Working to have an Eventful Career
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 and the joy of putting her plans in action is as strong as ever:
I love staging events. I started my job with the Canadian Cancer Society in April 2017 and immediately started planning for Relay for Life, which is our biggest event and is held in June.
We decided to make changes in the 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 2:00 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.
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 met with the police department because they wanted to participate in a fundraiser and were looking for ideas.
The result was the 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.
I feel lucky that every day I get to meet these incredible people. Like Madi Frendo, who contacted me to say she planned to donate her hair to have wigs made and raise money for the Cancer Society.
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 prior to the event, and the Westman Journal wrote an article after it, giving us further publicity.
Two of Madi’s band teachers were asked to each cut a ponytail, then she asked to have her head shaved. Through friends and business sponsorship Madi raised $1200.
Several years ago, I started a day-of-event wedding service but after a move out of province and a change in 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, clear tape, thread, 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.
— By Brandon Now