Grand Opening celebrations can be a lot of fun. Newness, growth, anticipation, expectation, novelty...an air of excitement and fulfillment. DMC Ottawa can take these qualities and create an event, or series of activities, that will showcase the launching of almost any new enterprise.
Creating a celebration around the renovation, expansion, re-branding and re-opening of an old, established municipal recreation complex - and doing it with flair and high-profile enthusiasm - is a little more challenging. But we were hired by SERCO, one of the world's most successful facility management companies, and the City of Ottawa, to do just that.
DMC Ottawa conceptualized, developed, promoted and implemented a two-week series of activities that celebrated a $13 million renovation of Ottawa's Ray Friel Recreational Complex to greatly expanded community awareness by actively involving public stakeholders and local decision-makers in the delivery of the promotional activities to the public.
Players from the local Girls Hockey Association, in full uniform, escorted dignitaries to receptions, welcomed the public to Open Houses and served at special luncheons in the new restaurant overlooking two, new NHL-sized ice surfaces. They conducted facility tours.
Themed weekend activities, free to the public, included on one weekend, a pancake breakfast, outdoor-stage children's entertainment, demonstrations of aerobics, kick-boxing, dance, karate, yoga and other new recreation centre programs. Theme of the second weekend was 'Celebrate Sports', drawing the community in to meet local Olympic sports celebrities and Shauna Burke, second woman to climb Mount Everest.
After, we delivered transportation and an Appreciation Evening for 250 Ray Friel Complex staff at the Camp Fortune Ski Resort in the Gatineau Hills. Ranging in age from 16 to 60+, they were bussed to their unknown destination, and picked up "hitchhikers" along the way, who broke into robust song, performed delightful close-up magic tricks and illusions while en route to a deluxe BBQ, chairlift ride, bonfire with roasted marshmallows and a spectacular mountain view.