EVT Faculty John McBride receives the Leslee Bell Lifetime Achievement Award by International Live Event Association (ILEA), Toronto Chapter.

 

On Monday, June 7th, at the Event Management ILEA Toronto Gala, John McBride, Professor and Program Coordinator of the Event Management – Event and Exhibit Design program was awarded the Leslee Bell Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the event industry.

 

Leslee Bell is an icon and pioneer in the event industry within Canada. She started Decor and More from her basement and grew it into the most awarded event design  company in the nation. The Leslee Bell Lifetime Achievement Award honours the lifetime achievement of an ILEA Toronto member who has demonstrated a commitment to the chapter, the city, and the industry commensurate with Leslee Bell’s level of dedication, passion, and influence.

 

The event was held at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. below is a photo of John holding the award in the shark tank. Congratulations, John!

 

#SenecaProud #FacultySpotlight #EVT #EventandExhibitDesign

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Photo credit: George Matthew Photography

Arc’teryx ‘Leading By Design’ t-shirt competition

On March 28, 2019, Arc’teryx hosted a community event at the Yorkdale store celebrating the fantastic response to their Arc’teryx ‘Leading By Design’ t-shirt competition in partnership with Seneca Fashion, George Brown and Humber College. The competition invited partner students to submit a design localizing the Arc’teryx brand and incorporating unique aspects, and visual representation of diversity and inclusiveness in the outdoors/the city of Toronto.

Congratulations to our very own, Farwah Daanyish for coming in third place and to Katarina Kamps (GBC), Ricky Chen (GBC) for finishing first, and second place (respectively), with the first place design printed in- store in partnership with SBC Media/The Baitshop on limited edition t-shirts.

The event was filled with industry networking, and an engaging keynote presentation from Nina Boccia, Interim Creative Director at downtown Toronto’s Design Exchange highlighting innovation and the role design can play in the world.

We look forward to working with Arc’teryx on future experiential learning initiatives!

 

 

MARILYN BROOKS: BEHIND THE SEAMS by Dale Peers

The Seneca Fashion annual Fashion Resource Centre exhibition (May 6th to 17th) celebrates the career of Canadian fashion icon Marilyn Brooks.

Marilyn Brooks, always an innovator, opened her lifestyle boutique the Unicorn in 1967.  The funky neighbourhoods of The Village and then Yorkville were the “Happening places” in Toronto in the Sixties.  Her choice of locations was definitely prescient and would include trendy Queen St, alongside Holt Renfew on Bloor St. West and in upscale Yorkville on Cumberland Ave.

Throughout her 40+ years in the fashion business, Marilyn has been a staunch and passionate supporter of the Canadian fashion industry. Her vision, tenacity and positive spirit are unmatched in an industry that can be, shall we say, challenging!

In Marilyn Brooks: Behind the Seams, successful designer, artist, businesswoman, and now author, records not only the history of her brand but in her truly generous way shares the stories of the many people she has worked and collaborated with throughout her 40+ years in the fashion industry.  She shares her “Marilyn Maxims” – some of the lessons she has learned and the excellent advice she can provide to graduates and newly minted members entering the fashion foray.

One of the first Canadian fashion designers with a vertically integrated business model, Marilyn was a designer, manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer.  Marilyn and her team did it all.  Her entrepreneurial spirit, artistic flair and bravery were key to her succeeding not only in her stores but in the contributions she made in shaping the fashion landscape in Canada and Toronto from the 1960s through to the 2000s.

Marilyn has been a pioneer in the fashion world and without her foresight and dedication to her craft, contemporary fashion designers might never have had international spotlights trained on them and the City of Toronto.  In 1977 Marilyn invited a group of Toronto based designers including Lori Brooks, Shirley Cheatley, Wayne Clarke, Hugh Garber, Elen Henderson, Edie Johne, Linda Lundstrom and Pat McDonagh to her home to discuss the establishment of an organization which could help them all.  In 1978 TOD – Toronto Ontario Designers was officially launched with the first of many fashion shows, this premiere one held at St. Lawrence Centre.  TOD later evolved into Designers Ontario and then the Fashion Designers Council of Canada and then to the Fashion Design Council of Canada.

She has been a mentor to many young members of the fashion industry and a long time supporter of many charitable organizations.  We are especially grateful at Seneca College for the support she has provided to our students, our programs and especially our Fashion Resource Centre.  From 1976 to 1983 Marilyn was a member of Seneca’s Fashion Merchandising Program Advisory Committee providing invaluable information and opinions that would contribute to courses preparing the next generation of fashion retailers.

A testament to her generosity are the many accolades and awards she has received.  These include The Woolmark Award for Design Excellence, the “Night of Stars” award in 1994 from Fashion Group International, the Order of Ontario presented by the Honorable Hilary M. Weston, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in 2000, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of her contributions and achievements in fashion in 2012.  Parkinson’s, Fashion Cares (in support of AIDS), Unicef, Big Brothers, and Cabbage Youth Centre are just a few of the many charitable organizations Marilyn has helped support through fundraising activities.

Marilyn is also a talented artist.  Not only as a designer of fashion and original prints but in acrylics and other mediums.  She has had a number of showings of her paintings and continues to be inspired by the beauty of her home in Lake Rousseau.

Our exhibition will take visitors through Marilyn’s 40+ fashion career with some of her early garments from the Unicorn to speciality t-shirts with original print designs to the work she did with corporations and celebrities and, of course, to the many loyal clients who shopped in her different locations.

It is thanks to Marilyn and these customers that we have these garments to present not only to our visitors in May but for the students in Seneca’s Fashion programs to study and learn from.

One of Marilyn’s Maxims (to be found at the end of each chapter in her book) captures not only good advice but a sentiment that sums up much of what Marilyn has done:

“Mentor, share, inspire, encourage, stimulate up and comers whenever you can with encouragement.  They will make the world a better place.”

If you would like to read more about Marilyn or find her book please visit: http://www.marilynbrooks.com

 

Inspired Spaces an eventful experience Four programs, seven industry partners showcased!

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The tabletops were glamorous and the venue decked out. But the recent production of Inspired Spaces — Seneca’s annual tabletop competition — was more than just beautiful tables.

“It has evolved into a huge production that creates a real-life learning experience for all of our students,” said Professor John MacBride, Program Coordinator, Event Management – Event & Exhibit Design.

The event, which saw collaboration from four academic programs and seven industry partners, drew more than 200 industry professionals from across Canada to the new Centre for Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (CITE) at Newnham Campus on March 27.

“The involvement of the other academic areas elevated the sophistication of the event. It was the best turnout we’ve ever had,” MacBride said. “It takes all of us to pull off an event like this and our industry partners helped put it on the national stage.”

Those partners included Event Rental Group for rentals and Presidential Gourmet for catering. The Butler Did It provided professional service staff and OneWest Events helped sponsor the bar. The International Live Events Association Toronto chapter co-produced the event and  FMAV provided additional equipment and television support. The event was part of CSE Live, a national event conference produced by Canadian Special Events, which provided marketing, promotion, and registration.

Seneca Alumni provided financial support.

 

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From left: Professor John Switzer joins on tambourine with Independent Music Production performers Jon Satov, Erica Knox and Benji Crane at Inspired Spaces.
In addition to showcasing outstanding tabletop designs from 20 of MacBride’s students, Inspired Spaces treated guests to live musical performances by six students from the Independent Music Production and Independent Songwriting & Performance programs.

“We were asked to provide background entertainment, but the event provided incredible potentials for the students,” said Professor John Switzer, Program Co-ordinator, Independent Music Production. “They were excited by how official the event was and by the positive response from professional event planners who approached them for future opportunities.”

Behind the scenes, about 20 students from the Event & Media Production program handled technical production, content development and event planning for Inspired Spaces, everything from lighting to audio and video systems.

“We were there to up the game, so to speak, and to provide a better user experience,” said Professor Tim Abbott, Program Coordinator, Event & Media Production.

In turn, Abbott said the students benefited from cross-disciplinary experiential learning that is crucial to their work.

“Something always goes wrong at events, and the better prepared you are, the more you are able to calmly react,” he said. “It’s not real until the audience is there and people only know we are there if something goes wrong.”

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Brendan Pilgrim of the Event Management – Event & Exhibit Design program shows off his tabletop design at Inspired Spaces.
While this year’s Inspired Spaces handed out top three awards to Sakina Li (gold), Riley Wilson (silver) and Han Vo (bronze), the event was a win for all.

Brendan Pilgrim, who made up his mind to come to Seneca after watching Inspired Spaces on YouTube three years ago, received two jobs from industry professionals who attended the event.

“I met with three décor houses and they all gave me great feedback about my unique taste and storytelling,” he said. “Now I’m booked!”

From setting up and booking catering to inspecting rental delivery and tearing everything down after the event, Pilgrim said the hands-on approach of working with other students and industry partners exposed him to the life of an event designer and planner.

“It’s not just the creative aspect, it’s also business planning,” Pilgrim said. “It’s a true reality of what the event industry is all about.”

 

Congratulations to everyone involved!

Want more? Check out our photo gallery of the 2019 Inspired Spaces.