On November 16th, 2022, RGA Canada celebrated its 30th anniversary at The Carlu in downtown Toronto. Being the first major event in a post-pandemic world, RGA Canada wanted to go big and enlisted the help of Good Kids to create an event that would be fun, fancy and fabulous
The event planners at Good Kids went to work. First, they create buzz. For 6 weeks, they generated hype in promotional campaigns through VIP invites, emails, and texts of what to expect, playlists & branded gifs, all with clear CTA’s driving RSVP at each point of contact. The result was hundreds of RSVPs and excited internal chatter leading up to the event. At the same time, the plans for Hotel RGA were underway. Hotel RGA was a fantasy hotel experience that made guests feel like they received the red carpet treatment. With a theme that resembled “Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel meets 60s-Cuban-Disco,” it was the perfect setting for a night of revelry and celebration.
Guests were greeted at the custom-built and branded Hotel RGA reception desk by actors dressed as concierges. The guests were granted individually numbered room keys that served as a door prize raffle at the night’s end. They were then led into a gilded elevator playing soft Bossanova music by uniformed bellhops, who regaled guests with factoids about the fabled eccentric history of the venue and all teasing eccentric tales of amenities they would find on the 7th floor of The Carlu.
When they reached the 7th floor, the elevator doors opened to a lush wall of greenery, palm trees, and jungle bird chirps. The festivities were in full swing as guests took a glass from the mimosa and mojito wall in one hand and grabbed a mini putt golf club in the other. Good Kids had worked for weeks to construct the immersive custom 9-hole minigolf that stretched the length of the foyer, complete with props, greens, Rum Barrels, and impressive lighting arrays to simulate the links of Palm Beach-Meets-Havana.
As the foyer filled with guests, the main room doors were opened to unveil The Jungle Disco, the crown jewel of the event. An enormous 30’x30′ chandelier was hung from above using hundreds of natural Monstera leaves and over 100 disco balls. Designed by Good Kids and their partners Grow & Bloom, this centrepiece left guests in awe as it fractured rays of light across the massive hall. Jungle fragrances filled the air, and high-tech 3D projections over 50′ wide painted the high walls illustrating various scenes of Cuban and Miami life, impressive visuals unseen at The Carlu prior to this night.
An impressive photo booth made of remarkable plant life native to Cuba towered over guests, providing an opportunity to document their celebration in this tropical ballroom location right in the heart of snowy Toronto. A lit-up main bar set up in the center of the room cast a warm glow that drew the guests in to reveal a satellite bar set up with partners Shameful Tiki providing the best island drinks in town, which certainly helped guests show off their dance moves in the 360º Booth later in the evening.
The entertainment was just as grand, including the amazing 17 Piece Band, the St Royals, played hit after hit, keeping the dance floor live. Two lively drag shows from Canada’s Drag Race Contestant – Bombay had the crowd in stitches, and a disco super set from one of Canada’s best DJs had our client’s guests boogieing down till the wee hours.
Traditional Cuban cuisine was served throughout the venue and on stations in the main prepared by Oliver & Bonacini. Passed apps included Mini Elotes, Ceviche tostadas, Pulled Chicken Arepas, Mushroom Empanadas, & Shrimp Pops on Sugarcane. An elaborate Oyster bar, Cubano Sliders, Carne Asada Tacos, & Desert Bar were also part of the evening’s fare. Along with traditional bars provided by The Carlu, Toronto’s Shameful Tiki Room set up a special Tiki bar with three signature cocktails crafted specifically for RGA’s 30th.
The result? Good Kids dreamt up a hyper-stylized exotic getaway concept that captured the attention of all 5 senses: The absurd adventure was filled with delight and surprise.
Their event designers carefully crafted solutions to address every client’s pain point. This is an excellent example of using strategy to define and amplify the best aspect of events, travel, vacations, parties, community building, and entertainment. It combines them into one cohesive experience that leaves the guests exhilarated about the brand and the client talking about the event for years.
- Client: RGA Canada
- Client Director: Mari Anne Ramson
- AGENCY: Goodkids
- Exec Producer: Steve Rock
- XM Design: Claire Varty
- Botanical High Priestess: growandbloomco
- Disco Balls: Big City Rentals
- Projection-Mapping: Production Designer: Roxane Luchak, Support by Livevideoart
- Cloud Gate Design: Good Kids,
- Cloud Gate Fabrication: Air Magic SFX,
- Hotel Desk Fabrication: Orbiter
- Mini Golf: Abbey Road
- Set Greens: Film Greens
- Drone Footage: S1W
- Tiki Bar by Shameful Tiki
- Print Services: Ad Factor