5th Element Goes Country with the Wellspring Henderson Hoedown
Every two years, the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation holds one of the most engaging fundraisers in Toronto – The Wellspring Henderson Hoedown! Bringing together some of the city’s top philanthropists and supporters, the event features everything western themed, from décor, design and entertainment all while raising money for services that help individuals and families deal with cancer.
Founded in 1992, Wellspring is an innovative network of community-based cancer support centres that collectively offer over 50 different programs. Wellspring provides support, coping skills, and education at no charge and without need of medical referral to individuals, family members and professional caregivers living with cancer.
"The Hoedown was created in 1993 by the late Mark Henderson, who was an early Wellspring member, peer volunteer, and Board Director. This fun, western-themed event reflects Mark's hopeful spirit and love of family, friends and country music", said Lynda Morrison, CEO of Wellspring. "It's become our signature event, and we're so grateful for the incredible support Wellspring receives through this unique and highly entertaining fundraiser."
This year, the event graced the Canadian Ballroom at the legendary Fairmont Royal York Hotel and featured an incredible performance by Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo. The team at 5th Element Events joined forces with Wellspring to design and execute the themed evening. Stagevision Inc. handled all the AV and lighting inclusive of a fantastic white draped backdrop covering the entire north wall of the ballroom as well as custom lighting designs that enhanced the atmosphere for the entire evening.
It’s not easy transforming a luxury hotel into a Western themed venue, but using incredible antique props like barrels, wheels, crates, foliage, fences mixed with custom bars, textures, faux suede linens and denim linens, the team at 5th focused on one thing, transforming the space into a WILD WILD WEST playground!
As guests approached the reception area, they were greeted by dressed cowgirls, a moving table full of custom drinks and two fully painted live cowboys that shifted gently every so often. The main feature was the silent auction inside the Ontario room. Inside was an 18’ custom wood paneled bar with vignettes of hay barrels, wheels and hangman signs draped with Wellspring branded foam core posters. Antique barrels, boots and wheels added to the like, making the bar a true spectacle. In the middle of the room, Wellspring brought a mechanical bull that guests may ride by donating money to the cause. Inside the Toronto Room, 5th Element Events built a custom photo booth with a wood panel backdrop, red swinging saloon doors, hay and antique barrels mixed with costumes that guests dressed in. Guests donated more money to receive their pictures in a spectacular wooden frame – A great take home to remember the evening and cause!
The showpiece of the event was the main ballroom! Sixty tables were draped in brown pintuck linens with Beige roughed chair covers, hemstitch napkins and a centerpiece that featured bright orange Gerber Daisies, purple Iris and green berries. The vases were individually wrapped in stitched rope that wrapped around candles at the base. The stage featured a wonderful mixture of wood fencing, crates, wheels, saddles and Barrels that acted as the backdrop for Jim Cuddy’s performance.
When the doors to the main ballroom opened, two aerialists dressed as cowgirls hung from the ceiling on either side of the stage and performed a wonderful array of movements to start off the evening. After all was said and done, the Wellspring Henderson Hoedown raised over 1.3 million dollars, breaking their record from two years prior.