Well good morning Party Girls! We are in the middle of planning a pretty amazing (if we do say so ourselves) birthday party for a special little girl this weekend, and trust us when we say we are functioning on very little sleep. This is where we’d insert hashtag partyplannerproblems, but we’re too classy for hashtags in blogs 😉
ANYWAYS, before we get to sharing all those fun details next week, we had another party on our sleeves. This one is an oldie but a goodie. Last summer Meal Exchange, a non-profit organization committed to changing food systems on university/college campuses and communities across Canada, celebrated a big year with three major milestones, marking the anniversary of their creation, the first National Student Food Summit, and their time as a registered charity. To celebrate, I (Ashley) got to help them plan an anniversary party, and it was SO MUCH FUN!
We wanted to take a break from our hectic crafting for the weekend and share some fun photos of a past event. Plus, it makes us nostalgic for summer, which is perfect on this cloudy rainy Toronto day.
First of all, how amazing is this venue? We were super fortunate to partner with the Centre for Social Innovation in the Annex and host the party here. It was the perfect industrial [okay super hipster] vibe for a university student driven, local food movement loving group of people.
The balloon raffle is a sweet personal favourite of mine, because I love the idea of little surprises in balloons. Basically we had about 25 helium balloons with numbers inside, and for $10 guests could buy a balloon, pop it (it was violent and amazing and perfect), and they’d win whatever prize corresponded with that number. It got pretty intense. As a charity event our budget was pretty slim (as in non existent) so we were able to get a bunch of amazing sponsors donate super cool prizes.
We also partnered with some amazing local artisans from Etsy who donated locally sourced and handmade products for our goody bags. We had gluten free/nut free snacks, handmade soaps, cool Meal Exchange swag, and more, it was adorable.
Okay, now I’m starving. The only thing about planning an event for a bunch of socially conscious food-movement activists is the menu. We were super lucky to team up with a catering company that had a lot of experience with vegetarian/gluten free/allergen safe menu planning, so we had a lot of really delicious options. And it gave me an excuse to have those little food labels made. I am a sucker for food labels.
A major part of the event programming was taking the opportunity to thank all the members and volunteers. There was a little award ceremony to recognize some outstanding people who work hard to promote sustainable food practices and Meal Exchange, which was a such a fun and special way to honour the night and celebrate the anniversary aspect.
For me, spending my summer working with these amazing people, laughing and cramped into a tiny office in a gorgeous old building downtown with no air conditioning and full of art and birds (yup, there was a floor bird sanctuary) and designers and weird caves (okay, coolest place ever right?) was so inspiring. The event took place on the Saturday evening of three day student conference, where we woke up at 5am and went to bed at 1am. I didn’t sleep for over 24 hours before party day. It was amazing.
So how about that? All in all it was a super fun party. I tried to include the links below for the vendors, but if I forgot anybody I’m so sorry. Make sure you stay tuned for this weekend’s party craziness, and have an amazing day!
Balloons – Ballontrix
Catering – Delightfully Yours
Venue – CSI Annex
Want to see more photos? Head here 🙂