On July 1st , Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday. Celebrations will be happening across our country in major cities and small towns alike, you too can bring some Canadiana flare to your next Stampede, corporate or holiday event!
Perhaps you’ll incorporate a community giveback or charitable component like “150 thanks yous”, “150 meals donated”, “150 x $150 for Canadians in need”, “150 reason’s we’re thankful for Canada”. I just had a client use Canada’s birthday celebration be the fundraising goal for his charity event – the goal was $150,000 and they even managed to surpass that!
While Canadian branded opportunities abound, there are three easy areas of your event where you can translate Canada’s birthday into a new experience for your guests: décor, menu, and entertainment.
Here are some fun Canadian branded ideas that could work for both a stand-up reception or a seated dinner:
Canada is known for our expansive land and in particular our rustic charm. You could build a “Homegrown” design that highlights the literal regions of Canada and their local goods, including: The West Coast, Prairies, Cottage Country and The Maritimes.
Each of these areas can be easily translated into your décor:
What’s a great event without the cuisine?
West Coast: Oysters on ice served with ice-cold vodka, west coast salmon and a sushi bar.
Prairies: Well know for our Alberta beef, Alberta whiskey infused dishes and a craft beer tasting station, combined with Saskatoon berries!
Cottage Country: We love Ontario fruit wines. Then consider one hundred different types of potato dishes and cold weather root veggies done a million ways!
Maritimes: Seafood is a must – Lobster bisque shooters, lobster claw caesars, or a steamed mussel bar!
Entertainment ideas are endless
Regional entertainment such as dragon dancers from the west coast, Aboriginal hoop dancers from the prairies, fiddlers from the central region and Celtic dancers from the east coast.
Did you know you can hire Mounties to come in and do photo opportunities with your guests?
What a wonderful take-away for your attendees!
If covering all of Canada doesn’t appeal to you, another idea would be concentrating on one area or one theme. For example, Canadians would love a cottage country theme. Again this could be done in stand-up or sit down style.
The use of rustic elements in décor like outdoor furniture, wood, lanterns, Canadian themed pillows and mason jars filled with candles or wild flowers would please any patriot.
The menu could then be inspired by home cooking and comfort food. Fun items that you might find on a picnic or at a BBQ include potato salad, mac & cheese, sliders and mini pies and crumbles.
Entertainment choices could include Canadian bands bring that feel of listening to music while sitting around a campfire.
The East Coast is famous for what we call ‘kitchen parties’. These originated hundreds of years ago when nor’easters (sever storms) would hit the east coast and people would be snowed in for days or weeks.
Suffering from a level of boredom referred to as ‘cabin fever’, they would grab their musical instruments (because EVERYONE plays one), whatever food and liquor they could scrounge up and dig their way out to their neighbours’ place. Once there, they would throw an impromptu party in the kitchen, where music, food and friends would fill the night.
The rule was and still is, if you could or can hear the music, you’re invited!
To create your own cabin-fever party atmosphere – bring together lots of mismatched furniture, warm fireplaces, tonnes of cozy sofas and chairs, warm blankets and big long family-style dining tables. For your menu, consider a hodge-podge mix of warm, home-made goods. The key is not what you serve, but that you’re serving it all night long. For Entertainment- DIY. To translate this into an event format, hire a backwoods band that incorporates the fiddle, accordion or banjo and invite guests to bring their own instruments if they play as well. This lends best to smaller events, but how amazing would it be if even 50 guests showed up and started an impromptu jam session! How many memories could you create?
What is more beautiful than our Canadian Northern Lights?
So beautiful and unique to the North – and yet so many interpretations can be made incorporating the blues, greens and sometimes violet lights. Food could be any combination of the above ideas or even nouveau cuisine which is a take on some old classics.
Don’t be afraid of a good old-fashioned Barn-Burner theme! Just because we’re in cow-town doesn’t mean your Stampede event needs to be cowboy-country. In fact, it can be modern and bold. Imagine loud, live music, casual attire, the rich smells of grilled meat and an ‘anything goes’ attitude.
As you can see the possibilities are endless especially when you work with creative event professionals to help you translate Canada’s 150 into your next corporate event!