Working to have an Eventful Career

photo of Leann Bower

Interview with Leann Bower

Brandon’s event industry professionals work their magic behind the scenes, supplying the materials and expertise that contribute to the success of the weddings, conferences, fundraisers and the like, put on by local businesses, charities and individuals. 

Event planners are part of the mix. They need to be good communicators and problem solvers, and able to stay calm under pressure.

Leann Bower started honing her event planning skills as a social convenor in high school. The joy of putting her plans in action is as strong as ever:

Quotation mark left  As Fundraising Coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society, I feel lucky that every day I get to meet such incredible people.

Like Madi Frendo, a high school student who contacted me to say she planned to donate her hair to have wigs made and raise money for the Cancer Society.

I love staging events. And, I like it when people contact me prior to holding a fundraising event for the Cancer Society because there is a lot we can do to support it.

I always think about how I can let the community know about an event. We named it Madi’s Charity Headshave. I contacted the Shoppers Mall and they said we could hold the event there.

WCG TV featured us before the event. And, the Westman Journal wrote an article after it, giving us further publicity.

Two of Madi’s band teachers each cut a ponytail, then she asked to have her head shaved. Through friends and business sponsorship Madi raised $1200.

I also get calls from groups that want to participate in a fundraiser and are looking for ideas.

For example, when I met with the police department we came up with Guns vs Hoses, a human bubble ball battle between the Brandon Police Service and Brandon Fire Fighter Paramedics.

We held it at a Wheat Kings game during intermission. It was a hilarious four minutes on the ice.

But, there’s always a moment during every event when why I do this hits me.

As I was standing beside the donation bucket a man came up, donated, and said, ‘My brother just lost his battle with cancer. We buried him today.’ Guns vs Hoses raised over $4,500 for cancer research.

Relay for Life, held every year in June, is the Canadian Cancer Society’s biggest fundraising event. A couple of years ago we decided to make changes to our format — over time people can get bored with an event.

We made it more family friendly. Not everyone can participate in a 12 or 24 hour event, so we held it from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm and added a bouncy castle, craft tables, a Relay for Life canteen, and entertainment throughout the day.

We also moved the Relay from the Sportsplex to the Keystone Centre grounds to be more accessible to the public.

Several years ago, I started a day-of-event wedding service but after a move out of province and a change in our family dynamic I put Bridal Bliss Weddings on hold.

In 2014, I started to offer wedding services again and became a registered Marriage Commissioner and a certified Wedding Planner.

I’m a detail-oriented event planner. It’s important to think of the little things. For weddings, I always have supplies like pins, scissors, duct tape, thread and needles to take care of any problems.

With any event you have to problem-solve before it happens — if it rains during an outdoor wedding you have to have a solution ready.

Whatever type of event I’m involved in I make myself available to deal with anything that comes along.

It’s important to me to have people trust me to fulfill my role. Right quotation mark

By Brandon Now

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