The Designs of Bloor Street Entertains

Bloor-Yorkville’s iconic storefronts in Toronto were transformed into luxury dining spaces for CANFAR’s annual 21st Bloor Street Entertains. The event raises between $500,000 and $1 million annually for AIDS Research. The fundraiser includes a cocktail reception, a four-course meal, a silent auction and an after-party.

The event management on this year’s Bloor Street Entertains was Toronto event agency ESP Inc, with the company’s Principal, Chad Brincheski at the helm of the project.

ESP managed the logistics for 15 events (taking place simultaneously), 15 Bloor St./Yorkville retailers as venue partners, 15 culinary partners (restaurants and catering companies) 15 décor/floral partners, 4 staffing agencies, 3 catering rental companies and numerous other suppliers. The dinners were followed by an after-party at the Four Seasons Hotel for 700 guests, also managed by ESP.

Leading the design for four of the designs were Seneca College Event Management – Event and Exhibit Design students. 

Seneca’s students participated with the design and décor at 4 of the 15 venues, including Lumas Gallery, Harry Rosen, Rimowa, Strellson and Liss Gallery. They also helped in the design of the dinner decor at the Four Seasons Hotel with ESP Inc’s Chad Brincheski.

Todd Kjargaard of Jackie O worked with Seneca Professor John MacBride and his students to design an elegant dinner for 43 people at the Four Seasons Hotel. Opulent floral arrangements were paired with a navy and gold colour palette filled with candlelight. Name cards were embossed with wax seals as a final touch.

Florals, candles and votives – Jackie O Floral Affairs and Event Design
Linens and Chairs – Chair Decor
Event Design – Seneca
Photos – Henry Lin

Seneca’s Event Management – Event and Exhibit Design students have worked on Bloor Street Entertains for more than 10 years. In 2006, it formally became part of the EVT program curriculum as a capstone project.

“We always appreciate the creativity, commitment, and thoughtfulness that Seneca students bring to Bloor Street Entertains,” says Kyle Winters, CANFAR President and Chief Operating Officer. “We love working with a new group of students every year, and thank Seneca for their ongoing support of CANFAR.”

“Seneca’s students were an incredibly creative group of event design students that were an absolute pleasure to work with” Chad Brincheski, Principal, ESP Inc.

Seneca’s collaboration with CANFAR has proven to be a mutually beneficial partnership. The charity gets support and resources in the execution of their largest fundraiser of the year, while providing a working laboratory for the students to design and execute an event.

“Projects that get students out of the classroom are so valuable to their education,” says Todd Kjargaard, whose company Jackie O Floral Affairs and Event Design provided florals for the Four Seasons. “It’s so vital for students to see the different components that go into an event in person, as opposed to just sitting in a classroom and planning out an event.”


Seneca Professor Scott McAllister and his students worked with Quince Flowers to make a bold statement in this luxury goods store. Tables were arranged in a hollow rectangle to frame the enormous floral arrangements that rose from the floor. A palette of black and white ensured the flowers took center stage.

Florals – Quince Flowers
Linens and Chairs – Chair Decor
Rentals – Event Rental Group
Event Design – Seneca
Photos – Alex Bruce


Kjargaard, who is a former professor in Seneca’s Event Management program, also stresses the learning that comes from collaborating with a non-profit such as CANFAR.

“The charitable world plays a big role in the event industry, especially in Toronto,” he says. “Approximately 25 percent of events in the city involve a non-profit.”

Seneca Event Management student Christina Lonth is grateful for this diverse experience.


“It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to do hands-on work on a real-life event,” Lonth says. “Drawing out our tabletop on paper is one thing, but seeing it come to life is an entirely different, educational experience.”


Seneca Seneca Professor Nicole Dicarlo and her team went uber-masculine when designing for this luxury menswear retailer. Rustic harvest tables were punctuated with modern stemware and flatware. The centerpiece was a forest of tropical leaves that snaked down the table. Ghost Chairs ensured the harvest table took center stage.

Florals – Nicole Dicarlo for Seneca
Rentals – Higgins Event Rentals
Event Design – Seneca
Photos – Alex Bruce




Seneca Professor Brian Wickens and his team took a trip to Whoville for this daring dinner décor. Inspired by the current exhibition Dr. Seuss, they designed a colourful and whimsical table to delight guests.

Florals – Brian Wickens for Seneca
Linens and Chairs – Chair Decor
Rentals – Higgins Event Rentals
Event Design – Seneca
Photos – Brian Wickens

“We always appreciate the creativity, commitment, and thoughtfulness that Seneca students bring to Bloor Street Entertains.” Kyle Winters, CANFAR President and Chief Operating Officer, CANFAR

To see more of CANFAR’s Bloor Street Entertains 2017, click here.

Find out more about Seneca’s Event Management program and learn more about Bloor Street Entertainment.

Follow @SenecaFashion on Twitter and Instagram to see more student work.