July 16th, 2011, Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto ON
Lianne Gravitis, OnSite Reporter, alex.canadianspecialevents.com

On July 16th, 2011, the Live Green Toronto Festival kicked off its 5th year at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto ON. Organized to generate awareness of the “environment, environmental programs, services and initiatives within the City of Toronto”, in a “fun, interactive, lively atmosphere,” one could not leave the festival without learning a lesson or two.

The festival was held at one of Toronto’s busiest intersections (with an estimated 1500 people per hour walking by the area on any given day), and celebrated the businesses and the individuals who are leading the charge to making Toronto (one of) the greenest cities in North America.

Taking about seven months to plan with seven main staff members on board (and 25 members working on the actual event day), the anticipated crowd of 35,000 people, were in for a real treat. Over 100 environmentally friendly exhibitors lined the street, offering both products and services that ranged from solar power companies, and green cleaning products to The Laundry Tarts and Cathy’s Crawly Composters (known as the worm lady with the kids). Exhibitors were selected through an online application process and through the Live Green Toronto Membership Program, which has over 300 businesses in its database. Organizers make sure there is a wide range of exhibitors, and that there are new businesses participating each year to keep the event current and fresh.
 
For children attending the festival, The TD Kids Zone was set up (sponsored by TD Friends of The Environment Foundation) to keep them entertained while the parents wandered around the exhibits, or munched on some of the local or organic foods available. Kids could decorate litterless lunch bags, create music with reused parts (called the “Junkestra”), build castles in the sandbox, paint murals, plant seeds and even play a “water powered piano!” It was an amazing interactive display that helped kids gain more knowledge on how they can help the environment in a creative way.
To appeal to the music lover, the festival brought in some of Canada’s hottest acts (both new and seasoned). Organizers worked  with talent agencies to see which artists were available and who would fit within the festival’s vision. They also ensured there was music for all age groups as all target markets are welcome. Musicians such as Done With Dolls, These Kids Wear Crowns, Classified and Hollerado, Crash Test Dummies, Lowest of the Low, and God Made Me Funky, performed on the Canadian Tire Main Stage emceed by 680 News dynamic music reporter (and avid supporter of the Live Green festival) Rudy Blair, and CityTV personality Sangita Patel. Canadian Tire generously donated $75,000 to the event which helped cover the costs of the artists. The Delta Chelsea Downtown Toronto donated rooms for the artists (and generously donated a prize pack for a one-night stay for four), and The Hard Rock Café in Toronto donated space within their facility to act as green rooms for the artists. Asked how they try to live green, energetic lead singer Alex Johnson of These Kids Wear Crowns tries to “not eat out a lot”, while Hollerado’s lead singer Menno Versteeg, carpools with the band, and is a “big composter” who is currently trying to get composting regulated in his apartment building.
 
To create awareness for the event, traditional print ads were put within community newspapers, The Toronto Star, commuter papers and t.o.night newspaper. As well, 30-second spots on CityTV and 680 News were donated (both of whom were main sponsors), and social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook were utilized. A newsletter was also sent to their over 14,000 supporters, a week before the event.
Lastly to keep with the green theme, many eco-friendly processes were put in place. Organizers enforced the no bottled water and no wasteful paper rule to the vendors, and made sure there was no bottled water for sale. This forced patrons to fill up their own reusable water bottles from the City of Toronto water trailer that was available. Walking, taking transit, and cycling was encouraged over driving cars, and recycling as well as green compost bins were set up along the streets (clearly marked with large flags). Food vendors were asked to provide “compostable containers and cutlery”, and Inorganic Market was in attendance to collect any “unwanted electronics” to ensure they get recycled properly. Additionally, the festival was 100% run on Bullfrog Power (sponsored by Bullfrog Power) which offset the festivals electricity costs. Bullfrog will use the money given to them to “invest in wind farms and renewable energy systems.”
 
With each year getting bigger and better, Ruccia’s dedicated team will be working on getting more sponsorship throughout the year as well as keep up with the new acts popping up around Canada. Growing from a crowd of 500 in its first year to what it is today shows us the hard work put into this festival and how passionate they are for the environment.
If you wish to learn more details about this event, please visit http://www.toronto.ca/greentorontofestival/index.htm, and do your part in helping the environment
 
SPONSORS/SUPPLIERS:
**Full list of exhibitors, musical acts, and sponsors are on the Live Green Toronto website**

City of Toronto – http://www.toronto.ca/index.htm
Yonge-Dundas Square – www.ydsquare.ca/
The Laundry Tarts –
http://www.thelaundrytarts.com/
Cathy’s Crawly Composters – http://www.cathyscomposters.com/
Live Green Membership Card – http://www.livegreencard.ca/
TD Friends Of The Environment Foundation – http://www.fef.td.com/
Done With Dolls – http://www.kidzworld.com/article/24699-done-with-dolls-band-bio
These Kids Wear Crowns – http://www.thesekidswearcrowns.com/
Hollerado – http://www.hollerado.com/
Classified – http://www.classifiedofficial.com/
Crash Test Dummies – http://www.crashtestdummies.com/#/home
God Made Me Funky – http://www.godmademefunky.com
680 News – http://www.680news.com/
CityTV – http://www.citytv.com/
The Delta Chelsea Downtown Toronto – http://www.deltahotels.com/
The Hard Rock Café Toronto – http://www.hardrock.com/
The Toronto Star – http://www.thestar.com/
t.o night – http://tonightnewspaper.com/
Inorganic Market – http://www.4self.org/inorganicmarket/
Bullfrog Power – http://www.bullfrogpower.com/
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