June 25 – 26, 201, Toronto Centre Island, Toronto
Tina Kessler, canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
How do you make an already successful event even more successful? By constantly adding to your event repertoire and offering your attendees more value for their money. By doing so you’ll encourage your repeat attendees to return as well as entice newcomers. You’ll keep everyone on their toes as they discover more exciting things to do at your event and send everyone home with a smile on their face.
The hugely popular Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival celebrated its 23rd year on June 25 & 26 on Toronto Centre Island. Put on by the Toronto Chinese Business Association and sponsored by President`s Choice, it introduced 2 new festival features: the “Summertime Art Studio“ and the “Pan Am Village“. Support from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism & Culture made these new festival features possible.
The “Summertime Art Studio“ showcased the talent of local artists and artisans and offered tutorials. The “Pan Am Village“ presented the best cultural artefacts, displays, music and tastiest food from Latin America and the Caribbean. The main stage featured performances by local talent from various ethnic backgrounds and celebrated the diverse community that is Toronto.
While many will have come to Centre Island to see and participate in the dragon boat races, they will have been pleasantly surprised by the other festival features that awaited them. Families could easily spend the day on the island cheering on the over 170 teams and 5,000 paddlers in the races, taking in a few performances on the main stage, visiting the various booths at the Summertime Studio and sampling some of the mouth watering jerk chicken at the Pan Am Village.
Events as we know must constantly evolve to be successful. By introducing two new features, and thereby enriching the festival experience, the 23rd Annual Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival made its already successful event even more successful.
June 24 – July 3, 2011, David Pecaut Square, Toronto
Tina Kessler, canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
Imagine a hot summer in the city. You’re putting on a 2 week festival with live entertainment and while the evenings and weekends have very high attendance, the weekdays seem to only attract a few attendees. You’ve tried the lunchtime concerts in the park, but usually only get a few families or passersby. But you want to attract not only those who have the day off, but those who are working, those heading outside to enjoy the weather while having lunch. Since they are already outside, why not give them something to enjoy while they eat their lunch? Or better yet, set up some food vendors to sell them lunch. Then, everyone can sit in the grass in the sun, or at tables in the shade and enjoy the live entertainment.
Remember you’re in the city. And the nearest park is too far away. You want people to be less than 5 minutes away so they have time to spend their whole lunch break there. Where can you have live entertainment in the middle of the day in downtown Toronto with trees and a grassy area that isn’t a park and that`s convenient for a large group of people? David Pecaut Square.
Nestled between Roy Thompson Hall and Metro Hall on King Street West between John & Simcoe Streets, David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square) was the ideal location for the 25th Annual Toronto Jazz Festival’s mainstage. No stranger to festivals, David Pecaut Square is an ideal venue for outdoor concert-based events in the heart of downtown Toronto and also served as the ‘Hub’ for ‘Luminato’ in June of this year. With free lunchtime and after-work concerts, the festival gave jazz lovers and others the chance to enjoy great music in the city.
The soothing sounds of the Sienna Dahlen Quartet drew crowds of people in during lunchtime on Thursday June 30th for a relaxing lunch in the Square. Some stayed in the shade and enjoyed the music from afar, while others sat in chairs on the grass, basking in the sun. With the grass beneath their feet and the trees surrounding the mainstage, they almost forgot they were in the city and that only a half hour ago the phones were ringing off the hook and their bosses were yelling at them.
I`m sure many appreciated the free lunchtime entertainment and would absolutely stop by after work, or return in the evening or on the weekend, bringing friends and family with them. David Pecaut Square is a hot venue you should definitely consider for your next outdoor event.
For more information about the Toronto Jazz Festival visit: www.torontojazz.com
June 22, 2011, Toronto Zoo, Toronto
Tina Kessler, Canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
Photos: Tina Kessler and Janis Rees, Kaleidoscope Photography
You might not think of the Toronto Zoo as an event venue, especially for culinary events, but in fact, it was the perfect venue for the 2nd Annual Toronto Zoo Seafood for Thought Fundraising Event. This unique culinary conservation event helps to educate and inform consumers, and businesses, on the importance of making choices for healthy oceans. Proceeds from the event support Toronto Zoo’s Conservation Fund for projects that will protect wildlife and wild spaces.
Attendees were greeted by Explorer Bear, the Zoo’s mascot as well as zoo staff and various zoo animals including a 23 year-old endangered bald eagle. The Zellers Discovery Zone Splash Island splash pad was transformed to accommodate a series of tents featuring the best of sustainable seafood tastings prepared by Toronto’s top chefs. A live 4 piece jazz band provided a pleasant ambiance as attendees moved from tent to tent sampling the delicious offerings. Local wineries and breweries were also in attendance, as well as the Cheese Boutique, providing samples of their local cheeses.
The uneven landscape and permanent fixtures of the splash pad could have been a nuisance, but were instead incorporated into the event theme. The large sprinklers shaped like different sea creatures became extra attendees and were a welcome addition for all children in attendance. Blue and black dressed tables and blue and silver chiavari chairs were well placed among the icebergs and logs of the splash pad, providing additional seating. The sea theme was also incorporated into the floral arrangements with blue flowers and seashells.
As attendees savoured the sustainable seafood delights, they were also encouraged to take part in the silent auction. With items including dinners & shows, paintings, admissions and hotels, spas & getaways everyone was sure to find something of interest to help support the Zoo’s Conservation Fund. Presenting sponsor Loblaw Companies Limited set up an educational tent for attendees to learn about the limited number of fish in the sea.
The 2nd Annual Toronto Zoo Seafood for Thought Fundraising Event did an excellent job of raising awareness and funds to protect wildlife but also showed the versatility and uniqueness of the Toronto Zoo as an event venue.
June 17-19, 2011, Port Credit Memorial Park in Mississauga
Savia D’cunha, canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
The ground was sun-drenched at Port Credit Memorial Park in Mississauga. A carnival with jugglers, balloon artists, stilt walkers, strolling characters, face painters, clowns, foods of the world, kids events, music bands, and sixty assorted vendors and crafters opened up the 15th annual Mississauga Waterfront Festival. The festival took place from June 17 -19, 2011, over Fathers’ day weekend.
The main target audience was families and concert fans. Great Canadian Dad contest winners read “Why My Dad Is Great” letters. EcoMedia, Canada’s environment friendly media company, set up recycling bins throughout the park. Earth Rangers, an organization dedicated to saving habitat around the world, had a meet and greet with live animals. The Discovery Patch Children’s Interactive Musuem had 15 different stations promoting the use of recycled products. The children also had a petting zoo, pony rides, and water bubble rides where the children entered a giant water bubble.
The Canadian bands playing at the festival were The Sprit Of The West, A Foot In ColdWater, Goddo, and solo artists such as Steve Page from the Bare Naked Ladies and Brian Howe, the former lead singer of Bad Company. The international bands consisted of a British band called the Truffles. Beatle fans were treated to a Beatles experience with memorabilia and Sergeant Pepper costumes.
Chairperson, Pat Anderson and a team of 16 people organized the event in twelve months. There were 200 volunteers and a turnout of 50,000 people on the weekend. The pricing for the festival’s 15th anniversary was attractive and dropped down from $25 the previous year to $15 this year for adults and $10 for children and seniors. There were 75 sponsors with Platinum Plus sponsors being the main ones.
The Event Manager/Artist, Patti Jannetta Baker, has been in the entertainment industry for twenty-five years and is a performer, songwriter, and Juno nominee.
Out of 3,000 festivals in Ontario, Festival and Events Ontario has awarded The Mississauga Waterfront Festival with the best media, marketing and promotional campaign for nine years in a row.
MetalWorks Production Group put the staging, lighting, audio, main stage, and auxiliary set-up together.
June 16, 2011, Ad Lounge, Toronto
Lianne Gravitis, canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
Ad Lounge turned an impressive 10 years old this year, and to celebrate (a thing they certainly do best), a birthday party was thrown June 16th at the Arta Gallery within the trendy Distillery District in Toronto, ON. Organized in only 4 short weeks by committee members and creative partner SPOKE Agency, more than 270 Ad Lounge members and their guests gathered to mix, mingle, and sing a whooping Happy Birthday to the over 5000 strong organization. Starting as a “college project” in 2001, says co-founder and event manager, Trina Boos, Ad Lounge is a community initiative that was formed to help students network and perhaps find employment within the fields of advertising, communications, design, and marketing. By holding industry events (such as Conversuasion or the Next Gen Dinner Series), people are able to converse with industry professionals, socialize, and become inspired by the many successful people attending the events. This particular event gave partial proceeds to SKETCH, which is an organization that provides an artistic outlet for street kids or homeless individuals.
Selecting a cocktail party theme and choosing a colour palette of bright fuschia, black and white for the evening, Arta Gallery was abuzz as guests excitedly filtered into the large space. Upon arrival, guests were treated to a special cocktail sponsored by eBay, playfully named Fashion Fruit Surprise (a mix of Lichee cactus pear juice, bartlett pear juice and prickly pear juice), to kick off the evening. Being a party full of creative minds, it’s only natural to see many creative elements infused within the event. Additions such as the Add Mirror located at the front door (donated by digital sponsor Add Mirror), displayed the evolution of the Ad Lounge logo throughout its 10 year history. Studio M, also located in the lobby area, donated their time and equipment to interview guests about their experience with Ad Lounge, setting up a small make shift studio area in the corner. The interviews were edited into a short 3 minute video and was distributed only days following the event. And furthermore, to ensure the creative content didn’t stop there, an awards presentation was held to recognize key individuals within the different creative industries.
Gorgeous black and ivory cameos (created by SPOKE Agency), each with an award category plaqued on the front, hung on the back wall beside the presentation stage for guests to review before the results were revealed. A short video and speech by Boos, was presented for each category, which included such comedic names as Best Multi-tasking CEO, Most Dynamic Personality, and Best Ad Lounge Serenade. Umbra donated wine decanters for each of the evening’s victors. Jacqueline Cyr, the winner of The Best Multi-tasking CEO and CEO of Espresso (an integrated branding company) had nothing but high regard for Ad Lounge. She herself uses the organization to recruit talent for her own business and said “the network that they have built is really incredible for the industry.” Joallore Alon, of Clickflick.ca, who was asked to attend the event due to his avid twitter usage, shared Cyr’s sentiments and has seen the Ad Lounge grow from a “small group of students” gathering at a pub, to what it is today.
As the evening rolled on, guests were serenaded by the sounds of DJ Shingo Shimizu (provided by SPOKE Agency), as they munched on such things as caprese skewers, mini-grilled provolone cheese sandwiches, Thai chicken skewers and smoked salmon on toastini’s from caterer Blazing Kitchen. And to satisfy one’s sweet tooth, decadent chocolate rum butter or vanilla almond cherry cupcakes baked by A Little Sweet, were being offered and were sponsored by Rogers. Steam Whistle beer, Iceberg Vodka, and Prospect Winery wines (all of which were generously donated) were readily available to wash down those treats if guests chose to forgo the yummy cocktail. Chasers Fresh Juices (which supplies high end restaurants around Toronto), also donated their freshly squeezed juices for the occasion.
And to keep with the birthday party theme, a birthday message wall was set-up in the back gallery and was donated by one of the events major sponsors, Networked Insights. Guests were encouraged to write creative birthday messages on post-it notes and stick them on the message wall, as well as drop off their business cards to win a Blackberry Playbook. Ad Lounge was fortunate to have all signage, and branding of the event donated by SPOKE Agency, while the execution of the digital party invitations was donated by Ad Lounge’s wonderful web partner, Communicate New Media. Media partner, Ad Buzz, advertised the event on their website which created some awareness and hype for the 10 year celebration. Additionally, 8 to 10 people were employed to just “tweet” during the event under hashtag, #adloungebday, to create buzz about Ad Lounge through Twitter. Guests were also encouraged to tweet about their own experiences as well.
To find out more about Ad Lounge and to perhaps become a member, please visit www.adlounge.ca for more information. If you would like more information regarding the SKETCH organization please visit www.sketch.ca.
To see what went down that evening, please watch the post-event video.
A Little Sweet – www.alittlesweet.ca – Jackie Boos
Networked Insights – http://networkedinsights.com/
Communicate New Media – www.communicatenewmedia.com
Spoke Agency – http://www.spokeagency.com/
Add Mirror – http://addmirror.ca/
Event Manager: Trina Boos, Founder – Ad Lounge, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 15 – 16, 2011, Webcom Publishing Office, Toronto
Tina Kessler, canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
Game Changers 2011 June 15&16 rock paper scissors art"][/caption]The idea of a themed event is hardly new in our industry. Most events have themes, whether it be the tried and true ‘under the sea’ or the ever popular ‘casino night’ we’ve all been to an event with a theme and most likely planned one as well. We can all recognize and appreciate the importance of an event theme, but how memorable was your last themed event? Did it make an impact? How does one weave the theme throughout an event without bashing the attendees over the head with it?
I recently volunteered at Game Changers 2011 and really got to thinking about the importance of theme. Webcom, a book printing company in Toronto, opened its doors to select publishers, associations and media for Game Changers 2011 (June 15 & 16) showcasing its latest $12 million investment in printing technologies and production program: BookFWD. This production program is aimed at transforming the way Webcoms’ publishing customers print and manage the distribution of books, directories and catalogues. Game Changers 2011 was about changing the game that is the publishing industry and providing a win-win situation for all and boasted the event tagline: “We’ve changed the rules so you always win”.
The theme of Game Changers 2011 was the well-known game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’. Here’s where the theme earns its first points: it’s identifiable. Everyone at some point has come to an agreement based on this simple game. Second, the theme was integrated: it began in the event invitation, highlighting the strength of rock, the flexibility of paper, and the sharpness of scissors, continued in the decor and room names, was present throughout the event, agenda, and even featured original artwork created for the event. Third, it was focussed. Some themes get so out of hand they leave attendees confused and overwhelmed. But the theme at Game Changers 2011 was featured just enough times that attendees were pleasantly surprised. Fourth, the theme was memorable. Memorable, in that it was a unique theme, but also that it fit the purpose of the event. The attendees arrived knowing the theme, saw it featured throughout the event, appreciated it and will remember it for years to come.
And so, while this event could easily have gone without a theme and just stayed a ho-hum corporate business event it instead took a leap of faith and executed a brilliant event theme. The event’s success will no doubt boost sales and I’m betting the theme has a lot to do with it.
June 12, 2011, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Lianne Gravitis, OnSite Reporter
Walking into The 21st Annual Toronto Taste June 12th, 2011, was like walking into a foodie’s most amazing dream. Organized by Second Harvest, with presenting sponsor The Daniels Corporation on board for its 16th year, Toronto Taste has grown to be the go-to culinary event of the year. With over 1500 guests walking through the gates this year (many of whom are repeat attendees), one can say that the evening was another great success. Money raised for this event is put towards Second Harvest’s food donation programs, where fresh, donated, surplus food from grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and markets is distributed to 250 social service programs around the Greater Toronto area. Last year alone, Second Harvest rescued and provided 6 million pounds of food and has in its 21-year history, provided over 8 million meals. The target fundraising goal this year is $665,000, which is $35,000 up from last year.
Held at the Royal Ontario Museum, once again, the scene was electric as guests started to file into the venue. Under several large tents set up on the street outside of the ROM, incredible scents wafted through the air as 60 chefs, and 35 beverage purveyors started to create their delicacies for the evening. Striving to “keep the event current”, says Jordan Mlynek, (event and campaign manager of Toronto Taste since 2010), organizers ensured they stayed “on top of who’s hot in the restaurant industry…who’s creating buzz, and who’s doing something interesting. “ Scarpetta, Buca, Grace and Woodlot were some new faces this year, while many others such as famed chef Mark McEwan, Dufflet Pastries and Mark Tuet, who have been loyal to the cause since the first year, set up shop once again.
Small tables covered with crisp white linens and beautiful floral centerpieces were placed around the stage for people to sit and eat as they listened to the sounds of the Michael Theodore Band and Soul Stew. Bright green signage for the entrances, and the food and beverage signs, plus the florals were the only décor Second Harvest focused on. It allowed them to cut costs and focus more on the cause. Throughout the night, guests dined on such things as tuna sliders with wasabi peas from Rosewater, venison tarter from Bohmer’s, Beef Brisket Biscuits from Café Belong, and pickerel with bacon and potato from Michael Smith’s station. To wash down these exquisite samples, many beverage choices were at hand such as beer from Cameron’s Brewing Co., a chardonnay from Tawes Winery, a soothing herbal tea from The Tea Emporium or a special coffee from Arcaffe. To satisfy that craving for something sweet, desserts included such things as delicious red velvet cupcakes from Pauline’s Kitchen or Super Vanilla Verrines from Dufflet Pasteries.
Sponsored by Sun Life Financial, the music stage played host to a wonderful live auction later in the evening, called by auctioneer Stephen Ranger and co-hosted by Bob Blumer. Auction items included a trip to The Galapagos (courtesy of GAP Adventures), and a wine adventure to Portugal (courtesy of Transat Holidays and Marlin Travel), plus many other extravagant prizes. Inside the elegant, dimly lit museum, more stations were set up from places like Rosewater, Great Cooks at Eight and Creemore Springs Brewery, where the general admission guests could collect samples and check out the silent and wine auction items.
Starting to plan in November of 2010 with a passionate group of 25 committee members and over 400 volunteers of all ages helping out, this year’s goal was to ensure that Second Harvest was in the forefront of the guest’s minds throughout the evening. They really wanted to “connect the event with the cause”, said Mlynek, to remind guests why they are attending the event in the first place. Due to Toronto Taste becoming such a large event that includes the most prominent culinary names in the business, the reasoning behind the event generally gets forgotten. To execute this goal, organizers decided to place a message on the first thing the guests would see: the invitation. With a caption that read: “Be a Taster. 1 ticket to Toronto Taste provides 250 meals to those in need”, this not only allowed the guest to see the impact their donation made, but also made them feel like they are part of a “movement” participating as a “taster”. Additionally businesses were not allowed to bring their own signage to first eliminate a “trade show” look, and also to ensure that people know it’s a charity event not a trade show. Businesses could dress up their table any way they’d like, which helped out with décor as well.
To create exposure outside the event, a giant Twitter wall was created inside the main gallery. A contest cleverly named, “So You Think You Can Tweat”, was created for a chance to be a roving twitter reporter for the evening. Restaurants and guests were also asked to tweet using the hashtags #torontotaste and #imataster. Tweets could be seen in real time on the Twitter wall throughout the evening. Toronto Taste ended up being a trend in Canada and in Toronto on Twitter due to the contest.
Other marketing strategies included radio and print ads (National Post was a major sponsor), ads in Dine.TO, bus shelter ads, media sponsorship through The Food Network, and chef videos posted on You Tube and on the Toronto Taste and Second Harvest websites. Chefs also released the videos on their own Facebook and Twitter pages as well. Foresight Communications produced the videos and all who was involved donated their time. To build a database creatively, a photo booth provided by Booth (and sponsored by Daniels Corporation) was available for guests who wanted to take pictures with their friends, co-workers, and one of the chefs. Each guest had to provide their name and email before they could take a picture.
Some Sponsors (full list is on www.torontotaste.ca under supporters):
Dine.TO – www.dine.to
National Post – www.nationalpost.com
Foresight Communications – www.foresightinc.com
The Daniels Corporation – www.danielshomes.ca/splash_html.
Sunlife Financial – www.sunlife.ca
Fiat – www.fiatcanada.com
The Food Network – www.foodnetwork.ca
Booth – www.getthebooth.com
DATE: June 10 – 19, 2011
VENUE: Various Locations, Toronto
AUTHOR: Tina Kessler
PHOTO CREDITS: Tina Kessler
Luminato: A Festival of Creativity in Toronto
Free Creativity: the tagline of Luminato. In its fifth season, Luminato celebrates theatre, art, film, magic, literature, dance, food, celebrations, fashion and music in Toronto. From June 10th to the 19th, those living in the GTA, tourists from across the province of Ontario, as well as other parts of Canada and other countries came to celebrate creativity.
With events around the city both ticketed and free, for people of all ages and creative appetites, Luminato has something to offer for everyone. While some may choose to make Luminato a one-day activity with family or friends, for those living or working in Toronto it’s more about experiencing the festival over the course of 10 days. It’s about taking a different route home so you can check out what’s going on in the Festival Hub at David Pecaut Square or heading over to Brookfield Place to admire the art installation Sargasso by Philip Beesley Architect Inc. And if you’re interested in an evening show, there are a number of free and ticketed musical, theatrical and ballet performances across the city.
Creativity and Innovation go hand-in-hand, so it’s not surprising that Luminato offered a mobile phone app for the festival. It included a full event guide by date and category, with maps, favourite’s list and connection to social media. Luminato gets two green thumbs up for reducing the amount of paper printed for event guides and providing such a helpful and user-friendly mobile phone app.
It would be an impossible feat to experience everything that Luminato has to offer, but then, that isn’t the goal of the festival. As an attendee, you can see how much or how little you want in a day. You can attempt to understand its creative significance or simply appreciate the art form.
Those involved in bringing you Luminato have freed their creativity, and it’s up to you as the attendee to savour its offerings.
DATE: June 3, 2011
VENUE: Memorial Park in historic Streetsville, Toronto
AUTHOR: Lianne Gravitis
PHOTO CREDITS: Julie Heather Photography
The 39th annual Bread and Honey Festival, held at Memorial Park within historic Streetsville, ON, kicked off its weekend jaunt June 3rd, 2011 on a beautiful spring night. Originally founded in 1973 to celebrate the history of Streetsville, and attracting close to 60,000 people each year, the festival promotes community giving and engagement and raises its funds for each of the service groups working within the event. These groups range from the Girl Guides of Canada, and Habitat for Humanity (whom built 10 playhouses during the weekend), to the YMCA, Boy Scouts and various community church groups. The festival has taken almost a year to plan, with about 30 or more committee members on board (which includes 8 board of directors), whom volunteered hours of their time to make this year’s event a success.
With several hundred volunteers helping out (comprised of mostly youth), and organized to provide an “affordable family fun weekend” as per event coordinator Sandra Pitts, one cannot leave the event without experiencing some good ol’ fashion community entertainment. The Lions Carnival, which runs all weekend and is supplied by the local Lions Club, is sprawled across the grounds, and includes games, rides, free face painting, magicians, illusionists, food vendors, a train ride (sponsored by The Investors Group), the Hillbilly Show with Celebrity Pig Racing, and even a petting zoo. The first night is free, and attracts around 5000 local teens and families alone. With tables and chairs set up around the music stage, people have the choice of being serenaded by the sounds of such local bands as Powderfinger, Hot Rocks, Groove Alter, and The Ballroom Babies, or wander the beautiful grounds of the park. Unfortunately patrons attending the first night had to wait until Saturday or Sunday to taste the signature free bread and honey provided by ADM and Kraft, the festivals largest donators.
As Saturday morning rolled around, the rainy weather did not stop the annual festival parade to commence. Parade goers witnessed 90 year-old mayor Hazel McCallion leading the way, a tradition that got her a little wet as the parade moved through the towns streets. Pitts says about 30,000 people line the street each year to watch the parade, revealing the true community spirit of Streetsville. The Rotary Group held a pancake breakfast within the community hall (which raises money for Easter Seals), feeding all the damp, hungry attendees before they enjoyed the festivities within the park. To ensure that the teens and adults attending have as much fun as the children, an XBOX competition, “age appropriate bands and larger rides”, plus the addition of delicious deep fried Mars Bars were available for the teens, and a beer tent (hosted by the Mason’s), the Consumers marketplace, tea room, crafts and displays were set up for the adults and senior citizens. This year also featured free on-the-hour kayak lessons from Kayak the Credit, and a 25” foot climbing wall from Romag Contracting, both of which were generously donated. And to recognize the “need to increase multiculturalism (the event offered) a wide a variety of international foods…(and a) community stage where different organizations and ethnic groups (could) perform and promote themselves”, declares Pitts.
Additionally, recognizing the importance of honouring the environment, this eco friendly event provided a Hybrid Mississauga transit bus, distributed recycling bins around the park grounds (donated by Eco Media), and encouraged attendees to walk to the event rather than drive. A free shuttle service, donated by Mi Way Transit of Mississauga also ran service from two Go stations around the area. To generate awareness of the festivities, a successful media launch was performed two weeks before the event, Big Mobile signs, posters, and brochures were produced, social media outlets were created such as their website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and there was the distribution of 155,000 flyer jackets to homes around the city. The festival has also been included into the Top 100 festivals in Ontario, which helps spread interest beyond the Mississauga area.
For more information about this year’s fun filled Bread and Honey Festival, please visit www.breadandhoney.ca.
Premium Energy Drink, Good Year Tire (handed out free oil change coupons)
Mi Way Transit – http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/miway
Eco Media – http://www.eco-media.ca/
Romag Contracting – http://www.romagcontracting.ca/
DATE: May 29, 2011
VENUE: Memorial Park in Port Credit, Toronto
AUTHOR: Lianne Gravitis
PHOTO CREDITS: pending
Within picturesque Memorial Park in Port Credit, the grounds were abuzz on the bright and sunny Saturday, May 29th as over 1000 cyclists from all over the Peel Region community arrived fresh from the 4th Annual Bike 4 Betty. The ride, run by the Trillium Health Centre, and co-founded by Kevin Wallace of Gears Bikeshop and Peter Willson of Willson International, is organized to raise funds for The Betty Wallace Health Centre and The Betty and Buster Lockwood Cancer Detection and Treatment Centre in support of cancer care services at Trillium (both located at the West Toronto location). This event is near and dear to Kevin Wallace's heart as his mother Betty lost her courageous battle to breast cancer in 1993. As for Betty Jane and Hiram (Buster) Lockwood, they were generous contributors of their spirit and support of oncology care for the Trillium Health Centre for many years.
The ride started bright and early as the first round of participants for the 100 km portion of the race checked in to Memorial Park at 6:30 a.m. Five different races were organized (which was a mix of team challenges and single participants), and included the 100 km, 75 km, 30 km, 15 km and 2 km races. Granola bars and bottles of water, donated by Longo’s, and bananas donated by J.E. Russell Produce, were on hand to keep the cyclists well fed, hydrated, and happy. When the participants completed their races, finishing at Memorial Park, they were greeted by at least 200 high school volunteers in bright yellow t-shirts, and a festival like atmosphere. Toronto radio station, Kiss 92.5 FM, which was a new addition this year, was pumping the tunes to keep the crowd energized. There were a lot of activities to keep the children entertained as well including buskers, face painting, jumping castles (provided by JumpStart Inflatables) and even Mickey Mouse and Buzz Light Year mascots. Toronto BMX came out to show their support once again, as over 15 riders performed BMX demonstrations throughout the afternoon to entertain the teenage crowd, adults and children alike. And for those aching participants, they had the luxury of receiving a free massage donated from the many therapists on hand from various practices around the community, which included Everest College, MyHealth Care Centre and Pura Vida Health Clinic. And if this all weren’t enough, donations from Pizza Pizza, and a barbeque held by Delta Toronto Airport West, provided some eats for much needed refueling.
In all, Bike 4 Betty was a great success yet again. Event manager Miriam Myers and her 10 dedicated committee members have worked very hard for the last eight months to organize this event, and their hard work paid off. Participation increased by 400 riders from last year, and fundraising increased by 25% from $200,000 to $250,000. Marketing initiatives were developed within the community and schools to increase fundraising goals and create awareness. The committee produced at least “100,000 pieces” of marketing material, says Myers, which ranged from bus shelter posters, brochures, flyers, communications sent home with students from schools across the Peel region, and an insert within the Mississauga news (printing was generously donated by The Data Group of Companies in Mississauga). News of the event was also spread via online community event calendars, mass mailings to past participants, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and the purchase of ten city signs that Myers staggered across the high traffic surrounding the events catchment area. As well, there was the addition of internal team challenges (comprised of ten or more Trillium staff members), created to engage Trillium staff in the event. The money they raise is put towards improving their respective departments within the hospital, which is definitely a worthwhile incentive. Forty-five external teams, whom have always been a part of the fundraising effort, and include many corporations, also participated.
If you would like more information on this fabulous event or about Trillium Health Centre or Trillium Health Centre Foundation please go http://www.trilliumhealthcentrefoundation.org/NetCommunity/. It is a wonderful event for a wonderful cause. Other Honorable Volunteer Mentions Are: Mississauga Fire Department; OPP