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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







Love, Passion





2016 FALL 2016


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editor'sletter We recently had a staff meeting to talk about BALANCE. It’s funny because it seems like the more you grow, the easier it is to get off balance. This past year we have experienced tremendous success and growth with our new digital platform and the introduction of our new products. It's an exciting time at CSE. But with this success comes some tough choices. In order to maintain balance for our team and ourselves, we must decide where to put our energy. With only so much time, which projects stay and which get set aside so we can continue to thrive and grow? This question has made me stop and think. This is the same conversation we have at home and the same conversation my friends have in their homes and so on. I know we all think we are super human but sleep is not an elective! We are all struggling to find and maintain balance. Just ask Carol Moxam who I interviewed for this issue and who is an expert on finding the balance and living in the light of joy. Her book, Life is a Special Event examines our perceptions about what we deserve, how we treat ourselves and the shift we need to take to find our Zen, without sacrificing production or revenue. It is a powerful book and I recommend you read the interview, and pick up a copy of her book. Speaking of reading, this issue is packed with great stories about people, successes, ideas and tonnes of useful planning advice. Hala Bissada’s article Location, Location, Location, breaks down every detail of venue selection and offers valuable ideas on how to choose the right space. Erin Henderson, offers a fresh take on wine tasting events and shares some fabulous bottle suggestions for the holiday season. I have curated a collection of this year's most popular and trending entertainment idea. My article is based on conversations with planners across the country and even though it’s full of great entertainment, it is only a tiny sampling of the incredible talent I know is out there. I would love to discover more so I hope you take a moment and email me some of your favourite entertainers so I can share them with our readers. Enjoy!



contentcontributers Erin Henderson The Wine Sisters "WINE TASTING 2.0" ON PAGE 41

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 tastings, parties and wine tours. For more information, visit or follow them on Instagram @The_Wine_Sisters

Hala Bissada Hala Events & Communications Inc. "LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION" ON PAGE 9

Hala Bissada, President of Hala Inc., is a ten-time international awardwinning 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 Special Event Certificate Program and the Alumni Award of Distinction from Ryerson University. Follow her on twitter at @HalaEvents

storycontributers Arthur K, Fusion Events; Tara Sweeney, Calgary Stampede; Evan Aranoff, Luxe Modern Rentals; FOS Décor Centre, David Clarke, BC Event Management; Julie Smithson, MetaVRse; Janice Cardinale, The Idea Hunter; Jason Koop, Canadian Special Events Media Group; Kimberly Beaune, Creative Twist Inc.

photographycredits IsaacImage Photography 424U Photo & Video | by Henry Lin Joerg Mitter Photography STUDIOHORST Haar und Fotostudio HORST Bernhard TINEFOTO | by Martin Steinthaler Leblond Studio Photos with Finesse



In this

ISSUE 1 Editor’s Letter 2 Content Contributors 5 FOS Lights Up Lindt 6 Things We Love: A Fall Inspired Collection 9 Event Space: Location, Location, Location 17 Event Sense: Marketing To Planners 19 Event Report 20 BC Event Management Wins Emmy 28 Top Entertainment Trends


38 Red Events: Love, Passion and an Apple Tree 41 Wine Tasting 2.0; Discovering Hidden Gems 45 Fashion Forward: 5 Holiday Looks 46 5 Reasons to Use Beacon Technology


49 Down The Aisle: She Put a Ring on it 50 Event Food: It's Savoury in the City 53 Trending People: Carol Moxam, CSEP 56 Artist Profile: Jebb Fink, Comedian & Host 57 Quick Clicks


PUBLISHED BY CANADIAN SPECIAL EVENTS MEDIA GROUP A DIVISION OF NATIONAL EVENT MARKETING GROUP INC. 204-415-3976 • WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM 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 All material that appears in Canadian Special Events Magazine is protected by Copyright and can only be reprinted with written permission of 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 and 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.






FOS Lights Up Lindt & Sprüngli is one of Canada’s most-recognized chocolatiers. For their 20th Anniversary Gala, FOS Décor Center wanted to do something that reflected not only their corporate identity but that emulated the essence of their products. To highlight the brand’s luxury, and give a nod to their Canadian roots, FOS used lighting to create a glowing and changing Canadian forest look. They used gold sequin table linens, gold ghost chairs and centerpieces of gold-painted manzanita trees strung with Lindt truffles. The centerpieces featured simple white hydrangeas and leaves spray-painted gold to add a forest texture. Building on the tables, a full-room color wash was designed to infuse the space with a refined energy that celebrated Lindt’s products emulating the look of the clear acrylic bins in the Lindt stores which house brightly-wrapped truffles. These are the crux of the store’s appeal, which is exactly what colour-wash was to imitate. FOS added fall tree gobos to create a forest layer to the scene and finished it off with custom Lindt gobos. Instead of being solid tree projections, they selected a cut-out design that slashed the trees at various points to mimic shadows and branches that can be found in a Canadian forest. All of these lights reflected off of the sequin linens and truffle wrappers, making them appear to glitter. Each of these design techniques brought new complexity to the decor, and worked cohesively to create a sophisticated enchanted forest atmosphere. As the light in the room changed throughout the night, guests were fully immersed in both the brand and its celebrations. Kudos to FOS Decor for a truly glistening event. Photos courtesy of FOS Decor Center .



A Fall Inspired Collection of things we think you will love!



Daneson Fine Flavoured Toothpicks What a great item for your guest tables. These gems, hail from the shores of Georgian Bay and are made in small hand crafted batches using pure ingredients like essential oils, single malt scotch, in Salted Birch and Lemon. Get it now.



Beeyond Grateful Card Pretty and perfect for extending gratitude to your clients, vendors and hard working team. Hand made in Canada. Get it now.



Lip Butter Bliss

Chapped lips are a part of Canadian winters. These 100% natural lip butters by Rocky Mountain Soap Company offer the ultimate in moisture and they taste amazing. Get it now.





Bright Woods Collection by Giancarlo Zema


We love this pairing of wood and translucency. Perfect for futuristic events or evening events outside where you need extra light. View it.


Ashram Sweater

We love this gorgeous hemp and organic cotton long sweater. It’s cozy, but has a sumptuous and edgy upscale look. Wear it.



Boréal Nature Herbal Tea




Pale yellow with a delicious taste of roses, you will be surprised by its boreal forest fragments that remind you of a walk in the woods in fall. Click here to buy it.

Bittered Sling Bitters For smaller intimate events, opt for this little collection from Bittered Sling, the Vancouver based bitters company that’s currently taking the North American cocktail scene by storm. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 7

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



Location, Location,

Location by Hala Bissada, CFRE


Location, Location, Location is known to be a real estate agent’s mantra but it applies to event planners as well. Selecting the venue for your event is one of the most critical decisions you will make. It can impact the look and feel of your event; be a key factor in terms of making your event unique; and is a big line item on your budget. In addition, the professionalism and flexibility of the venue staff can greatly impact the success of your event. Choosing your venue should be aligned with the type of event you are organizing and the target audience. Some important venue considerations include:

Cost/Restrictions Since venue is one of your biggest budget line-items, this is likely one of the considerations that will sway your decision the most. One way to keep your costs down is being flexible on the date and day of the week. Find out if the rental cost is waived if you reach a certain food and beverage minimum. Also, look at items the venue can throw in for free, like staging, furniture, tableware, glassware, linens, votives, preparation of floor plans etc. Find out if there is an event in the room the night before and see if you can piggy back on their set-up to save costs.

Ensure you fully understand any additional costs you may have to incur like security, Socan/Re:Sound fees, custodial/clean-up fees, staffing fees, early arrival/set-up fees, fire-watch etc. You may be in a position where you have gift-in-kind sponsors like beer/wine/spirits. You will need to check in with the venue to see if they will permit you to bring in alcohol and what their corkage fees are. Sometimes at the end of the day, there isn’t a benefit to bringing in the donated product. Some venues have a list of exclusive vendors that they will allow to perform work in their venue. There may be fees or restrictions associated with not utilizing their exclusive provider(s) or preferred suppliers. Find out if the venue is a union or non-union event space. This can impact your costs. A union facility will have additional rules and regulations that must be followed for your event. You will want to ask the facility for their policies and procedures to see how this will affect your event budget. A union facility will have specific labor rates, break times, call minimums and overtime charges. Even if you bring in your own AV or operators, you will still have to use the union labor at least to shadow your team. Most venues will require you to use their in-house AV for rigging and power. Understanding the associated costs prior to your event is very important. Otherwise you may be in store for a rude awakening when you receive your bill after the fact.


Size and Capacity

Depending your event, you may wish to have your venue close to guest amenities such as:

The venue size and capacity must be appropriate for your event. You don’t want a room to be too small where you create an overcrowding situation that is uncomfortable for guests or too big a room where it looks empty, under attended and therefore comes across as being unsuccessful.

• Banks


Layout Options

A convenient location can be a downtown location for a corporate crowd, but for attendees travelling from out of town, hosting your event at a venue near an airport may be more convenient. Close proximity to public transportation and ample parking are important considerations.

It is important for you to understand your requirements or at least have a good idea prior to selecting your venue, including the expected number of guests. For example if you are organizing a fundraising gala you made need space for the cocktail reception that can also accommodate bars, a silent auction and other installations, a dining room that can accommodate a main stage, rooms to house and feed volunteers, green rooms for talent, office space for key organizers etc.

Depending on your event you may require a venue with minimal stairs, ramps and elevator access for an elderly demographic or guests with physical disabilities. Alternatively, if your event is a child-friendly event you need to ensure washrooms have changing tables, there is storage for strollers and perhaps booster seats and highchairs.

• Drug stores • Gift shop • Concierge • Emergency services

Ask venues for sample seating plans and gallery of images from past events that have used your desired layout to give you ideas and a good sense if the space works with the vision you have in mind. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 11


How you lay out your event will affect different aspects of your event. Look at traffic flow and the movement of your guests to make sure how you have created a floor plan that makes sense. Try to envision using the spaces in untraditional ways, especially if you have seen the space used the same way for many events. This can create a wow factor. Find out if there is another event(s) taking place in close proximity to your space. Make sure it doesn’t conflict with your event especially if some spaces are communal. You may not want to host a black-tie affair if there happens to be motorcycle show in next ballroom over.

Staff Cooperation Not only does the venue need to be responsive to your needs prior to the event but it also needs to have adequate support staff on site during the event to respond to the needs and requests of you, your staff and your attendees. Venue staff is an extension of your team and they need to represent you well—they can make or break your event. It is a huge red flag if a venue is not responding to you in a timely manner in the initial stages with things like site tours, providing quotes etc.

Ambiance The building’s interior and exterior will be instrumental in conveying the desired feeling of your event whether it is a relaxed feel to upscale and sophisticated. Make sure it matches the style of event you are executing. In addition, an already beautifully decorated room will minimize décor costs.

Services and Amenities The services and amenities that a venue offers you is also important. Consider the following: • Does the venue have a fabulous chef or do they have a list of preferred caterers for you to select from? • If you are bringing in a caterer does the venue have a full service kitchen? If not you will have to incur additional costs for bringing in kitchen equipment and potentially electrical costs if you require special outlets or extra power • Does the venue offer tables, chairs, tableware etc. as part of their offering and if so are they usable for the style of event you are executing? • Do they have in-house AV capabilities i.e. in-house lighting, staging, podium, audio etc.


Services and Amenities (Cont.) • What do their washrooms look like? easily accessible?

Are they

• Do they have in-house or neighboring parking and what are the costs? Do they have valet services or would you need to bring in that service? What is the cost? • Depending on the type of event you are executing good acoustics in the room could be very important. Holding a venue in non-traditional space like a warehouse may be a “cool” factor, but could result in echoes or reverberations

• Interconnectivity for events especially with large audiences has become incredibly important. Make sure your venue can accommodate your needs. • Do they have business amenities…fax, photocopying etc.

Other Production Considerations It is very important to look at considerations related to production. Below are some key factors, not already mentioned: • Are there any obstructions in the room that may impact sight lines? • Are their rigging points available (spacing, location, weight)?

• Storage Space—do they have space where you can store items like technical cases, or receivables ahead of an event etc.

• What times are available for load in, set-up and strike?

• It is important to tour the loading dock at the site visit, especially if you haven’t worked in the venue before. If you have a large AV set-up it will be important for you to know if you can drive your trucks right in or if you will need to use freight elevators. Some elevators will accommodate a certain size truck. Review the load in specs carefully

• Where are the fire exits and service elevators?

• Today, people do not go anywhere without their mobile phones and other personal devices and this is a key way to personally connect with your audience, especially at large events. You want your guests interacting with social media, using event apps, etc. therefore it is important that there is no interruption of service.


• What type of power is available and is it suitable? • Where can you locate FOH (Front of House—Technical Deck) • Where can you run your cables? Do they need to go around the doors? • What existing lights are in the room and can they be controlled/dimmed?

Most reputable venues require a certificate of insurance with a certain liability amount, as well as them named as an additional insured. Most are typically $2-5 million. Make sure you understand their requirements. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 13



Infrastructure Destination Events

Creating an event using sustainable event principles has become increasingly important to organizers and their clients. Choosing the right venue can assist you with this endeavour. Venues can demonstrate their adherence to sustainable practices in the following ways:

If the event is out of country, especially in a location like the Caribbean where they may not have much infrastructure you will want to take the following into consideration:

• Demonstrate a commitment to water conservation by installing water saving devices • Ensure that recycling and compost bins are accessible and clearly sign-posted • Use refillable water jugs instead of water bottles • LED lighting upgrades

• Does the city have destination appeal? • Are their direct flights from various locations? Is the flight a how price point? • Do they have the required buildings such as stadiums, hotels, convention centres? • Do they have adequate medical services like hospitals and clinics? • What is the proximity to the airport?

• Use efficient appliances

• What are their local attractions, culture, entertainment and outdoor activities?

• Use china instead of disposable items

• Do they have great shopping and restaurants?

• Provide organic options like tea and wine

• Does the destination offer something you can’t find in any other destination?

• Choose seafood items that are sustainable • Organic waste is composted • Donate left-over food to perishable food charities • Electronic paperless check-in/check-out • Use whiteboards instead of paper flip charts • Emissions from the event offset through the purchase of renewable energy certificates

• Do they have adequate transportation services? Are the roads paved? • Are the convention facilities, restaurants and other amenities concentrated in one centralized area for ease? • Are the locals receptive to the event?

Vancouver Convention Centre sustainable roof .

• What is the climate at the given time of your event? • Is the city considered safe? Is it safe to travel on foot, especially in the evening hours? • What are the economic conditions in the city/country? • Do they have adequate power/hydro? • Do they have WIFI? • Do they have vendors you can access or are you bringing in your AV, décor, equipment rentals from another city/country? What are the cost implications? • Are there any construction and development projects going on in the destination and how might they impact your event?

Non-Traditional Venue Space Using non-traditional venue space can create a unique one-of-a-kind environment for your guests. It can be considered to be a unique selling point. As event planners we are always looking for ways to differentiate our events, and this is one way to do it. There are key things to consider when using a nontraditional venue, as it will not have the infrastructure of a traditional venue i.e. existing audio visual, serving staff,

kitchen, security, load in docks etc. Below are things to keep in mind. • Is the location still easily accessible by your attendees? • What is the budgetary impact? i.e. costs for bringing in security, building a kitchen, audio visual requirements, additional power, labour, WIFI etc. • Can the venue accommodate all your room requirements? Will you need to bring in additional resources like trailers (production, hair & make-up, green rooms, washrooms), tenting etc. • Is there ample parking? • Do you have ample time for set-up and tear-down given the venue may need to be operational by a certain time? • Will you need to store existing furniture, equipment etc. • Will you require waste management services? • Who will you need to work with from the venue? If there are multiple divisions you will need to develop relationships and buy-in For more creative event solutions from Hala Bissada, follow her on

twitter and facebook at @HalaEvents. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 15




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 .


Marketing To Planners Should Never Be a Marketing to event professionals is unique. One off ads or cold calling will not get you the results you want. The traditional drivers, such as promotions, sales, time sensitive offers or discounts often do not apply. The event itself drives the decision and that may come tomorrow or six months to a year from now. So how do you effectively market your brand, product or service to people who plan events? By staying connected to your market and being visible. To market to planners, you need to approach your business development like a courtship rather than a one night stand. Think long term and choose solutions that are comprehensive, incorporating multiple platforms, products and live events to help you keep your brand out there. Consider industry associations as a way of connecting your brand to planners who are the most active in their industry sectors. Use content as a strategy to create engagement. Remember though, the type of content you are offering is important. You can be funny, offer an interesting anecdote, ask questions, or offer helpful suggestions, just don’t brag about yourself or there won’t be a second date. Another great way to fine tune your content strategy is to ask your current clients what they would like to see in terms of ideas. Financially, focus online, sponsorship and in person first, then consider including select print into your plan for raising visibility to your target audience. Choose print only for highly focused issues or special editions. In today's marketing world there is little to gain from spending $5000+ on one single print ad. Unless its a book or keeper issue, print has a limited shelf life. For the same spend you can purchase online advertising that offers an unlimited reach, multiple drivers and allows readers to instantly access your brand. Very few success stories happen by accident. It will take an active effort to design an over all strategy that incorporates many different touch points. There are no shortcuts to growing your business but there are strategies that work, and those that don’t. Work with a qualified expert who specializes in marketing to event planners who can help you develop a cohesive and effective plan.


by Jason Koop


eventreport: new york, new york

NEW YORK, NEW YORK @ The Intersection of Innovation & Creativity DT Floral & Decor Inc. & Olga Pankova Art Entertainment hosted their second showcase evening on September 23. The New York styled event drew 150 guests and featured unique designs, talented artisans and one of a kind food. Participants included Spirit Entertainment, Artsy Baker, Marko Bongo/ ONQ Entertainment, Nelli’s Art & Design, Chef On The Go, Sharleez Bridal Boutique, Freeman Audio Visual, Elaine Charal Handwriting Analysis and Garth Riley the Face Reader. Photo Credit: IsaacImage Photography


eventreport: calgary stampede

CALGARY STAMPEDE All photos courtesy of Leblond Studio unless specified Courtesy of Photos with Finesse


Tara Sweeney, CSEP and the team at Calgary Stampede produced this high profile gala to take place in succession with an annual conference. They had three goals: a WOW event for their client; a Stampede experience for guests and to showcase the Agrium Western Event Centre, the only indoor rodeo arena in Canada. They called it the “rodeo dinner theatre.” Design was handled by One West Events with production of load in/out and tech drawings by Production Canada.

Producing This Event Took: • • • • •

196 internal staff 74 external supplier staff 278 entertainers 25 competitors 39 animals


eventreport -calgary eventreport: calgarystampede stampede

Along with a white hat welcome, guests arrived to a myriad of authentic stampede performances and pageantry including the Stampede Royalty, ropers, ranch girls, Harry the Horse, The Band of Outriders and more. Once inside the space, guests dined on custom made platforms, creating a VIP experience for viewing. Local celebrity Dave Kelly, acted as emcee for the evening which started with a sample of the Grandstand Show. Stampede Showband, and the Young Canadians. Attendees were then “white hatted” and became honorary Calgarians. As the lights went down, an aboriginal hoop dancer performed in a ring of fire to mark the beginning of the rodeo which included entertainment elements such as pyrotechnics, children “mutton bustin” with sheep and a country singer crooning to the crowd from the flatbed of a pickup truck. The show ended with such impressive bull riding that guests were standing on their seats with their smart phones out to catch all of the action. After dinner and the rodeo, the floor was turned into a lounge space with up lit bars, a band, and Stampede Midway vignettes. A sea of white hats could be seen from the concourse dancing and “stampeding” like the locals. For this unique experience, the team at Stampede had to dig deep for creative solutions and innovative work arounds to many logistical and scheduling challenges. The event was an exercise in patience and origination.


Photo by IsaacImage Photography

eventreport: calgary stampede

FEATS OF EXCELLENCE: • All decor including custom linens for the tables, chair covers, bar fronts, lounges, centerpieces and floral was installed overnight and removed by 6 a.m. • The production team had to bring in a special floor that would be sturdy enough to cover the special footing and hold the weight of a concert stage. • They had limited access because there is only one service elevator in the building - teams were scheduled as to when they could access it and a repairman was on standby in case it broke down. • The short window of time did not allow for the install of a lighting truss so they received special permission from the building engineer to hang lights directly off the beams. This required the lighting team to come in overnight on two consecutive nights but they were only allowed after 11 p.m. the other event was done for the day. • Catering staff were challenged to the max by having to walk up and down stairs to serve a three course dinner carrying plates individually to guests, because they could not carry serving trays on the stairs. There were 600 guests.

• All of other events’ signage, on south seating decks had to be removed and re-installed for their event in the morning. • Manage the budget with increased labour costs due to after hour scheduling. • Back of house catering areas were built using drape as this venue did not have large enough catering space. • 15 vendor booths had to be fully disguised which were in place for the other event. This reduced the public space and space for bars. • The “other events” crew had to remove some panels of the LED screens in the arena to allow for this event to install stairs for guests to have access to the arena floor, they then needed to be re installed. • They loaded in and set up rodeo steel for the event and tore it down immediately after. • A band quick change area was moved (because the other event built a stage where they had planned it previously). • 100 fake plants were removed immediately upon load in to allow for access and re installed post event.



eventreport: metavrse

TRANSPORTS GUESTS INTO THE WORLD OF “TIMELESS” WITH 360° PHOTO BOOTH Shoppers at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Center had a chance to enter a time machine and travel back through time - while still making it back for a trip to the food court. In a first-of-its-kind promotion of Global TV’s new time-travel drama Timeless, fans were invited to view the show’s action-packed trailer in a Virtual Reality headset before entering a life-size replica of the show’s futuristic, spherical time machine. Once inside, time travelers entered a bright green room with a central column of light containing a very different kind of advanced technology - a 360⁰ camera. As the passengers disembarked from the machine, they were invited to a large touch screen to explore a 360⁰ scene of themselves standing on a country road as the Hindenburg airship explodes above their heads. The unique 360⁰ photo keepsake (containing a subtle brand message for the premiere of Timeless on Global TV) was then sent to participants in a format easily shared to social media. The 360⁰ Photo Booth was developed by Toronto-based Virtual Reality agency MetaVRse. As a “full service Mixed Reality agency and advisory firm,” is helping clients use Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies to create amazing experiences for their customers. “When Corus approached us to create an unforgettable activation to promote the show’s launch, recalls MetaVRse CEO Alan Smithson, “we knew it had to combine the show’s exciting time-travel premise with a truly unique experience. Our activation let fans actually step into a time machine in the real world and leave with a unique interactive souvenir to remember their trip to the rich sci-fi world of Timeless.” MetaVRse is making the 360⁰ Photo Booth available to clients ranging from experiential marketers to major event organizers. Upcoming activations will transport users into customized environments ranging from major sporting events to the surface of the moon. “When Virtual Reality can take us anywhere, the only limitation is our imagination,” observes Smithson. “And for our team, that has never been a problem!”



eventreport: luxe lounge

THE LUXE LOUNGE LUXE Modern Rentals provided all the furnishings and dĂŠcor for the VIP Lounge at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals. The event, which took place at Polson Pier was part of a massive weeklong series which dominated the VIP social scene for almost a week this past September. Working closely with Jasmine Baker of For the Love of Food Catering, Luxe created this sleek, beach inspired design where players, celebrity and sponsors could relax, kick back and enjoy the event in high style. Photo Credit: Henry Lin, Joerg Mitter, Bernhard Horst, Martin Steinthaler





Sc re an Emmy David Clark, President, and Shane Droucker, Director of Production, for of BC Event Management, won a coveted Sports Emmy Awards from the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences for the construction of the Fox Sports Studio on Jack Poole Plaza for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 in the category of Outstanding

Technical Team Studio. BC Event Management, one of Canada’s leading event production companies was contracted by Fox Sports to technically design, engineer, and construct the temporary broadcast studio on the plaza by the Vancouver Convention Centre to host Fox Sports’ coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.


This project was full of incredibly detailed and complex challenges. Among the biggest was the task to design with extremely lightweight construction as the studio was on the roof of retail spaces below; they had very limited use of cranes and lifts as the whole plaza had weight limitations: they were faced with strict permanent building codes even though this structure was temporary and they had to anchor the structure for seismic and wind load code requirements since the plaza has a membrane seal which could not be penetrated. On top of all the logistical challenges, David and his team had only 2.5 weeks to construct. No wonder this was worthy of an Emmy! Well done BC Event Management for a truly world class production.


TOP Entertainment


Dominating The Market Now

By Stacy Wyatt


Maya Angelou once said, "you can't use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have”. Nothing could be more true in today’s world of event entertainment where creativity is the key to the kingdom. Today’s planners are constantly on the hunt for innovative and “never seen before” entertainment ideas. Clients are digging deep to find the engagement in their programs and are looking for WOW performances that resonate with their audience. With advances in technology, the possibilities are endless but, no one wants to do what every other event has already done and everyone either wants to be first or believes that they thought of it first. For the entertainers, the pressure is on to bring a unique proposition to the table and they are working more closely with their planners and agencies to collaborate on creating one of a kind experiences for the end user clients. We talked with dozens of event managers across Canada, and asked for their input into the most innovative, most popular and most talked about entertainment concepts trending today and based on those conversations, we have curated this collection of entertaining ideas to consider for your next event.

Escape Rooms top the list as the most popular form of team building and group activities of this year. These challenging and mind boggling puzzle places give new meaning to the word bonding. It’s amazing how fast you can develop an attachment to a colleague when you must work together to save yourself from a serial killer. Roundabout Canada in Toronto is one of the favourites. Its theme immersive in that it features movie quality props and authentic sets that will raise the hair on the back of your neck before you even start the game. Obsidem Games in Montreal offers unique and interactive live-action adventure games in which players become active participants in the stories and must work as a team to solve intriguing problems. Lockdown Escape, in Vancouver is one of the largest-scale escape rooms in Canada, Lockdown offers a real-life escape experience with ultra-realistic design and full-scale mechanical rooms. Challengers are set to the ultimate logic tests to try to escape as the clock counts down. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 29


featuredstory Moving from fear onto Food… catering is central to any great event and Canada has some of the most talented chefs and culinary designers in the world. Coming up with ways to use food and drink as an entertainment as activations is nothing new, but what is new are the unique ideas based on the concepts of disruption. it’s becoming ”chic” to do a 180 turn away from high end service for high end guests to environments where VIPS in Versace are donning aprons and eating out of soup cans. Calgary based POP Kollaborative for example recently did an event in a warehouse/factory space where they played off the environment and used food to create the experience. Food service included guests grabbing cans of vegetables coming off the conveyor belts and using their own ice picks to carve out prawns from huge blocks of ice. This is the kind of creative that turns corporate gatherings upside down and develops them into immersive, mind blowing guest experiences.

"Canada has some of the most talented chefs and culinary designers in the world."

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery’s Power Ball multi-sensory experience .

Last year, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery’s Power Ball, known for its innovative artist installations featured an interactive food performance (work entitled “So Sorry”) by artist Jennifer Rubbel. Some of her work included a wall of meat from which guests could carve out their portion with scissors and an octopus hanging from the ceiling from which they used knives to cut off a piece to eat.

Double Chocolate Fountain Ice Cream Bars

In terms of interactive food companies, desserts still reign supreme and Double Chocolate Fountain shows no signs of slowing down with the most extraordinary outpouring of creativity. It’s like they have Willy Wonka himself hiding somewhere in their shop. Nitro Popcorn, food mashups and cold (yet strangely hot) ice cream sandwiches guests make themselves are just some of their fabulous and delicious inventions and they just keep getting more inventive. In addition to their unique décor and designs, local Toronto event innovator DT Floral and Decor is always coming up with interesting interactive products. One of which, is a food conveyor belt which can serve food and move it around the room on a long belt which allows guest to pick up a canape from virtually anywhere. Perfect for standing receptions and dessert after parties. DT Floral and Decor conveyor belt Photo by IsaacImage Photography

The Idea Hunter has a unique product which combines branding and beverages. Beverage Toppers™ are thin, edible disks, featuring your corporate logo or message. They can float on most beverages, hot or cold, iced or frozen, and are sold exclusively through The Idea Hunter in Canada. How refreshing!

Courtesy of The Idea Hunter FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 31


featuredstory Disruption hasn’t just made its way into event food, it has deeply impacted the corporate music entertainment scene as well. Mash Ups are all the rage with collaborations coming in of interesting forms. The Idea Hunter as an example is working with their talent to develop fresh new acts that juxtapose odd combinations like an opera singer and a beat boxer that turns out a brilliant performance. And it is not just the agencies that are pushing these collaborations. Singers and bands themselves are joining forces to change up their acts so that they can offer something new and modern. Singers like Calgary based Jenn Beaupre is working with some amazing local rappers to combine her deep soulful egdy voice with hip city vibes to create some of the most stunning vocal performances we have ever heard. Entertainment and Technology have collided with events over the past year like never before with the arrival of VR (virtual reality). The advances in VR are happening so fast that even the agencies offering these products to the planners are racing to keep up.

Tech is not just showing up in entertainment by way of goggles and screens, its making its way to the stage in cool ways. Mega show producers like Creativiva, that specialize in developing custom theatrical performances for events are finding ways to stay technologically current by using all the tools available to make their shows more thrilling for their audiences. Their latest advancements include the integration of Bose audio speakers into the performance costumes and the use of the world’s smallest fog machines to make their special effects more powerful and even more stunning. Using companies like Creativiva to custom design your vision is also a trend. Planners felt they were seeing an increase in the request for bigger, custom shows for their larger events. With an in-house prop and costume shop and a team of trained choreographers and performers, these types of show designers make it easier than ever to develop and produce the event you imagine.

MetaVRse, is a VR based event entertainment agency that is solely focused on using VR to thrill and engage guests by creating 360⁰ immersive and life like experiences. From social uses to brand activations VR is changing the landscape of event marketing by letting guests and consumers step outside the real world and into the brand’s world. Imagine driving the car of the future, swimming with sharks, skydiving in peru, running with lions in the Serengeti… What’s more, MetaVRse offers a 360⁰ Photo Booth so not only do guests get the experience, they get to memorialize it.

Jenn Beaupre

Hear It

Courtesy of MetaVrse .

Courtesy of The Idea Hunter

Live Streaming continues to be a player in in the world of tech entertainment, and while not new, it has had a huge facelift over the past 18 months with the introduction of products Meerkat, Periscope and Blab. This technology is most effective for events when the host organization is looking to gain brand recognition by engaging off site viewers or to fuel FOMO, with the hopes it will increase attendance at future events.

Gesture Control Technology continues to evolve with new platforms that allow guests to interact with what’s happening on surfaces such as screens, tables, walls or even the floor. Guests can communicate with the environment with their hands, feet, facial expressions or entire body movements. Companies like GestureTek are leading the charge with products like the Cube Floor Projection system. Imagine the walls coming to life and talking back as guests enter or an art theme event where guests can interact with famous works like the Mona Lisa? To see Gesture Control Technology in action, click here. Robots are a mega trend in event technology. As AI continues to develop, we will not only continue to see the use of robotics for entertainmen grow, but that will evolve into fully automated services. Robots will serve as bartenders, concierge and coat check and even servers. One person I spoke to said he has been consulting on concepts for the worlds first fully automated event venue which could be open in less than eight years.... The possibilities are endless. Not just for utility, there are some really cool things happening in robotic performances like TI Bots. They provide 10 Foot LED Robot performers for special events. The LED Robot has over a 1,000 LED lights that can be programmed as different colors and displays and is equipped with special entertaining features to wow audiences like lasers gloves for a cool laser show effect, C02 Cryo guns, confetti cannons and even fireworks for the ultimate experience. As robots and artificial intelligence continues to gain‌ well intelligence, we are excited to see what comes next. Technology continues to dominate the developments in stage performances. From Projection to silhouette dance and illusion shows like those seen on America's Got Talent, the world of modern dance is now turning to tech. Idea Hunter represents a performance called Kaleidoscope; a high impact show, using awe inspiring LED props and customized graphics. Choreographed to music, it brings your brand to life in a way your guests have never seen before. .

See It TI Bots

featuredstory Performance Art and living decor continue to be popular for corporate events. From custom characters to live painting, live sand art to live fruit carving, it is a solid entertainment choice and unlike comedy or a magic show, there is little chance it will not be well received. Agencies like Creative Twist, add unique elements to events by layering in what they call living dĂŠcor. Be it a living portrait or whimsical living vines on stilts, they bring the magic of theatre to your event. They provide a full range of custom characters and cast only professional actors as decor, emcees or hosts. They include scenarios and even scripts to complete the vision.

Watch it Photo courtesy of Olga Pankova, Live Event Artist

Whether it is called Live Art, Living Art, VR Art, it is all part of an emerging wave taking a big bite out of the corporate entertainment apple. This was one of the most requested performance types this year, according to our sources. Artists Olga Pankova is a pioneer in Virtual Reality (VR) Art as well as in other unique and innovative art performances. Her other exciting performances comprise of her rare Light Art and Clear Art shows. In addition to her astonishing traditional painting performances, that include SpeedPainting, Paint-With-ME and Paint-Dual, she is up builds customized art performances designed specifically for your event and your brand. Not Canadian but a must mention is awardwinning painter Katherine Gressel who travels worldwide to events, and captures the action in a live painting. Each painting serves as both entertainment for guests and a lasting memento of the special day. Halifax based Najma Sharif is what we call a luxury item because she is so rare. Namja is a water colour artist who does live impressionist style paintings of live events. Mostly weddings, but she can do any kind of event. She is a one of a kind talent, worth flying in for your event. Deeply spiritual and immensely talented, she arrives at the venue half an hour before, quietly, sets up her corner and then just starts painting what she sees. She captures the essence of the event through her eyes and her work is breathtaking every time.





Whether it is called Live Art, Living Art or VR Art, it is all part of an emerging wave taking a big bite out of the corporate entertainment apple.

Photo courtesy of Creative Twist Inc. .

Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence In Canadian Events

Submission Period Opens November 15, 2016 The Canadian Event Industry Awards is the pinnacle mark of professional achievement and the highest honour a Canadian event professional can earn. Since its inception over 627 Canadians have been recognized for their excellence to the industry. Join us on March 30, 2017 in Toronto and take your place as an award winning Canadian Event Professional.


Makelab's 3D printing pop-up studio

Gifting and creative stations have seen their own trends evolve. As technology advances it is allowing for more customizations to happen live on site. Things like custom photo booths that put the photo on your cell phone case are popular. Case Escape, make personalized cases with anything on them in 10 minutes or less. What's cool about this is that a guest can snap a picture at the event on their phone, email to the phone case booth and in ten minutes, walk over to the booth and pick up the case. Imagine taking a snapshot of the bride and groom as they turn around and walk back down the aisle and at the reception giving them matching phone cases with this image on it? Watch this one minute video on how it’s done. QR Code Shirts, offered by Makelab are kitchsy and guests love them. They can create any message and it will be printed on the shirt, on the spot so they can take it home, the best part is that it can be scanned and read by any smart phone. Giant Digital Graffiti Colouring Books, also by Makelab are huge right now! Bring that creativity and colour to your event with a giant 10’x6’ digital spray paint colouring book. Guests use digital spray cans or light markers to colour in pages, which can then be shared on social media or polaroid printed as a personal takeaway. Pages can be custom-drawn in advance of the event to suit your brand, or theme.


Another great party accessory by Makelab is the 3D Printing Pop-Up Studio and it is something most of your guests will not have seen before. Guests are guided by designers through five-minute individual design experiences, and watch as their creation is printed in front of their eyes. 3D printers, designer and operators come along to make sure everything prints So, that’s a lot of trending for one article and this only begins to scratch the surface of what is new and innovative on the market today. Although not anywhere near comprehensive, it showcases some of the more unique trends dominating the event scene. We know there are dozens more ideas to be sourced so if you have a great one, please email us so we can share it our readers.

Play Me


RED EVENTS Is a Story About Love, Passion and an Apple Tree!

In 2000, Gill Boyd had a dream of offering modern wedding decor for Calgary brides. Working long hours outside of her daytime job as an event planner for the Calgary Stampede, she began Spoilt Red Productions with her sister Lissa. Innovation, creativity, and style were hallmarks of a Spoilt Red Wedding; They were even the first company in Calgary to own their own chair covers. Props meet girl and the love story begins... In 2006 Spoilt Red Weddings purchased Gaps the Prop Shop, a local firm which had a substantial stake in the corporate décor/ tv and movie set business. The opportunity to expand beyond weddings was irresistible and the sisters went from decorators to fabricators overnight. One year later, in a happy twist of fate, Gill met Bobby Vanonen, a local designer & art director when she engaged his services to build her a 16 foottall apple tree for an event in 4 days! That tree may have been built for one event but was the seed for a blossoming love story and an incredible business. On NYE 2011 they walked down the aisle and today Bobby and Gill, along with their talented team, run Red Events, which has become one of Alberta’s largest event design

and fabrication/prop suppliers. Their shop rents and custom builds props and décor pieces for corporate projects, photographer sets, film, tv, theatre, parties, theme events, promotions or any special event you can imagine. If you can dream it, they can build it. In addition to events and props for events, Bobby Vanonen is a highly respected and sought after Art Director in film, TV, and corporate video. He has combined his background in illustration and custom fabrication with his unique vision and eye for art direction to position Red Events as a “go to” for groundbreaking set design and film work. When a Red Event is underway, there is magic in the air. The venue is brimming with amazing energy and guests are transported by the ambiance and celebration. The room is pieced together seamlessly and the original vision unfolds with orchestrated perfection. Underneath the immaculate setting is a tightly woven team of amazing creatives. Team Red is the love, sweat, and creative dedication behind your next event. “Together with their team, they are fundamentally, designers and creators of magic in the form of décor. They self admittedly obsess over decor.”









Discovering Hidden Gems By Erin Henderson, Henderson

Think of wine tastings and you probably think of stuffy middle aged men and women, standing around in collared shirts and silk neck scarves having sophisticated conversations much ado about nothing... Think again.


Budget and great attendance; these are the two big concerns from event clients: how can they deliver a stellar experience on budget? and how can they ensure a solid attendance? We all know that to get people excited about your event you need something to set your event apart. In an age where everyone is fighting for attention, just hosting a product launch, networking evening or client appreciation reception is not going to guarantee anyone, let alone your VIPs, will make time in their busy schedules to attend.

But creating something engaging and unique without serious sponsorships or a healthy budget can be a challenge. This is where a wine tasting event can offer an effective and refreshing solution to both these obstacles. As the late Robert Mondavi once said, “Wine inspires sociability.” We’ve certainly borne witness to that wisdom! It is not uncommon for wine tasting events to be sold out quickly. When wine is involved, instead of fighting for attendance, RSVPs go through the roof, and the clients are either opening up more seats or happily hanging the “all booked up” shingle. There is a vast range in the type of tastings that one can host. We have led high end tastings with first-class bottles like iconic California Cabernets, prestigious Italian Barolos and acclaimed French Bordeaux and the impact is certainly impressive for the right clientele, but not every wine tasting has to be expensive

or feature majestic bottles of grandeur. In fact, it’s often better to go with the hidden gems that deliver true value and do intimate and engaging programing using wines that will inspire and educate your guests - and leave them with helpful ideas for their own entertaining. For those looking to maximize their wine tasting budgets, we recommend staying away from the red-hot popular regions like Napa, Burgundy and Tuscany, in favour of less-fashionable, but still exceptional, areas.

South Africa; with a wine industry that dates back centuries, gorgeous Cabernets, Sauvignon Blancs and sparkling wines are rivaling the world’s best, but because the region is still looking to catch on here, Canadians get the benefit of some terrific deals. Languedoc-Roussillon (sometimes referred to as the “Midi” or simply, “the Languedoc”) is another hot bed of wine deals. Running along the Mediterranean coast in southern France, the area churns out top-notch red blends of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Rich and robust in character, the wines use the same grapes as the neighbouring Rhône, but cost is often substantially lower. Germany. Riesling fans, take note. The birthplace of the zippy, fresh and flavourful Riesling is also a place for terrific bargain hunting. Of course, not all German Rieslings are thrifty, but there are a number available for under $20.



Italy. If you stay away from the prized wines like Barolo, Super Tuscans and Brunellos, you can find some exceptional deals namely the rich reds from the south and crisp whites of the north. Stay with the outliers and you should uncover a wealth of good wine buys. Spain. While there are some pricey wines to be found in this country, for the most part, the wines are wonderful value. Rioja is the most famous wine region and has seen some significant investment over the years, but there is still a lot of bargain shopping to be had.

Argentina. Everyone loves Malbec, and in addition to this Ăźber popular red, the South American country is producing a range of wines, including quality Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet, just to name a few. There is so much more to say about wine and wine tastings but the countries listed here offer a wide selection and you should be able to find something on-target for your next event. If you would like assistance in creating an engaging experience, please contact The Wine Sisters at

Wines To Try Imported Gems





Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva, Rioja, Spain

Ruffino Prosecco

Les Jamelles Merlot

Veneto, Italy

Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Rich and plush with flavours of black cherry and spice. Pair with prime rib or beef sliders.

Peach, yellow apple and pear flavours come through on this sparkler which would be perfect to start a party with a selection of mixed hors d’oeuvres.

Juicy and smooth with flavours of red and black cherry, blackberry jam and smoked spice. Terrific for stuffed mushrooms, pastas with meat sauce or eggplant parmigiana.

Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay, South Africa Juicy apple and pear mix with toast and vanilla notes in this creamy white wine that would be brilliant with roast turkey or seared scallops.

Wines are available nationally, prices reflect Ontario pricing and vary from province to province.





5Holiday Looks

With so many office parties, association events and client open houses coming up, tis the season to ask "what should I wear". Don't fret we have curated this adorable collection of work/party appropriate outfits for every body type and every style of event. We're sure with this glittering idea board you can find something in your closet and if not... what a great reason to go shopping!

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5 Reasons

To Use

Beacon Technology At Your Events Contributed by FMAV Trade shows can be intimidating events. For both planners and suppliers they bring a unique set of logistical challenges and require an extra level of coordination as you work with exhibitors, suppliers, and the venue to coordinate a very complex event all while staying focused on the attendee experience to make sure that they get the most out of their time on the trade show floor. Perhaps the biggest new technology being deployed at trade shows are beacons. These devices can be placed around your trade show to collect and distribute attendee’s information. Beacons use Bluetooth technology to interact with attendees devices (normally through an event-specific app) and allow for a huge range of audience interaction all based on the profile

that they create and by monitoring where attendees are based on their proximity to each beacon attendees can have a curated event experience.

Location Services One of the most practical applications for beacons is on-site location services. Traditionally maps of trade show floors have been static diagrams and attendees would have to take the time to figure out where they are and then where they want to go. But when beacons are installed around the event space they can help guide users to their next session or to a specific trade show booth. As attendees pass by each beacon their location and directions to their destination are updated in real time.



Signage Digital signage on-site is also a growing trend but when combined with beacon technology can be a very powerful tool. As attendees approach beacon-enabled signage they can receive custom messages that may share information about the location of their next session or appointment, or present an offer from a nearby exhibitor. All of these are passive applications so an attendee with their event app open doesn’t have to do anything to access this information.

Presentation/ Content Pushing/ Custom Messaging One of the most cumbersome parts of a trade show is collecting all of the promotional and collateral materials that presenters and exhibitors distribute. With the help of beacons, collateral material can be shared with attendees in a designated area. For example, all the attendees in a breakout session can have the presentation automatically emailed to their provided email or after spending a few minutes in a booth, an exhibitor’s promotional material can be sent, catered of course to the specific areas of interest that the attendees has identified in their profile. Of course, this doesn’t have to be limited to presentations or exhibitors, messages from sponsors or the planners could be sent to attendees as they navigate the show floor.

Content Courtesy of FMAV FMAV is your audiovisual and technical event partner that shows more: More attention, more creativity, more passion, more expertise and more memorable moments for your event. After 35 years and thousands of successful events, they remain at the forefront of technical event production to meet the needs of clients and everchanging technology.

Lead Gathering Similar to content pushing, lead gathering can be simplified with the use of proximity beacons. As attendees spend a set amount of time in an exhibitor’s booth, or in a session their contact information can be shared with exhibitors or presenters allowing them to follow up more efficiently. Based on the information in an attendee’s profile the amount of contact details shared can be adjusted.

Networking One of the most exciting aspects of beacon technology is its ability to connect people. Once an attendee completes their profile, their interests can be compiled and compared and as they move around the trade show floor they can be notified of other attendees in the area with similar interests. These connections can be as simple as the sharing of a LinkedIn or other social media details, or as much as guiding attendees to a meeting spot after sending a custom notification. This can also be combined with an integrated messaging tool in the event app to make these connections even easier. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 47


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. .


She Put a Ringon it We all know the power of events. As planners, we have the privilege and honour of being a part of once in a lifetime experiences. From crossing paths with celebrities or raising money for life changing causes; to religious celebrations or business events, we bear witness to some pretty meaningful moments. Wedding planners, more than any other are invited into people’s lives for one of the most intimate and important moments. Even though every event and every moment is important… every once in a while, one special one, just

takes you by surprise. The emotion, the meaning, the beauty, the love. This is one of those moments. With only two weeks notice, Arthur K and team at Fusion Events were approached to plan a special proposal for an out of town couple were told it needed to be a total surprise, must somehow include friends and family, a flash mob and a famous Beyonce song. So…. using a fake "video shoot" as the draw, he crafted this creative experience that has become one of the most important events in this couples life. Watch what happens next.





Savoury in the City

Donna Wadsworth – food philosopher and farm-to-table advocate is the innovator behind Vancouver’s successful Savoury City Catering. This innovative company is the culmination of a life-long obsession with all things food for Donna and her partner in business and life, Blaine Arnot. Based in Vancouver’s colourful East Vancouver, the bustling shop is a hub of activity from local clientele to brides and planners popping in for a menu experience in their new tasting room.

Donna has worked all over the world and through her culinary adventures feeds her passion for cooking and travel. She brings her love of both to Savoury city and its evident in the richness and diversity of her catering. While not clairvoyant, Donna is definitely a “seer” with the unique ability to visualize an event from beginning to end. She lives by the motto “fail to prepare then prepare to fail” but as you can see from her successful and well loved company, failure is nowhere in her future.




My experience

with Savoury City was nothing short of extraordinary. We wanted the best food at our wedding with an Italian alfresco theme and Donna knocked it out of the park!


All photos courtesy of Blaine Arnot






CSEP, Lifestyle & Leadership Coach In her new book Life is a Special Event, Carol shares with her readers her vast experience and skills in event management and explains how to apply those same tools and principles into planning their own live life events including their daily food and beverage, their personal design, entertainment, their life logistics and production – everyday, not just once a year. This book takes the reader through various stages from research design, planning and coordination and evaluation of their LIFE. The goal is in designing their best self. “It requires commitment, and the courage to explore yourself and your habits. It is all about celebrating the moments, both planned and unplanned, that life gives us everyday. In the profession of special events, event planners get to dream big, imagining endless possibilities that creates experiences of joy, happiness, fun and adventure – Carol asks…why not do the same in your life?”


You and I go way back; back to days when laminating event binders was the “thing” no one ubered and people didn’t text let alone tweet. You have been on this amazing journey and I have watched it unfold. You just wrote a powerful book I think everyone needs to read but before we delve into it, I have one burning question? How have you stayed looking so young?


Stacy, that’s so funny. I actually look back at pictures when I was so stressed out about events and I do think I look younger now. The secret is so simple. Find inner peace and figure out how to do what you love every day. The person I am today – is just not the same person I was then and it’s because I found the courage to go inside and really find out who I was and what I wanted from this special gift of life I have been given. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 53


trendingpeople SW: Start us off by sharing your "start" story. CM: My story is not unique. I was young; in a new career at Rogers which (was Cantel then); I was on a special events committee and going to school for event management.

I finished up a huge event for them and just knew this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be part of the powerful moments that events create and I wanted to do it everyday. So, I walked in and told my boss that I wanted to start own business. I was 24 years old. He was gracious and gave me the “laid off package” and out the door I went. BUT… I knew they had another massive program coming up so I turned around, marched back in and proposed to do their event as a contractor. They gave me the contract and we created Event Edge with its first client. To be honest, we had no idea what we were doing but we figured it out and we successfully ran the event in 10 provinces across Canada. We were so young and ballsy back then, we just thought anything was possible.

SW: That’s a very powerful message. But what does this actually look like?

CM: It starts by being willing to look inside and see

where you are failing and where you are succeeding. Asking the tough questions about your life balance, instead of doing what most of us do which is doing it and hanging on by our fingernails. Kids, jobs, events, clients, staff, office, parents…. We say were handling it but were really not all handling it.

CM: The first ten years were amazing, then things started

I don’t know where or why it wasn’t taught that the higher you rank yourself on that priority scale and the better you take care of yourself the higher you will produce in the world. We put ourselves last and we do more for our clients than we do for ourselves. I have walked the talk. I made a decision on that New York morning I was going to put me first, and see the impact it had on my life, my income, my production in the world.. and I did it for two years to prove its real…. I reduced my hours, I gave myself permission. “it’s ok for me to give myself a break” It’s ok to go for a walk… to have coffee in the middle of the day and actually listen to my friends, to share my issues and talk about me. This is my life and here is what I am dealing with today. It’s ok to stop hiding behind the blazer. And my life became everything I was doing to everyone else. My life literally became a special event.

SW: The book you've written, is it the product of this journey?

So now, every quarter is theme. I theme my life. For example, this past summer was “Connected and Natural” – I spent it outside, I aimed for the highest level of intimacy with people and nature, I traveled and spent a lot of time at this pretty little duck pond which became my sanctuary. This new quarter is “Celebration and Imminent Success”. I know this sounds hard to understand but this is working. And work is continuous and more abundant than ever before in my life. I have more money and time than I have ever had.

SW: I remember your events. You entered the Canadian

Event Awards a few years in a row. Can you believe this is going to be the 20th Anniversary? I hope you will be there!


Over the past 20 years, what has been the most challenging aspect of your career?

to change. Personally and professionally. There were some really tough points where I lost it all, but through, what I have come to learn is I was growing at every point in that journey and in ways that I would not realize for years. Those tough parts would shape a whole new life for me. Truly it’s been an evolution the past decade. It has all been about finding out what was missing in my life; why I wasn’t finding the success and happiness I was searching for.

CM: Exactly. This book is for all those people in the industry and other careers that are creating amazing things for other people but sacrificing themselves in the process. Many who don’t even know it. We struggle from one gig to the next, we plan every detail of that event, we labor and stress over it but are we even doing a tenth of that for our own life? The answer for me was no. Then one day I realized, I am just as important as the special event and I asked myself, "what can I do to take on the same roles I apply to my clients, for my own life". That’s when my life started to change


I want everyone know to read this book. This is the story of so many people we know.. how has the book been received?

CM: Amazing, it’s just the beginning the journey. Last week,

instead of laying down the red carpet, I was walking it as a celebrated author. I know this philosophy and approach to life works. I am walking down the life story to help others change their lives.



I always say, I blame it on my mom, I was born on January 1, a special event!

Carol with her best friend and mom, Sheila.


This book is the only one of its kind, written for planners. In my role, I talk to industry people everyday, and a common thread is the way they tend to wear their stress like a badge of honour. Ask almost anyone in events how they are doing, the immediate or first response is usually "we are swamped, we can barley keep up" or we just pulled a 36 hour day and we will be lucky to sleep at all the next week". And for some reason this is supposed to be celebrated? That is so backwards. Life is for living not working yourself into an early grave. I am just as guilty. Your book addresses the elephant in the room. I LOVE it and am so grateful for this. So what does this mean for you? Where will these new paths take you?


From this, has grown a path toward coaching for planners worldwide. It truly makes a difference to work with someone who you can trust, who understands. Making these changes are vital but people need guidance in lifestyle and direction. How do I… live more, travel more, spend more time with my family, friends and live the life I want.

SW: After so many years in the business, do you have any

Carol on her journey to Egypt.

SW: One last question. If you gave your colleaugues the chance to be candid, what would they say about you?


advice for young planners just starting out?



SW: Carol, I cannot thank you enough for taking time to

Communication – be your word. Say what you are going to do and do it… Honour your relationships. Every one of them. And speak honestly. Don’t worry about what other people think of you, worry about being authentic and real, true to your own dreams. Others will respect that and if they don’t… walk away.

talk with me about this amazing, powerful information. I am so excited to curl up and get cozy and dig into this book. I know so many planners and professionals in general are going to us it to find much needed direction to re create their lives and make them more healthy and happy. FALL 2016 | WWW.CANADIANSPECIALEVENTS.COM | 55



Jebb Fink


An award-winning host and comedian, Jebb Fink has spent the last 32 years performing comedy across North America and internationally. He has hosted CBC's Just for Laughs "All Access Pass”, has been a writer and performer with the Just for Laughs Festival, along with the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Whether hosting an event or creating a show especially for you, Jebb’s clean comedy and ability to cater his show for any audience will ensure there is never a dull moment. It is hard not to recognize Jebb from his eight years co-hosting the A-Channel's “Big Breakfast” or as the host of City TV's “Your City”. When not on television, Jebb can be found hosting numerous events throughout North America for clients such as The International Society of Petroleum Engineers Conference, Just For Laughs "Live" Bio-tech Conference, Canadian Innovations and Technologies conference and the Calgary Health Trust fundraising evening "Funny Bone Comedy Night”, The Health Sciences Association of Alberta AGM and the Annual Architecture Conference for the RAIC. On top of Jebb’s comedic talent he is also an amazing cook and recently started a company making and selling fresh pasta with a retail / restaurant outlet, “Jebb’s Joint”, in the Crossroads Market in Calgary. When in need of an Emcee or Comedian, Canadian Special Events Media Group recommends Jebb Fink. Contact Nancy Beaven to book Jebb at




Quick Clicks Wardrobe Oxygen Alison Gary helps you express your personal style through your wardrobe regardless of your working budget. Find outfits categorized by season, capsule wardrobe suggestions, beauty tips and get style queries answered.

Gala Darling Gala Darling has made it her life’s mission to help women fall in love themselves by urging readers to practice radical self love. Her blog refers to unlearning negative concepts related to self image and accepting one’s self. Have a read.

Shine Daily affirmations are proven to reprogram negative thought patterns. Shine texts help target dysfunctional beliefs through short, positive statements and curate tactical actions and content to help you live your best life. You can even share the love with your friends with their gifs, quotes and texts!

Cool Things Pocket scanners, smart furniture, Bluetooth key trackers, even squirt guns that turns water into glow-in-the-dark water… this site offers unique gadgets you won’t find in your local superstore. With over 8 categories ranging from inventions to kitchen gear, there is a nifty gadget for just about anyone.

Lotus Even when your team mates are hundreds of miles away, Lotus is the perfect collaboration whiteboard that makes it seem you are all in the same room. With realtime drawing, this app will make distance seem like a thing of the past.



a division of national event marketing group inc.

Canadian Special Events Media Group is a niche publishing and communications agency focused on supporting the special events and marketing industry in Canada.






Profile for Canadian Special Events Magazine

Canadian Special Events Special Magazine Fall 2016  

Canadian Special Events is Food, Fashion, Beauty & Design... for events. The magazine, which is also available in print, is designed to prov...

Canadian Special Events Special Magazine Fall 2016  

Canadian Special Events is Food, Fashion, Beauty & Design... for events. The magazine, which is also available in print, is designed to prov...