REVEAL Social, TÊTE-A-TÊTE, PCMA CE Lunch’n’Learn: Economorphics with Linda Nazareth, Spring into NICE Global Meetings Industry Day, and the MPI Spring Has Sprung – Charity Auction and Dinner.

spectacular CSE digital experience set to debut at CSE Live. Welcome back to Veronica Michalczak, and a special thank you to Jason, who has kept us connected, built





amazing opportunities through the last two years. 2022 will be a BIG year, and I'm so grateful to be here, still able to share your ideas, tell your stories and design experiences to help you succeed. I can't wait to see you again soon. Warmest,



Message From

JANICE Thank you, Stacy, for saving space in your magazine for my voice. The passion I have for writing continues to evolve as leaders like yourself gift me the opportunity to share creative, mindful and actionable content with Canadian event professionals. Things happen for a reason, and while I have known you for almost 25 years, you lead with integrity, determination and love. You have fulfilled a purpose, and I see possibilities to grow and give your audience a voice. The creative content that readers can expect from me will target trends, mental health, travel, entertainment, design, interest stories, technology and much more. I welcome engagement, commentary and opinions to open conversations on subjects that matter to Canadian event professionals now and in the future. Virtually Yours,




STACY I am happiest when I am being creative. My getaway is Cabo. I'm a sushi snob. Currently reading Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield. My go-to buzz is a Brown Sugar Iced Oat Espresso. We have three rescues and are adding a fourth.

Get to know our growing team



The event industry has taught me so much. My getaway is anywhere my husband is. Favourite dinner is dessert. I am reading Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown. My coffee cup is filled with pens, paper clips and cards. I am obsessed with my granddog Brody.

My driver is connecting people and opportunity. My getaway is Whistler. Favourite dinner is a rare steak with nothing but S&P. I'm reading The Practice by Seth Godin (audio). My go-to buzz is Tim's black. I'm happiest on Sunday morning with my wife and three pets (all in one bed).



I admire the creativity and innovation in special events. My getaway is a beach by the ocean. I am reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. Dinner is anything Italian. My go-to buzz is mint hot chocolate.

I love this industry because the people are creative, passionate & fun! My ultimate getaway is anywhere hot. Favourite dinner for me is really good sushi. There's always a true crime novel on my nightstand. My go-to buzz is Mint Tea.



I love my job because design is the essence of “branding” itself, there is always something to look forward to. Getaway is Bora Bora. Dinner is Chicken Curry. Currently reading about Cryptocurrency Trading. My go-to buzz is Brood Coffee.

I love my job. It has a transparent culture, and I feel valued by CSE. My ultimate getaway is my hometown. Dinner is Samgyupsal with Kimchi and Nori. My go-to Buzz is strong black coffee. When not working I am planning my wedding.


Products for Planners

Things We L ve This curated collection of things we love features fabulous products designed to keep you healthy, safe and in style wherever you go. Travel Door Alarm The perfect hotel door alarm and theft deterrent for your next vacation. Feel safe and secure in any hotel or VRBO where others may have access.

2 Popl Popl uses NFC technology to share your contact, social & videos instantly. Comes in wristbands, phone popls + more. Tap any smartphone to share.

4 KSafe Lock Box This indestructable, locking container is a simple way to keep valuables extra safe when on the go. It's also great for self imposed phone breaks.

1 Apollo Duffle This handcrafted vegan duffle features outside and inside zip-pockets and a roomy main compartment making it a stylish on-the-go must-have.

3 Portable Tech Kit A mini tech kit with 8 must-have accessories including earbuds, charging cable, USB charger, phone stand, vegan cleaner, a password hint list & more.


Great Places Amazing Spaces From spectacular outdoor green space to funky urban lofts to modern music venues here are a few of our favourite Canadian event spaces.




Jardin Royalmount Montreal, Quebec The Jardin Royalmount is an exquisitely designed event theatre garden located in the heart of Montreal. This beautiful venue consisting of an 18,000 sq ft open-air garden, 8,000 sq ft covered pavilion, and 3,000 sq ft grove, is a versatile space that offers a sophisticated backdrop for hosting weddings celebrations and corporate events. The venue is located in midtown, ten minutes from Laval, the West Island and downtown Montreal.

Jardin Royalmount is a unique space, unlike anything else in Montreal. This event theatre will immerse your guests in a modern garden oasis.


History Toronto, Ontario

HISTORY might be the best live venue in Canada today. Designed to elevate every event experience, this 2,500person state-of-the-art live music, entertainment, and event space sets a new standard for fans, VIPS, entertainers, and speakers alike. Located in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto’s east end, HISTORY offers a variety of flexible seating options from general admission to full-service reserved seating. The space is intimate and upscale, and perfect whether you're planning a holiday reception, innovative product launch, or an electric private concert. Their full-service event production team will set you up for success with state-of-the-art lighting, A/V equipment, and sound. Toast to your company’s accomplishments with custom culinary offerings and handcrafted cocktails.



Photography by Scott Norsworthy


The Kent

Vancouver, British Columbia The Kent is a cool, inspired, one of kind three-level event space located at 534 Cambie St. Vancouver, BC. Featuring interiors by Canadian designer Wendy Williams Watt, prestigious works of art, custom furniture along, professional studio-quality sound system, commercial-grade kitchen and much much more. The top floor is a 3,000 square foot sprawl of Italian furniture, open kitchen and a micro bar, flooded with natural light. The main floor features an intimate dining room, a state of the art commercial kitchen, impressive original art and space to dance.




Expert event professionals weigh in on the most important things to be mindful of as we reopen our industry By Stacy Wyatt The country is opening up, masks are coming off, and we are getting ready for what many are predicting to be the busiest and most lucrative period in the history of the event industry. As we transition back to in-person events,

Tony Chapman Host, Chatter that Matters Show

corporations and organizations alike are looking for support to manage their clients' and stakeholders' needs for personal interaction and Event


face-2-face experiences.





everywhere. There have never been more jobs offered for in-house planners as organizations recognize the need to invest in professional and dedicated planners, no longer looking for their assistants or HR teams to do this work off the sides of their desks. So what does this mean for you, the event professional? It means you need to be aware, strategic and purposeful in your approach to this new era of events. Your clients are not expecting the same experience as before, staffing expectations and options have changed, and the entire landscape of our industry has made a dramatic shift. As a planner, manager or business owner, it's critical that you recognize and action change in your space so you dont get left behind. These are exciting times, but only if you are ready. We asked some of North America’s top professionals. for one piece of advice they can offer our industry as we move forward and get ready for the reopening.


Be prepared for tremendous growth in the decade ahead as remote and hybrid working will exponentially increase the need to bring people together. Remember that first and foremost, you are in the humanity business. Your purpose is to stage events to cultivate culture and collaboration that bring people together, face to face, to inspire, educate, celebrate, innovate and motivate.

expertadvice Melissa Deslauriers Director of Sales & Marketing bb Blanc You're going to wear many hats over the coming years, so my best advice is never to stop learning & be patient and always be kind. We can all help each other be better.

Mahoganey Jones CMP, DES, HMCC - EWD

Founder & CEO, Event Specialists

Joel Olandesca CEO & Co-Founder SOS Charging Solutions & SOS Web.AR

One piece of advice for our industry - stop using the "it's always been done that way" as a crutch. If we've learned anything from the pandemic is that while the fundamentals are the same, the execution can be modified to fit the new expectations.

Be kind to yourself because it's one thing you have full control of. We've all been challenged to the highest of degrees lately, which means self-compassion needs to be at the top of our priorities right now. Self-compassion: selfkindness, feelings of common humanity, and mindfulness. As professionals in what we do, we normally jump to fix issues right away for others - we can and should do the same for ourselves as well.


Leave them alone!

Bruce Playfoot

Never has the ability to network been more important

President, bp3D CREATIVES

as we get back to in-person events after an almost two-year hiatus. In fact – we know that networking is one of the number one reasons attendees indicate for choosing to attend an event. They’ve missed having those authentic





interaction! That is why we’re recommending that clients go easy on the heavy scheduling and leave ample time for audiences to reconnect, engage and network with their peers and industry leaders. Let’s call it the most planned part of the ‘unplanned’ portion of your event. I can’t wait to see all the happy faces.

Trish Knox Owner, TK Events Inc.

Heather Reid ARCT MSc DES

Founder & CEO, Planner Protect Inc. The IMPOSSIBILITY clause is top of mind right now. However, CANCELLATION terms that strategically protect the group may be even more important moving forward!


Don't be afraid to engage your production/build partners when producing concepts for your clients. Not only can they give you additional creative ideas, but also valuable insight on size, portability, ‘WOW’’s not a bad idea to have some “good - better - best” options as budgets today are unpredictable.

Maggie Barton Baird CMP

Senior Marketing Manager Events, Jobber I am looking forward to tech becoming an essential part of every event. Before the pandemic, the events industry as a whole was relatively slow to adapt to technology in all areas. Let’s be honest; we do projection mapping or use slido and consider it a real technological achievement. But now, it's an essential part of the job. If you’re an event professional who has yet to learn about and explore tech, now is the time. Learn everything you can: all aspects of virtual and hybrid events, basic coding, applications, privacy and more. It's now a requirement and I’m really excited about that.

What's Next? Andrew Roby Event Planner, Andrew Roby Events

Want to be part of our next planner roundup? Here's our next question. After two years of a very different pace, the shift back to "busy" will mean rethinking our old patterns and discovering what our new normal will be. How have your personal and business

One thing is for sure, people have discovered how easy and comfortable it has been for us to do the same thing over and over that everyone else is doing. As we continue to get out of this pandemic, it will be imperative that we all figure out who we really are and use that to not be the same as anyone else. Clients are looking for people who are unicorns, so make sure you’re not like every other person that does what you do. Embrace that and reach your greatness.

priorities changed, and what advice can you offer event professionals to ensure they are managing their own and their teams' wellness and work/ life balance? Email us your. one piece of advice and we will share your opinion with our readers.




Future Proofing Your Event Business Future-proofing your career is about establishing a digital personality that meets your audience long before you do. By Jason Koop

Future-proofing your event career starts by

Still, in my opinion, future-proofing is not about

acknowledging that our society has gone through

technology, digital event experiences, virtual

a massive disruption that’s changed almost

reality, or the metaverse.

everything we do, from the way we shop to the way we gather, celebrate, meet, and market. Absent our usually busy days, we were forced to take a hard look at ourselves, our careers and our chosen path. Confronted by the fragility of life, we’ve evolved our values and today, “quality of life” is more important than capturing every dollar, chasing every opportunity or missing your

The truth is that the digital 'personality' you craft today will determine whom you work with tomorrow, how much you can charge, and ultimately how successful you will be. It will limit you or position you to take advantage of opportunities you can’t possibly see today. This isn’t about cancel culture; it’s about being

children growing up. Those core values will determine the people you work with, the partners you seek out and the brands you engage with.

It's about you, or at least the digital you.

This is important

learning because the community, the market and your clients feel the same way.

They aren't

responsible for the things you say, the words you choose, and the way you treat people; it’s about you, your reputation, expertise, creativity, and the network of people who support, endorse and ultimately validate you.

interested in attending events, supporting causes,

You might hate social media see it as intrusive,

or working with individuals, companies, or brands

fake, or dangerous, but these platforms are here

that don’t align with their values. They’re looking

to stay and who you are online is every bit as

at your social media content and engagement

important as the quality of your work.

habits to make that decision.

Future-proofing your career is about creating a

The next few years will be a rollercoaster ride for


the professional event industry, making it more

conversations without agendas, empathetic to

important than ever to stay relevant to the

others, humble but confident, creative, ambitious,

experiences the market demands.

and an expert in your chosen field.









The goal is to create a personal brand that attracts clients, one that’s trusted, qualified, and most importantly, shares their core values. Craft your personality like you would a character in a story, then build the content around that character but don’t exaggerate too much about who you are because eventually, you’re going to have to meet. If the photo doesn’t match the face, that’ll be the last date, even if you do manage to consummate the deal. That’s why It’s important to be as authentic as possible, don’t talk about places you’ve never been, things you’ve never accomplished, or skills you don’t have. Instead, highlight the very best of you. Tell us about you, your opinions, and what you stand for, leverage storytelling, shared experiences, brag about your success, and be human enough to admit to your failures. Most importantly, listen to the conversations that are happening all around you.

"False expectations will doom the best of intentions in business and love" Building the digital you is not just about the content you post; it’s about every engagement, from the comment you made on someone else’s post to the attention you give when you like or share content. You might be reading this thinking you’re too old or too out of touch, but you’d be wrong. Past mistakes, failures, age, or little technical understanding of social media are not barriers to success. It's about how hard you want to work, how well you know people, how creative you are, and how good a storyteller you are, and all of these things can be learned. I was 47 (53 now) when I first dug into LinkedIn (right after Microsoft bought them), and today, I've built the biggest niche following of corporate event professionals anywhere. I had zero previous experience with social media, and I'm no techie; I worked hard to become an expert because I valued the investment. So get started building your digital personality today. It's way more important than you know.


Trend Report


2022 By Janice Cardinale



I have been writing, presenting and inspiring trends for the last 35 years. It is an area of my business that I am passionate about. Over the last two years, the types of trends that have been spread across zoom, digital, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and in the media all deal with the technical side of trends leaving behind the creative design trends that inspire event profs to push the boundaries of ordinary. Creative content is so desperately needed that I decided to bring back the style trends for 2022 to motivate the event industry to think outside the box and recognize that what we present to clients must be of value purpose and touch on people's emotions. So here we go. People are being called to a higher consciousness in 2022. Humans are craving the comfort of familiar times. However, themes of the past are not equal. Event professionals are looking for ways to engage their clients in a different world. You are now under the microscope because your clients have choices like never before. How do event professionals reinvent themselves during these times? With mentions of ‘nostalgia,’ people are craving the comfort of familiar times. Carefully consider what nostalgic reference will resonate most with your audience to tap into this trend. A rising class of Geninfluencers desires authenticity and transparency to spread ideas rather than products. We will see many companies adopt younger people to help support the technical requirements that the virtual and hybrid environments demand. Example: Olivia Rodrigo being invited to the Whitehouse to encourage people to get vaccinated.



BIOPHILIC DESIGN When nature is built into your event design Biophilic design uses elements of nature to provide respite and joy to people in man-made spaces. You’ve seen plants. Now meet LIVING rooms. Millennials are turning to plant-first design solutions this year to increase their connection to nature and enhance their wellbeing. Staircase gardens, biophilic interiors and floral ceilings are all trending up. And don’t leave the office out! Biophilic design is all about connecting to nature within our built environment. Humans are creatures of habit, and with so many lockdowns, the outside has become as important as the inside. When circumstances beyond our control force us, we need our spaces to provide privacy or wall separations within our homes or office spaces. Searches for vertical plant walls, living rooms and biophilic walls are all on the rise.



Checkers are having their moment in all areas of people’s lives—from clothing to rugs to funky flooring. As men upgrade their wardrobes, they’ll embrace the tiled pattern, too. Millennials and Boomers, in particular, are driving this checkered trend. The checkerboard revival comes at a time when we have collectively experienced a great transcendence in the face of life-altering changes. For this generation, the checkerboard is a universal motif for fun that offers a touch of softness in an otherwise dull and rigid world.



CURVE APPEAL Arcs are all around us and curves the word Event and hospitality professionals will want to invest in this shape and silhouette as they are both sensuous and inviting. “Did you know that in architecture, the circle is the strongest shape”? Straight lines are a given, think walls, windows and table legs. This circular design lends itself to speaking engagements, panel discussions and audience participation. Millennials, Boomers and Gen X are driving searches behind this well-rounded trend. Germany will be one of the markets driving the Curve appeal trend in 2022. In this market, different design eras will come together: searches for the glass ball lamp—inspired by mid-century modern pieces from the 60s—will rise, along with searches for a bent sofa, which saw adoption across the 80s. When a room has straight and curvy elements, the result is a complete aesthetic.


LAKE IT, TILL YOU MAKE IT Trade in beachfront getaways for an inland swim Lakes will have their moment in the sun. In 2022, people will trade in their beachfront getaways for inland swims. Gen X and Boomers are driving this freshwater trend that will only grow in the year ahead. Lakeside resorts, pontoon boats, kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing will all be making a splash. There are so many scenic lakes, rivers and ponds where you can take a group out for a hike and swim and discover nature like never before. Invite your team to a ‘Lake bagging’ experience. As the country gets back to travel, these regional ideas are top of mind for travel profs and DMC’s.



For the love of movement Well, good news! 2022 is going to be defined by a range of new wellness trends set to change the game, from hula hoops to pickleball and VR. Low impact is the new high intensity! This year, people will fall in love with more mellow ways to move their bodies, which is being dubbed “Flexercise.” Hula-Hoop is the top search trend on google. The hottest instructor in town can be found @theideahunter. Pickleball is a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and can be played indoors or outdoors, as singles or as doubles. VR will now make it to the mainstream with Gamification fitness, and this will be popular for virtual, hybrid and live events. Don’t forget to check out the Flexercise bar, another trend hitting the workout.


Wild & Tasty is food blog of Ellen Wild


HYBRID IS THE WORD This is not scrabble but reality Augmented reality has not shown more signs of growth than during the pandemic. Events are going hybrid; social commerce is booming, and metaverse technology will soon be a reality. Brands must forgo biases toward less-familiar formats and begin embracing the hybrid approach across programming to avoid being left out.



CELESTIAL CELEBRATIONS Parties that are out of this world Here comes the sun. And the moon. And the stars. Millennials will throw some totally cosmic parties this year. If I had to characterize the year 2022 astronomically, I would call it “The Year of Eclipses and Planets. “There is something exciting happening in the sky almost every night of the year if you know when and where to look. Space stations, NASA, and celebrity-led experiences for the adventurers who can’t live until they do it all. Creating experiences for your corporate groups could be taking your group to the beach, renting telescopes and binoculars and enjoying the comradery of being connected to a group of like-minded guests. Caterers will love creating foods that can be cut into stars and moons—popcorn in celestial colours, drinks that use blue Caraco. Bring a DJ who plays songs like “Total Eclipse of the sun” or other celestial offerings from the ’60s and ’70s and rock out to a cosmic vibe.

Wild & Tasty is food blog of Ellen Wild WINTER 2022 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | #


NIGHT MOVES (AKA) after-hours exploration The most memorable adventures will happen after sundown in 2022. People will turn to the quiet of the after-hours to invest in their travel bucket lists and nature excursions. Gen Z is driving this trend—good thing our phones take better night photos than ever. Into the dark, you go. Watch out for the word “bioluminescence aesthetic,” which means it’s time to grab your camera and start seeing your fave destinations at nighttime. Evening adventures will give a different and magical perspective, whether it’s exploring the beach after sunset or taking a late-night road trip.



COME ON, GET HAPPY Put a smile on your face People in 2022 will push through the negative and embrace a positive outlook on life. New optimists range from Gen Z to Boomers, but despite their broad demographic, they have many unifiers – the largest being a vivacious appetite to embrace joy. Watch out for a new buzzword: Radical Optimism. Event and Meeting professionals will pioneer a new frontier to uplifting, pleasing products, services and experiences that offer a reprieve from the fatigue of ongoing uncertainty.



PURSUIT OF PURPOSE People want control of their destiny Prompted by cultural shifts and changes, people seek to reevaluate their lifestyles to behave with more intention. Indulging is an actionable idea that brings results. To tap into this shift towards purposeful behaviours, brands, businesses and organizations should inspire and motivate people to take back control of their lives. Take cues from a new campaign from Visit Dubai, “A brand new you,” that encourages travellers to rediscover themselves by exploring the city’s biggest attractions.


EMOTIONAL ESCAPE ROOM Safe spaces for feel good Emotions are so hot right now. If you need a place to go to feel all the feels, there’s a room for that. The wellness trend has been growing rapidly over the past two years. From spa-like spaces to the wonderful world of colour psychology. The impact has never felt so current. People will plan their great (indoor) escapes and designate rooms in their homes to decompress, vibe and rage. This is also leading the way at conferences and meetings. All age groups are driving searches for music-themed rooms, crystal rooms and even rage rooms. Emotional escape rooms very much do what they say - they're rooms to escape from certain emotions. This can come in various forms, whether to unload stress in a meditation space or pummel out some anger in a rage room. Think interior design meets wellness. Where would you set up your emotional escape room, and what would be included in it?



All in for all-inclusive travel

Sitting back is the new adventure map. In 2022, people want to get away—to beautiful escapes where they won’t have to lift a finger. Millennials, Gen X and Boomers are turning to resorts and allinclusive packages for easy getaways. Another daiquiri, please. Ask your travel partners where you can find resorts to unplug. Forget the jammed-packed itineraries and head for the properties with an ocean view. WINTER WINTER2022 2022| |WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM| |51 #


ALTBASHES RSVP to a new reason to celebrate parties for life's undercelebrated moments What’s an Altbash? It’s something that deserves to be celebrated, even if it isn’t traditionally cause for a party. Think: you broke up with your job, you found your life’s passion, you have adopted a pet, or you finally splurged on a badly needed vacation. These are celebrations of new chapters in life and important milestones that aren’t covered by the basic celebrations we grew up having, but it’s time they got their due. There are many ways to bring this trend to life, so keep your eyes on bright colours, whimsical ideas and tablescapes that draw attention. When it comes to corporate celebrations, “don’t do ordinary.” Put your client event in a league of its own.


Wild & Tasty is food blog of Ellen Wild WINTER 2022 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | #


CUPPA TIME Afternoon Tea is the new happy hour In 2022, the bubble won’t burst, as people will choose teas made with enhancements over drinks after work. Afternoon tea is more than a meal—it’s a moment, an aesthetic, a pose. Searches for “tea party aesthetic” and “drinking tea pose” are huge on google searches. Already a cultural phenomenon across Asia, bubble tea has taken hold in North America – especially amongst Gen Z. This has led to the rapid expansion of brands from Asia. Have you tried a bubble milk shot? What are you waiting for?


HELLENISTIC REVIVAL Greece is the word


Nostalgia will go back to its roots in 2022. This year, people will take inspiration from Ancient Greece and invest in traveling there, while inspiration will come from everything Corinthian in décor to Aphrodite-inspired. One of the youngest generations—Gen Z—is embracing this ancient trend more than anybody.

In the end, I strongly believe that curiosity and creativity will rule the event industry in 2022 Radical optimism is the new buzzword and part of a greater movement that event profs are adopting. Great creative directors help facilitate your ideas and add to them. Try some new blood on your team or engage graduates from colleges and universities with new ideas. You do not have the time to research like I do, but I can tell you that there is an abundance of talent just waiting to sink their teeth into your event if you give them an opportunity.


On Thursday, November 25, 2021, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) returned to Bloor-Yorkville for the 25th Anniversary of Bloor Street Entertains. By Stacy Wyatt


George Pimentel Photography After Party at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

The Show Must Go On for Bloor Street Entertains









experiences and four after-parties, raised 1.1 million dollars thanks to the generosity and support of its donors, the team at ESP Inc and a host of amazing event partners. Carrying on the decade-long partnership students in Seneca’s Event Management – Creative Design program had the opportunity to participate in this incredible event by designing five locations. ESP Inc’s Principal Chad Brincheski was more than eager to get back to planning BSE this year and found to his delight that even after a tenuous couple of years, the majority of partners from previous years were also happy to jump in and support the event. Dealing with pandemic restrictions and ever-changing guidelines, the teams had their work cut out for them and made sure a plan to pivot if needed was securely in place and adapted throughout the planning phase. Producing BSE during the pandemic meant logistical challenges would arise. They each added an additional layer to an already challenging execution, whether big or small. The event plan for this year included a broadcast to be shown at each venue so CANFAR could share their messaging across to all their guests and make everyone feel part of the community. This required AV to be sourced or installed at each venue, formatting the video for many different screens, a volunteer from the venue to operate it and a dress rehearsal at 17 venues the night before the event to ensure everyone was comfortable playing the videos


George Pimentel Photography Dinner at RIMOWA Bloor Street location

At a time when this event was already scaling logistical walls, the one thing no one expected happened; one of our venues flooded the night before BSE! A new location had to be sourced and set up within hours, including staffing, catering, rentals, design, and managing to redirect all guests and deliveries.

“With guest safety top of mind and everchanging gathering restrictions, we produced four unique after parties and invited the 800 guests from the 17 dinners to the optimal location.” -- Chad Brincheski, ESP Inc. To ensure guest safety, the capacities were capped at 50, which was the restriction at the time of the event announcement. ESP sent out COVID protocols to all guests ahead of time, including contact tracing of all 700 guests, double vaccinated guests only, vaccine passports and limited socializing outside of their table. Four unique post-dinner receptions needed to be created as equally as impressive and immersive experiences to ensure each felt like it was “THE place to be” feel as though it was the place to be. And, given capacities were tightly restricted, making sure guests knew which reception they were invited to so that one venue didn’t have an influx of guests posed another hurdle. One of the venues even included a car service to pick up the guests from their dinner venue and bring them to the post-dinner reception. Planning BSE is always a highlight of the year for ESP and an event dear to their hearts. By design, it is a logistical feat at the best of times, but this year, it was in a league all its own amid the challenges of the time, uncertainty and a revolving door. But after being unable to gather for this critically important fundraiser in 2020, Chad, the event partners, the venues, the sponsors, the students were evermore committed to making it a success. Which indeed it was.


George Pimentel Photography Dinner at Taglialatella Galleries in Yorkville Village

"It's always a pleasure to support this longstanding event & fundraiser. Our dinner brought people together where they enjoyed good company, ate delicious food and savoured amazing wine. Despite COVID with its restrictions, the intimate dinner we created raised incredible funds and awareness to the cause; a true testament that CANFAR continues to be successful against all odds." -- Corbin Tomaszeski, Corbin Catering and Foods

George Pimentel Photography Dinner at Harry Rosen Bloor Street location

Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality catering the Dolce & Gabbana Dinner

George Pimentel Photography

Juno awardwinner singer, Molly Johnson in Bloor Street Entertains 2021 teaser reel

George Pimentel Photography Dinner at Holt Renfrew Bloor Street location

Bloor Street Entertains, the 25th anniversary presented






organization. In addition to dealing with the ongoing pandemic, we had to create events spaces that felt safe and welcoming for all our guests and donors. year,


which team

Brunello Cucinelli, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Gardiner Museum, Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew, Louis Vuitton, LUMAS, Park Hyatt, RIMOWA, Taglialatella Galleries, Tiffany & Co., The Webster,

We hosted four after-dinner red carpet events this


presented ESP





logistical challenges. We were lucky to identify four different locations that catered to four different groups of our participants. One of which required us to transport 140 people from Bloor Street to King West, a first for CANFAR; needless to say; our priorities were always to keep people safe follow proper protocols, all at the same time as creating an experience that would be memorable for the 25th anniversary of Bloor Street Entertains. We are truly grateful for the dedication and passion for the ESP team led by Chad and Jenna; we could not have done it without them. -- Alex Filiatrault, CANFAR


Vintage Conservatory, William Ashley CATERERS Corbin Catering and Foods, Sofia Yorkville, Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality, Café Boulud, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Food Dudes, Presidential Gourmet, Holts Café, Ascari, Daniel et Daniel, Park Hyatt, Encore Catering, Vintage Conservatory, Toben Food By Design DECORATORS San Remo Floral Design, Rose Prick, Jackie O, Oudalova Events & Design, Seneca College, Artam Design, Earthwork, Aragon Cruz, The New Leaf, Quince Flowers, Aubé Studios, Fresh Florals Creations, Emblem Flowers, Opening Night Flowers, Inspire Design Studio

Photos courtesy of George Pimentel Photography Dinner at Tiffany & Co.

After party at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

After party at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto



arly into the school year, the students

were put into five teams and appointed a faculty (or alumni) lead, venue, culinary and floral partner, and a rental company. The colours, textures, and style scapes proposed varied with diverse locations from Harry Rosen to Rimowa, the Gardiner Museum to Lumas Gallery, and the newly renovated Park Hyatt. After a site visit to their respective locations, the students created inspiration boards that accentuated the venue’s


ambiance, aligned with their brand, and utilized products from their assigned rental partners, all while keeping CANFAR top of mind. The student experience continued as each team compiled a rental order to support the culinary partner’s menu and coordinate with the design vision. Determining a floor plan, designing print materials, selecting a napkin fold and building a production schedule were just a few of the additional responsibilities required at each location.

Location: Rimowa Caterer: Encore Catering Florist: Quince Flowers Rentals: Higgins Event Rentals Linens: Chair Decor Seneca Lead: Scott McAllister

Photos courtesy of Gary Wu & Ricardo Bernardino - Seneca

The highlight for the Seneca students is the rush of execution. As with every event, challenges arise. This year, the students received first-hand experience learning the art of flexibility and problem-solving as one of their venues flooded overnight. This resulted in a last-minute venue, menu, and rental change, which needed to be done in only a few hours, including moving product displays and rentals and resetting intimate tablescapes for guest arrival. For most students, that was their first experience seeing

an event design transpires from inspiration to installation; and their energy, enthusiasm, and excitement were infectious. With lights dimmed and candles lit, the guests arrived to enjoy their unique dining experience while students headed offsite. After the dinner was complete and the guests moved on to their respective after-parties, the students returned to strike their events – ensuring that each space was ready for business the following morning.


Location: Four Seasons Caterer: Four Seasons Florist: Artam Design Inc. Rentals: Four Seasons Higgins Event Rentals Linens: Chair Decor Seneca Lead: Jenya Hart

"Bloor Street Entertains is an absolute highlight of the year for Seneca, a beautiful and glamorous evening for a special cause. And literally at the centre of it all are beautiful creations by our students, led by our expert faculty, transforming stores and galleries and spaces into stunning dining rooms for CANFAR supporters and guests. We are proud to showcase our talented students at this wonderful event with amazing venues, great food and wine, and terrific company." -- President - David Agnew, Seneca College

Location: Park Hyatt Caterer: Park Hyatt Florist: Jackie-O Rentals: Park Hyatt Event Rental Group Linens: Chair Decor Seneca Lead: Nicole Di Carlo

Photos courtesy of Gary Wu & Ricardo Bernardino - Seneca


eventreport Location: Gardiner Museum Caterer: The Food Dudes Florist: Artam Design Inc. Rentals: Chairman Mills Linens: Chair Decor Seneca Lead: Brittany Ockrant

Photos courtesy of Gary Wu & Ricardo Bernardino - Seneca


Learn how you can support CANFAR by visiting To view the work of ESP Inc., visit More information about the Event Management – Creative Design program at Seneca College can be found at For additional images follow #SenecaEventCreativeDesign.

Location: Harry Rosen Caterer: Presidential Gourmet Florist: Artam Design Inc. Rentals: Event Rental Group Linens: Chair Decor Seneca Lead: John MacBride

"Working with BSE and Collaborating with local establishments was so uplifting and creative! What an amazing event to hold, especially during the pandemic and a time when our industry is challenged. Being a part of a great cause such as BSE and CANFAR was just what the Toronto event industry needed." -- Margarita Oudalova, Oudalova Event Design


Metaverse, The Real Story This will have such an impact on society, and what this will really mean for the future of the event and hospitality industry remains to be seen By Janice Cardinale

The word itself makes me think of a BlockBuster,

Frances Hagen said, “The world should fear the

produced by a vast network, anticipated by an


even bigger audience and engages younger

everything about you will be an open book for



others to feed on. It is not a surprise, but Facebook

producers sit back enjoying the fruits of their

and transparency are locked in an ongoing battle

labour. This is one way of thinking about it. The

on the security and well-being of humans around

crazy part is that, in reality, the Metaverse will

the world. Facebook knows that Meta will force

have such an impact on society we have no idea

people to give up more information by changing

what this will really mean for the future of the

the conversation, while Mark Zuckerberg gets rich

event and hospitality industry.

and monopolizes the online world.

















Our safety as individuals is at high risk. To

dimensional—meaning you browse and scroll

participate in the Metaverse, you will have to

through it on a screen—the Metaverse is 3D. You’ll

add sensors in your home and workplaces.

be “walking” through it via connected headsets.

However, you do not have the advantage of

Essentially, the Metaverse is a virtual world, with

choice if your employer decides to become a

virtual assets such as land, buildings, offices, cars

Metaverse company. Your data is just as it says,

and cryptocurrency is used in the Metaverse. It is

“personal and private.”

an entire world where people can get together, congregate, communicate, chat and share. Think of it in terms of you as a business owner; needing a website is considered essential nowadays, and you call it your digital real estate. Owning digital assets in the Metaverse is the next step into a 3D world, and that’s potentially the way of the future. The Meta, now made famous by whistleblower Frances Hagan is the newly established brand name of Facebook. Because it involves Mark Zuckerberg, you can only assume that it will make him that much richer as he embarks on the future with a vision that wired futurists and techies have studied for the last two decades.

My colleague Alan Smithson whose company “Metavrse” has been in business for five years and has been a leading force behind this new technology, offered advice and feedback on this fascinating topic and shared how this might work in our daily environment. You create your own avatar much like an emoji, and you enter what is naturally a gamer’s world, where everyone you work with has an avatar too. You begin to have meetings as an avatar of yourself, and soon, your avatar emerges as a bigger player in a global world with virtual and live (hybrid) players online only.


“The internet was designed to go on and off. Augmented reality allows you to walk into a 3D world that requires a VR headset. In virtual reality, you are blocked out from the real world. In augmented reality, the digital world comes out into the real world.” -- Alan Smithson, Founder of MetaVRse

You’re likely scratching your head right now and

Brands will benefit from this the most, as they

asking yourself, what does this have to do with

produce interactive videos, form circles of people

me, and how does this impact me? As event

conversing while meeting people in the virtual


world, and create presence and fellowship.







demographics, roadblocks, generational changes and virtual worlds that play with each other in a virtual sandbox.

There is much work ahead of us, as our children are learning this at a very young age, and the whole world is playing games online and

Understanding the Metaverse is complicated,

participating in these 3D settings in augmented

mainly because it doesn’t exist yet. Since

reality. It is addictive and can be dangerous if

companies like Epic Games, Nvidia, Microsoft

not regulated for the real world of business.

and Facebook (I mean, “Meta”) won’t stop talking about it, there’s an evolving lexicon to describe the next iteration of the internet. Microsoft mesh and Facebook meetings have been created for the Metaverse.


The creation of 3D worlds, avatars, and 3D assets will be converted to 3D versions with super high-resolution keynote events, interactive Roblox-like worlds with breakout sessions, and plenary networking.

It is unclear whether there will be one Metaverse





metaverses (or any metaverse at all, really), but this seems to be the one constant: The Metaverse is an immersive next-generation

What you need to know Microsoft wants to make the

version of the internet, likely rendered by

Metaverse available on any device.

virtual or augmented reality technologies.

Snap AR-based connected lenses put

The experience has yet to improve in real life.

Snapchat closer to the Metaverse

Think of all the 2D social network struggles to

than many social media platforms.

eradicate and multiply them. Is it even practical? Maybe. I think this will be huge, and I would

Nike recently changed its trademark

invest now in the Metaverse because younger

fillings because of, The Metaverse.

generations pursue the future at a faster pace

Others are making changes, and you

than our children ever were. Are you ready for the Metaverse?

should keep your eyes and ears to the reality of the future.

A Pearle in the City Introducing the Pearle Hotel and Spa, Burlington's Most Spectacular New Venue

The Pearle Hotel and Spa, situated on the water in Burlington, Ontario, is a spectacular property from a brand known for spectacular. The Pearle Hotel & Spa is inspired by the Ciancone family matriarch, Grandmother Pearle, whose work ethic and spirit of hospitality remain deeply admired by her family today. Elegant and free of formality, Pearle's hospitable spirit is honoured throughout the Hotel through genuine and thoughtful attention to every interaction and detail.

featuredvenue The Fine Print 151 rooms 5 Event Spaces 10536 sq ft event space 650 largest capacity room 7 BREAKOUT ROOMS Electric car parking wall-to-wall windows 14’ ft ceilings glass blown fixtures ample rigging points In house AV Valet parking Pet Friendly Non Smoking property


A family company, Pearle Hospitality's generational vision, is key to creating some of Canada's most beautiful spaces, places, and experiences, including Spencers at the Waterfront, an iconic eatery in Burlington, the picturesque Cambridge Mill, Ancaster Mill, and Whistle Bear Golf Club. Other gems among their collection include Earth to Table Bread Bar, a seasonally inspired pizzeria & bakery concept with multiple locations and the outstanding fully restored Elora Mill Hotel and Spa, one of the finest destination hotels in Canada.

The hotel is reminiscent of the lake houses of the past, where family matriarch grandmother Pearle spent most of her summers. Long-anticipated, the Pearle Hotel and Spa is a game-changer for a city short on VIP accommodations and even shorter on event space. It’s the only property in its class which is why when the Canadian Men's Soccer team was looking for accommodations to host their world-class athletes, the Pearle was the only option. We like to believe that the fantastic night’s sleep and inspiring environment at the Pearle fueled the team to beat the Americans, bringing them one step closer to participating in the world cup for the first time in 36 years. From the moment you arrive at the luxurious lobby dominated by a dramatic circular staircase, you know you're in for a special experience. That sense of luxury continues throughout the common spaces, rooms, and restaurants. There is good reason to be excited about the Pearle Hotel and Spa for event professionals. Sophisticated and unique, The Pearle's offers diverse spaces designed with events in mind. Their elegant rooms are flexible enough to host an intimate gathering to an elaborate wedding or functional corporate event. They also feature state-of-the-art technology and quality materials that elevate every occasion. Each space features floor-to-ceiling windows, premium finishings and the best views of Lake Ontario. If you want to host your event here, you better hurry and book now because this beautiful hotel, spa and event space will be the first choice of every local planner.


"The Pearle Hotel and Spa in Burlington is so light and bright with such uninterrupted water views, you might feel more like you’re in Miami than on the shores of Lake Ontario." --

featuredvenue The Fine Print 151 rooms 5 Event Spaces 10536 sq ft event space 650 largest capacity room 7 Breakout Rooms Electric car parking wall-to-wall windows 14’ ft ceilings glass blown fixtures ample rigging points In house AV Valet parking Pet Friendly Non Smoking property

Learn more about the Pearle Hotel & Spa on their website at


One Size Does Not Fit All By Janice Cardinale


In the words of Brene Brown, “To be human is to know sadness. Owning our sadness is courageous and a necessary step in finding our way back to ourselves and each other”. The word Event Professional is not a job title; It’s a decision, a choice, a journey and an experience. It is a wonderful career choice, but it is also one of the most stressful careers one could choose, and not everyone can do it. Why is that? Because, as event professionals, we intrinsically take on stress, anxiety, worry, avoidance, fear and vulnerability. The industry is unpredictable, like a light flickering on and off, especially over these last two years. I want to focus on the last two years in particular, because in one way or another, whether you have been successful or not, we have all experienced a lack of human connection, contributing to a greater pandemic of people suffering in silence with their mental health. Anyone reading this will agree that event, and hospitality profs have a right to disconnect from work, as many have succumbed to longer work hours, nights and weekends. The continuous lockdowns have impacted the original client proposals done in good faith and hope of securing business. These continuous changes have caused overwhelming feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, and even depression amongst business owners, employees, and teams. This pandemic has brought everyone to their knees. Business owners struggle with the constant adapting, employers no longer know what to do to help their teams, and the employees are simply burnt out. And the greatest fear being talked about today seems to be that clients, after postponing their events and conferences several.

times, expect the event professionals just to pick up where they left off. Expectations have grown, yet the work falling on the event prof has doubled and tripled as they repeatedly try to navigate the ever-changing course. When I was running the Idea Hunter, I remember the expectation was that if a client called and needed a proposal the next day, we would have to stay up all night or work throughout the weekend to please them. It killed me for years. Does everyone recognize that there are an overwhelming amount of people suffering from mental health problems because this issue is so prevalent in our industry? When is this going to stop? If the pandemic taught us anything, we should understand that we can no longer have the same expectations we once did. Empathy, mindfulness, and human-centricity are daily actions that every person must adopt.

When will it be okay to just say “NO”? I am not blaming either side of this equation, but I am saying that it has come time to treat each other with respect, trust and decency. Clients need to stop calling producers, DMCs, and team members, expecting them to do all the work again for zero compensation, and employers need to stop passing the anxiety and pressure on to their teams. As an industry, we must adopt human-centricity and a change of mindset and listen to the burned-out voices suffering from no work-life balance.


olya kobruseva


"Hope is a function of struggle - we develop hope not during the easy or comfortable times, but through adversity and discomfort." Brene’ Brown, Atlas of the Heart


We are all aware that being an event professional means late nights and weekends, but that does not mean that you can put aside people's rights to get it no matter what time of day. I have spoken to several well-respected professionals who have worked in this industry for years; they all say the same thing, this expectation needs to stop. People are tired. So, I am going to say this for once and for all “Stop expecting event professionals to just “get it done” on your agenda, forgetting that they also have a life.” Anyone who chose to become an event professional took an unwritten oath. “Guide the mission with integrity, trust and respect.” That means both parties have boundaries, agree to the timetable, agree to the financial burden, and work with decent timelines so owners and their teams can commit to best practices. The industry is going to change; I am committed to making this happen as it affects too many lives to let it go. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the equation, if your company is impacted by this, or if your company culture is such that it’s not adhering to best practices, respect and decent employee management, start addressing it now. The industry will be pushing back. This is not a threat to anyone or any company; it’s a promise to push this movement towards no longer accepting the behaviour. No job or gig is worth anyone’s mental health, and the profit isn’t worth it either.

The numbers tell the story Dr. Taryn Tang, Ph.D., an esteemed professional in mental health, found a recent survey done by EventWell in the UK that reported one in three event professionals experiences poor mental health in the form of anxiety, stress, depression and burn-out every year. The national average is one in four and event profs rate their well-being as a six out of ten. The report says that 42% of event profs have changed jobs leading to the much-discussed, Great Resignation. This year, event profs are sixth on the list of the most stressful jobs at a whopping 51.19%



The report also looks at how job demands evoke

Event profs are champions at being organized,

stress and burnout.

tech-savvy, listening,




themselves, when


adapting, comes


Amount of travel

themselves, they mask their faces and voices as if


they are fine. You’re not fine. And it's okay not to

Physical and emotional demands

be okay. We are all in this together, and we are

Growth potential

beginning to open conversations about our health


and well-being. For years, we were great at

Overtime hours, nights and weekends

paying lip service to ourselves and others. Think

No work-life balance

of all of the conversations you have had over the

Environmental conditions

last two years; I will venture to guess that many

Financial stress

of them were challenging, painful or sad.

A recent study conducted by Miguel Neves, editor and chief of EVENTMB, asked event profs if they suffered







respondents, 90% said yes; another interesting fact






considered leaving the industry in the last 12 months. People are resigning because of the reputation






workplace well-being and the top five reasons to select a new employer. With these stats, every employer in our industry is under a microscope, and the causes are being shared in particular amongst younger people who care more than we did about wellness and balance. So, the steps to creating a healthy journey now come in the form of discussion,

"As event professionals, we want control because our reputations and our livelihoods depend on us taking care of business at the expense of ourselves" Whether you struggle with your mental wellness or not, you know someone who does. So, what can we do as an event community to dispel the existing stigma? Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “you are afraid of surrender because you don’t want to

social connection and creating a movement that

lose control, but you never had control; all you had

changes the way employers treat their staff.

was anxiety.” Think about that statement for a

Where does one seek out help, support and advice? Over the last year, having spoken to hundreds of families, friends and colleagues, I have found myself perplexed by the lack of peer

moment! As event professionals, we organically want to have control because our reputations are at stake, and our livelihoods depend on us taking care of business at the expense of ourselves.

support that companies and industry provide on

As a community, we must focus on the

this very invisible issue.

importance of human connection and the impact

Interestingly, re-designing spaces, protocols, liability, safety, and security has taken a frontrow seat to a human problem that has existed for so long.

that connection has on us. That connection affects our happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, builds





compassion, strengthens our immune system, and increases our chances of living longer by 50%.


So, where in this is the opportunity? Creating conversations within the organizations you work for, associations you belong to, or individuals you work with, is one way of creating peer support that will ultimately see a better-prepared workforce and a more engaged outcome. Leslie Bennett advocates for companies to do better for their employees’ mental health. She spent the early part of her career in the event and meeting industry where she too was too afraid to let her secret out, fearing losing her job and being shunned from the industry. Little did she understand that disclosing her mental health experience would have been ok – her lack of knowledge about her human rights and what duty to accommodate meant kept her silent. In 2007, Leslie made a life-changing decision to be open about her experience living with bipolar disorder. Her career shifted, and her commitment to supporting workplaces to become psychologically safe was deepened by learning as much as she could about what it meant to live with and work with a mental health illness. She and her partners at Mental Health Innovations focus on supporting organizations that prioritize workplace mental health. Leslie also volunteers with The Stability Network – a growing movement of people living and working with mental health issues, sharing their stories to inspire others and change how people think about mental health. I am grateful to have been introduced to Leslie and have begun working with her to support our industry. As a heart-centric entrepreneur, I know that opinions, judgement, and a lack of knowledge are the enemy. So how can we prevent them from winning the war inside of us? Build a movement, talk more, find more advocates, more educated speakers like Leslie who have the resources to engage our teams. We need to keep telling our stories and, lastly, show some love and make stronger connections to help reduce the stigma that many feel in their work environments. For my part, I am dedicating this next year to getting this message out in Canada and abroad to try and change the conversation. I have started a task force of like-minded event profs, willing to get vocal and fight for change. I am standing because I have seen the impact this has had on people I care about, and change needs to happen.

To be continued… Facts: The Right to Disconnect Law-Bill 27 On October 25, the Ontario government announced the introduction of Bill 27, the Working for Workers Act. This bill has several ramifications for Ontarians. Perhaps no aspect has received as much attention as what is often referred to as the right-to-disconnect law. Click here to learn more.



Seven Hundred and Fifteen Days We’ve gone through a dramatic evolution of the human experience and we have a story to tell By Stacy Wyatt

Today marks seven hundred and fifteen days since

The collective experience we have been through will

our world changed.

be the mark of not only a generation but the

It's been seven hundred and fifteen days since we packed up and left the office for our dens, dining rooms and kitchen tables. Seven hundred and fifteen days since we put on masks and became afraid to stand next to each other. Seven hundred and fifteen days of wondering, worrying and waking up in the middle of the night unsure of tomorrow. These were the stories we watched on a big screen with popcorn in one hand and a Pepsi in the other, of police in hazmat suits, swarming the streets while people like us frantically stockpile water preparing for the long “days. This wasn't our reality. It was the stuff movies were made of, not the stories of our lives… until it was.

distinction of a century, logged-in history until the end of time. Not only did we live through it, but we are compelled to tell the story of seven hundred and fifteen days when we found out what it means to be isolated, vulnerable and acutely aware that tomorrow







generations, in classrooms, history books and museums and movies will live on forever, long after we are gone. This we know for sure.

My question is, what will the story be? Will it all be about loss, rights, and suffering? Or will any of the stories be about hope and heroes?

Seven hundred and fifteen days ago, we all went


inside in one way or another.

connection? We’ve gone through a dramatic

Some rode it out at the cottage; some hightailed it

evolution of the human experience, and there are

to a Caribbean island; some lost loved ones to the deadly invader; some went to work every day, not knowing if they were next. Some lost everything as





thousands of stories to tell; stories of triumph and tragedy, advocacy and adversity. As a writer, storyteller, event professional, and human being,

their incomes dried up and just “went away,” while

these are the stories I want to be told.

others turned adversity into achievement and

If you are so inclined, I encourage you to email me

profited by pivoting. Most of us just rolled with the

and tell me your story; it can be as long or as short as

waves, adapting as required and keeping the faith

you want. I’ll share it on our blog in an ongoing

as the rules, restrictions and daily resets came and

column where we will explore what we learned as

went. As the days turned into weeks, weeks into

humans in these last seven hundred and fifteen days

months and months became two years; we came

so that somewhere, many years from now, someone

to settle into a new normal that we dont fully

will find it in a digital archive, and they will know

understand yet, even as we prepare to come out

your story. Who knows, maybe they will make a

the other side.

movie about it.


Event Imaging Creates Green Rain for Global Movie Premiere Warner Brothers challenged Rooftop Creative to produce an over-the-top visual experience for the MATRIX movie premiere, and the result was spectacular t h



Inspired by the Matrix code, known in production circles as green rain, the concept for this event was to light up the front-facing facade of the Scotiabank Theatre, mapping high-quality green rain visuals against the building while lighting the interior entranceway and the four-story escalators to make it look as if guests were entering the Matrix. It was downtown in the busiest intersection in Toronto with installs during rush hour, making this a logistical challenge from the jump.

"The concept was to light up the front-facing façade of the Scotiabank theatre with the well-known green coding, or green rain as we called it." -- Joel Nadel, Event Imaging

The folks at Rooftop reached out to their trusted partners at Event Imaging and SAVI Spotlight Audio Visual Services to bring their vision to life. The idea was ambitious, especially in the middle of covid, and to add to the complexity because it meant shutting down the North Bound lane of Richmond (and the beloved bike lane) at one of Toronto’s busiest intersections. Logistical challenges and creative solutions are everyday hurdles for most event professionals, but City Hall runs at its own pace, which became the biggest obstacle the producers faced. The city took weeks to respond to traffic management plans only to come back with several issues. That turned into a near-constant back and forth with government officials until, with just 48 hours to go, the plan was approved, and the show was on but with a few edits. The city would only allow the team to close the bike lane. That meant less space than they had planned for, so producers adjusted yet again to accommodate the regulation. Having thought they had a solid and approved plan in place, they quickly moved forward. And then the winds picked up. 80 km/hr played havoc with electrical tents, equipment, and projectors sitting atop heavy-duty 30-foot scissor lifts, and so for the sake of the safety of everyone, the team had to bring everything down, forcing them to adjust the event plan once again and recalibrate the graphic projection just an hour before the doors opened.


Photos courtesy of Event Imaging

The Jody Litvack VLOG Experience Episode 4: The Making of The Matrix Premiere. Taking you on an exclusive behind the scenes look at one of the largest Video Mapping Projects in Ontario produced in collaboration with production partners at @savi.av @eventimaging

The Challenges It took 15 x 32,000 Lumen 4K HD projectors creating a total brightness of 480,000 Lumens projecting over 31 Million pixels across a 40’H x 300’W surface area complimented by 50 led fixtures and 16 moving lights to bring the matrix

An extreme window for setup due to the venue being open to the public. The team pulled off a five-day install in one and a half days, working overnight with a

to life, making it rain green for more than 1500

team of 40.

people who attended in person.

A request to shut down the northbound

The event also attracted national media attention

lane of Richmond Street took weeks for a

and generated millions of impressions online

response, then requested revisions until

while creating jobs for the crew, company, and

two days before the event.

vendors, injecting 100s of thousands of dollars

Permits allowed for the absolute minimum

into the local event economy that needed it just before Christmas. Congrats to the incredible team at Rooftop Creative and Event Imaging and SIVA Spotlight Audio Visual for producing an outstanding event

throw distance for projection, requiring a redesign of the plans with 48 hours to spare. 80 km winds threatened to shut down the event and required the team to recalibrate the graphic projection an hour before the show.

"The event took us out of our comfort zone, with all the complexities that came with the job. Thanks to the incredible direction put forth by the team leads, we ended up going beyond our expectations and pulled off what was an incredibly successful production." -- .Avi Yurman Managing Director, Spotlight Audio Visual Industries Inc