University of Toronto Hosts Fund-Raising Announcement in a 22,000-Square-Foot Tent

By Carla Warrilow December 1, 2011, 12:30 PM EST

Photo: Mirza Noormohamed/Wandering Eye Photography

University of Toronto Fundraising Campaign Announcement
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The University of Toronto unveiled its new “Boundless” fund-raising campaign at an event for 800 benefactors, volunteers, and alumni on November 20. The campaign is working to raise $2 billion to expand the international reach of the university and support new research that addresses global issues. After a presentation in Convocation Hall on the U of T campus, guests headed outside for a cocktail reception in a 22,000-sqaure-foot tent. “We wanted the event to reflect not only the elegance and professionalism of the university but also the fund-raising campaign theme, Boundless,” said Trevor Howes, director of event management at Mediaco, the company that produced the event with the University of Toronto.

Mediaco lit the outside of Convocation Hall and installed lights and three screens inside for the presentation. “Our biggest challenge was coordinating the event load-in schedule around the university’s student class schedule,“ Howes said. “Thirty-thousand students attend classes in Convocation Hall every week, and we couldn’t disrupt one class.” The Mediaco team installed the screens and lighting over five nights, rather than the usual one or two days.

The tent from Regal Tent Productions took a week to set up, “but was much more straightforward,” Howes said. The large tent took up the field outside of Convocation Hall and included a lobby area, cocktail space, built-in kitchen for catering, and an office for event production. 

Inside the tent, Mediaco projected U of T branding, university imagery, and Boundless campaign materials onto one large format screen and eight banner screens that hung around the space. The dynamic projections worked both independently and together, allowing the imagery to change constantly. The university's colours (blue and white) were represented in the decor; the white walls' lighting changed from blue to aqua to purple; and the space was filled with white lounge furniture and white rose centerpieces. Guests socialized in the tent until 9:30 p.m.

Boundless is the largest fund-raising effort for a Canadian university to date. U of T is nearly halfway to its $2 billion goal, having secured $966 million.

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