Fall Preview: What Toronto Event Pros Are Working on This Season

With the unofficial end of summer now behind us (that would be Labour Day), event professionals are looking to the fall—a traditionally busy time—to see how the economic recovery will help the industry rebound from what has so far been a pretty slow year. We asked a group of local planners and vendors what they have in the works for the coming months. Here are some highlights.

Exclusive Affair Rentals is busy preparing itself for what is shaping up to be a very busy fall season. We are currently working on a number of very exciting projects and we are cautiously optimistic that the downturn is coming to an end. We were recently awarded an exclusive contract to supply rentals to the stunning new Telus Centre for Performance and Learning at the Royal Conservatory of Music and are busy with preparations for the premiere launch. We consider it a real privilege to be affiliated with what will surely be one of the most sought-after event spaces in Toronto. The venue strikes an amazing balance between classic and modern architecture, and we look forward to introducing new products designed to add cohesiveness to the space."
—Anne Grealis, director of sales and marketing, Exclusive Affair Rentals

The Food Dudes are an official hospitality partner to the Toronto International Film Festival, which to us marks fall in Toronto. We cater three internal events annually for TIFF and love hearing the insider scoop of what movies are must-sees at these events. Fall is also the beginning of Toronto Fashion Week planning. We feel so lucky to be a part of it and are looking forward to sharing our own new and inspired ideas.”
Lindsay Banack, event and office coordinator, the Food Dudes

"We have tweaked our premiere fund-raising event in Toronto [the All that Glitters Gala]. We moved it to a fun urban location, Spice Route on King Street West, changed to a Sunday evening, and dropped the formal sit-down dinner [in favour of] a food station and food experience scene. We were honest with our guests in our promotional materials. We told them we listened to their requests, we trimmed the fat off the event, lowered our sponsorship and ticket prices in light of the economic situation, and are focusing our efforts on the bottom line. So far we are selling sponsorships at a very steady level."
Marc Ralsky, national director of regional and volunteer affairs, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada

“With TIFF approaching we are finalizing all of the exclusive spaces where we will be providing the entertainment, production, and DJ needs. We have some unique concepts in place for this year's festival that include transforming a hotel lobby into Ibiza, bringing in world-class DJs from across the country and beyond, and providing exclusive security teams for select celebrities. Sole Power is already creating and planning for the 2010 Olympics. With three different contracts in the works, our team is already securing travel and accommodations, tour routing for DJs and musicians, and logistics for production teams across the West Coast. And, from mid-September through October, we have Keys N Krates touring across Canada with Red Bull. We will be hitting 17 cities, bringing that live remixing vibe to our fellow Canadians for the first time.”
Abby Tobias, president, Sole Power Productions

“September 9th is Harbour Sixty's 10th anniversary, and after seven weeks of construction they are unveiling their new look designed by Taylor Hannah Architects. We have booked the entertainment for this 1,200-person party that will occur in an outdoor tent on their premises. The headliner is DJ Frank Delour. [Devan is his Canadian booking agent.] This party is going to be one of the hottest tickets in Toronto and we are excited about having DJ Frank Delour on this side of the border. The fifth anniversary of Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival in Toronto takes place on October 29. This event is about indulging in fine wines featured by 90 acclaimed winemakers. Guests will bid on fabulous experiences and outstanding rare wine lots. Devan is responsible in the coordination of the day's events and ensuring an elegant feel is conveyed. In its first four years, Grand Cru has raised over $5.5 million for research at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital.”
Cathy Muffolini, partner, Devan

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