By Susan O'Neill Posted December 15, 2009, 12:31 PM EST
TORONTO When guests stepped off the elevator into Capital C's fifth-floor offices—the site of the company's annual holiday party on Thursday—they walked into a loft-style space filled with op art images and fairy tale references. Colourful drawings of characters from stories like “Sleeping Beauty,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Cinderella” were mixed with abstract black-and-white images throughout the King Street East workplace.
“Op art and fairy tales are both about perception and the suspension of disbelief...it's about creating a world of illusion and enchantment,” event planner Mary Pallattella, creative director of Capital C Live Events, said of the evening's Artfully Ever After theme.
The entrance to the party featured an opt art display with quotes about perception, including “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Playful fairy tale images hung throughout the space, including a drawing of Beauty gazing longingly at the Beast with a caption that read, “Beauty contemplated full-body whisker burn.”
Pallattella worked with decor company Devan to transform the company's office space for the event, which drew more than 300 employees and clients. The party is the seventh themed holiday soiree Pallattella has planned for the marketing and promotional agency. Past themes have included the Orient Express and Dr. Seuss.
“There's a touch of a fairy tale character in every room,” said Pallattella, who covered all of the internal office windows in op art and created three themed party spaces, including an enchanted forest inspired by the tale of “Hansel and Gretel.” Red and white op art images covered the walls, and Pallattella used icing to attach sweets like candy canes and gingerbread men to tall cutouts of white Christmas trees, surrounded by displays of garden gnomes, candy apples, and mini red tinsel trees. A gloved hand periodically reached out from behind the wall to offer sweets to guests.
DJ Eric Ling spun tunes in an icy blue and white lounge space called the Crystal Ballroom, where a screen displayed black-and-white images of a snowy night, peel-and-stick op art distinguished the dance floor, and servers offered mini ice cream cones at a bar.
Green lighting filled the main bar area, dubbed Sir Drinkalot's Drinkery, where displays featured ornaments of frogs wearing crowns, medieval-looking swords, and framed photos of characters like Puss in Boots and Prince Darling. Servers dressed in T-shirts that read “Do You C What I C?” offered cocktails with names like Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum and the Turquoise Fairy to guests.
Pallattella also included a holiday element in the decor with a massive op art piece featuring The Little Mermaid driving Santa's sleigh. “I always put Christmas in it with a twist,” she said. The menu, created by Domenic Chiaromonte, executive chef of Match Restaurant, also mixed op art fairy tale references.
Rather than providing cab chits to guests this year, Capital C made a donation to the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club.