Amica helping hands throws their annual gala for underprivileged seniors

October 31, 2017 by  
Filed under CitySocial, Ontario, Past Events

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On November 2nd, 2017 Amica will be throwing their annual Amica Helping Hands fundraising dinner in support of seniors in need at The Omni King Edward Hotel.

 

Amica Helping Hands started in 2003 and every December the charity prepares baskets filled to the top with non-perishable foods, a warm blanket and gift certificates for local grocery stores and pharmacies. They deliver these baskets to low-income seniors with the assistance of other charities. Many recipients of these baskets often live alone or in poverty.

 

In addition to Amica Helping Hands basket program they also support not for profit organizations all across Canada that assist in helping seniors in need. They do this by providing these organizations with funding for initiatives that improve the quality of life for seniors.

 

This year Amica Helping Hands Gala will be hosted by Jessica Holmes a local comedian, author, and mental health activist. Key Note speaker Susan Pinker,  psychologist, journalist and award-winning author, will be taking the stage to discuss her latest book, The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier and Smarter and neuropsychologist Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum will also be in attendance and will be presenting her findings on aging and memory.

 

The night will start with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a gourmet sit-down dinner and silent art auction featuring art created by residence. All proceeds from the event will go towards helping underprivileged Canadian seniors in need.

 

Amica Helping Hands Gala

Date: November 2nd, 2017

Time: 5:30pm-11:30pm

Tickets: http://bit.ly/2gK34j5

Location: The Omni King Edward Hotel

 37 King Street East

             Toronto, Ontario, MSC 1E9

 

https://www.amica.ca/helping-hands/

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Tall, Dark and Handsome: the Dominion Keeps Getting Better With Age

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Toronto’s oldest landmark pub, The Dominion, was first established in 1889 by Robert Davies, the third son of one of the most prominent families in the history of Toronto brewing. He founded the Dominion Brewery, in competition with his brother who started The Don Brewery, just a little bit down from where he would later open the pub and hotel. The brewery is now a heritage site called Dominion Square. The Dominion Brewery produced internationally acclaimed lagers and ales for over 60 years. By the time of Davies death in 1916, he had become one of Toronto’s wealthiest residents.

The original building still stands today at 500 Queen St. E as the Dominion Pub and Kitchen. In keeping with its history, the interior has been stripped down to the original bricks and is decorated in with dark tufted leather couches, wood paneling, and wire lights, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve stepped into a speakeasy. The bar is stacked with 24 craft taps, lots of bourbons, plenty of spirits for hand-crafted cocktails, and wine.

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(Left) Front Dining and Lounge area with rich tufted leather seating (Right) Fully Stacked Bar. Photo courtesy of Dominion Pub and Kitchen

The Robert Davies Room, named in honour of the man mentioned above, is an entirely private room at the south end of the building with raised windows facing Queen St. E., low and high seating options, and large mirrors on one side of the room that reflects a painting of the an original Dominion Brewing Co.’s Club Ale label on the exposed brick on the opposite side. There is two screen in the room with connection capabilities. The Robert Davies room is perfect for smaller gathers and celebrations and can accommodate up to 60 guests for both cocktail or seated receptions.

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(Left) North View if Robert Davies Room (Right) South View of Robert Davies Room. Photos courtesy of Dominion Pub and Kitchen

The Back Dining Room is a semi-private and rectangular space with a stage on the back north wall that would be perfect for presentations, performances, speeches, or a moderately sized party for any reason. There are cozy bench seating and warm wood paneling that the runs the length of the room on one side facing original archways to the rest of the restaurant. The Back Dining Room can hold up to 100 standing, or 70 – 80 guests seated, depending on table arrangement.

Back Dining Room

Back Room View from the Stage, Photo courtesy of Dominion Pub

Go for glory and host a party for up to 200 guests with a whole venue buyout.

If you want to check out the spaces beforehand, every Friday and Saturday night the Dominion hosts live music. Check out their amazing food during at Beats n’ Brunch on Sundays from 11 – 3 p.m., or check out their exciting and surprising menu here (which can be customized for events).

For booking information:  Events@Dominionpub.ca or call: 416-366-5555

DOMINIONPUB.CA

Written By:

Paula McDines

Legends Never Die: The El Mocambo

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under CitySocial, Event Venues, Ontario

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Try as fate might, the El Mocambo is here to stay. The building that houses the legendary El Mocambo has had live music played in it since the original building was erected in 1850. Over the years it has hosted music for Toronto’s Hungarian, Irish and Portuguese communities. Had a Latin club on the top level,  a German dance club and even a striptease show at one point in 1971.

In 1972 it was rebranded to appeal to youthful blues and rock fans, bringing in the likes of Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Tom Waits, U2, and Elvis Costello.  Its infamy exploded in 1977 with a surprise performance by the Rolling Stones (where they also recorded the Love You Live album). They booked massive acts like Blondie, the Ramones, Devo and Joan Jett. Basically, it was the place to go for live music in Toronto.

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The Rolling Stones play El Mocambo under the alias ‘The Cockroaches’ March 1977. Photo courtesy of Toronto Star.

Changes in the music industry’s touring practices meant a decline in business for the El Mocambo, unable to book big names, they resorted to small local acts. The club was sold in 1986 and suffered many changes of hand and closures over the years.

But like a classic rock band, the El Mocambo resurrected in the 90’s as an underground and garage music venue hosting the likes of White Stripes and Zoobombs and helping in the launch of Peaches, Toronto’s breakout electronic musician and performance artist.

El Mo changed hands and was reinvented once again in 2001 to feature music from every genre and a particular focus on charity events, hosting fundraisers for War Child, Amnesty International, Free the Children, World Vision and Blanket-Fest.

 

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The famous neon palm tree El Mocambo sign will continue to hang out front after more than 65 years. Photo from INK Entertainment’s Instagram.

November 6th, 2014 was to be the final swan song for the venue that could. At the last minute, the venue was bought by Dragon’s Den outspoken Michael Wekerle. But it has been closed since then, but for good reason, it’s been under renovations for yet another reincarnation.

This time around the El Mocambo will be home to a recording and production studio, designed my the same people that did Jimi Hendricks studio in NYC, as well as host live music events. The new El Mo will be managed by INK Entertainment, the same company behind REBEL, UNIUN, and Batch.  The remarketing and lead up is quickly gaining momentum on social media for the summer 2017 reopen. In the meantime, you can buy swag from their pop-up shop (when it’s not sold out of branded classic logo shirts and hats), Prohibition at 66 Kensington.

Keep an eye on our blog if this excites you as much as it does us. We’ll be sure to keep you updated

– Paula McDines

The Ups and Downs of The Richard L. Hearn Generating Station

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Gritty and raw, iron and steel beams, industrial, passageways and tunnels, brick and concrete. Toronto History. If any of this makes sense to you, then you know we are about to talk about the Richard L. Hearn Generating Station, one of Toronto’s largest and most rarely used spaces.

Toronto’s massive wealth of space in the Portlands has seen its years of ups and downs since it opened in 1951. Originally, the Richard L. Hearn Generating Station burned coal which was shipped out on the Saint Lawrence Seaway to ports around the globe.

Environmental complaints in the early 70’s about the heavy smog that was emitted from the Stations eight chimney stacks lead to the installation of a single smokestack, which cost nine million dollars but it also landed the Station in the record books at the time with having one of the world’s tallest smokestacks (215 m/705 ft.). This move greatly reduced Toronto’s air pollution and the area around the plant came to be known as a popular fishing and recreation spot.

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The Smokestack at the Generating Station which was once the tallest in the world at 215 m. Photo courtesy of P. McDines.

The Station was decommissioned in 1983 after it was unable to meet the increasing financial demand that cogeneration ( natural gas and coal) would cost.

Since it was decommissioned there were many talks and many different plans to restart the generators and switchboards, with none coming to fruition mostly because of city and provincial politics

In 2002, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) gave a long lease to a film studio ( 32.5 years, according to the City of Toronto’s Waterfront Secretariat) who had ambition plans to convert the Station into a 28 thousand sq.m. multi purpose film and production studio and call it ‘Great Lakes Studios’. Many of the interior boilers and equipment was removed to make room for the renovations, which sadly also did not make it to completion.  

Since then, the Station has been a haven for urban explorers and photographers. It began getting serious about opening up its doors as a venue for events and film in 2010 when it was used in a movie, and in 2014 for Luminato’s Big Bang Bash and Yves Saint Laurent Opening Night Party. In 2015 Luminator hosted UNSOUND on the property and again in 2016 Luminator used the grounds as their festival hug, utilizing most of the space for art and performance.

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The original brick exterior painted with “Don’t Look Back” at the loading entrance for Luminato ’15. Photo courtesy of P. McDines

 

 

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One of the tunnels inside of the Station lit with artist installations during Luminato ’15. Photo courtesy of P. McDines.

 

Recently there have been a few commercial shoots, but that’s about it. So far, Luminato Festival seems to be the only lucky infrequent resident of the Station. Stats show that the 5.6-acre venue has proved to hold 10,000 people.

 

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A look inside the Station at the still exposed wiring and steal.

Written By: Paula McDines

Your Favourite Independent Event Planner – Deb Lewis

April 7, 2017 by  
Filed under CitySocial, Past Events, Toronto

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On Tuesday, March 28th, Deb Lewis, CEO of CityEvents, took home the Canadian Special Events 2017 Readers Choice Award for Favourite Independent Event Planner.  With the category filled with seven other very talented planners that spread across the country, Deb was honoured with the recognition.

“It was amazing just to be nominated, and I’m completely blown away by all the support I received over the weeks leading up to the ceremony,” says Deb after her win from The Aga Khan Museum where the awards and kick off to CSE LIVE.

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Deb Lewis hold up her Readers Choice Award for Favourite Independent Event Planner at the Canadian Special Events opening night and awards ceremony.

Besides being a highly effective Certified Meeting Planner, Deb is also passionate about educational and mentoring opportunities within the community. Each season she takes on interns from local colleges, universities and high schools as well as diverse international students. Deb keeps a strong connection with her Alma Mater, George Brown College and sits on the organizing committee of “5 to Watch”, a groundbreaking annual event for the Canadian sports marketing industry that set the standards for identifying the next generation of industry captains.

Adding to her community involvement, this blog, CityEvents was created to share and support colleagues events, promote local venues and highlight industry businesses.

Her voraciousness and drive have allowed her to achieve the skilled organization of managing multiple events. On TorontoCityEvents.ca, Deb offers everything from sponsorship management to creating buzz and an online presence for their clients. CityEvents covers every aspect needed to run a successful event or campaign.

On deblewis.ca you’ll find out about venue specs, supplier information upcoming events, and event tips. On YouTube,  you can find her educational series of videos all about the tips and tricks of marketing an event online through different platforms.

Deb has been in the industry and planning events for 20 years. She’s experienced in everything from corporate and government events to charitable and not-for-profit galas and awards.

 

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