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Heintzman Productions
Events... Exhibits... Design... Program Management

Case Study, CTV Fall Launch

The CTV Fall Launch, an annual event, held at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
Production Management/Director of Operations

From the first year the CTV Fall Launch was located at the Four Seasons Centre,  Marion was contracted by Event Designer Karen Gruson/Media Blitz and responsible for all “Front of the House”  Operations. The “Front of the House” is a separate event taking place after the CTV media presentations. As Director of Operations, Marion interfaces with the CTV operations department and the facility manager on all building and event related details. The event is attended by 1500 advertising industry professionals. After viewing the Media presentations, the guests emerge from the Amphitheatre to the main event space to enjoy Food, Drink and entertainment. The event is catered by one of Canada’s top chefs Mark McEwen, who delivers an outstanding menu tailored to the event. Traffic flow and the task of ensuring that all guests may access services with ease and safety are handled by a well trained staff and event protocol developed in the operational planning.

The Four Seasons Centre has many building and labour regulations which must be practiced by all events within the space. The building is an “Engineering Marvel”, built to absorb all peripheral noise and vibrations from the subway system below and the surface noise above. There are stringent regulations dealing with load restrictions and policies that do not permit any temporary structures to be attached to the facilities structure. These issues become the most important areas of production operations and are tantamount to delivery of the event. The building is a “Union Hall” and strict labour contracts from IATSE are enforced. The contracts must be respected by all incoming suppliers, including building crews, lighting and sound to hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists. Marion is responsible for all labour negotiations and scheduling. Event set ups primarily take place in “off hours” which creates a delicate balance in production scheduling to maintain the appropriate budgets. The building has minimal loading dock space which poses a major logistical challenge. The Media presentation requires all of the loading dock area for supplementary power trucks and satellite feeds. The challenge is to move in a large event and its suppliers without access to loading dock space. Additionally, the building is located on a major city intersection, King and University. City regulations do not allow any lane closures during peak traffic hours. Marion successfully negotiated with City permitting on behalf of the event.

A key component of the CTV Fall Launch 2009 was the designer, Karen Gruson (Media Blitz) wish to install a floating DJ stage above the largest service bar in the venue. The booth was to float above bar service staff which involved major liability and safety concerns. The production planning began with engaging engineers to plan a cantilevered booth structure designed from truss. A team was then assembled to complete the fabrication. The team was comprised of set builders, IATSE, building services, and a health and safety consultant. It was crucial that the IATSE crew be educated and able to install a complicated structure in an acceptable amount of time. The booth was successfully installed and quickly became a major focal point during the event and was a truly an eye catching component to the event.

The second key component for this event was the exterior entrance to the venue. The vision  of the designers wish was to replicate an “Oscar” style grand entrance. The concept, a grand walkway flanked by large mature trees and red carpet lead the guests through a branded custom archway into the building.  The entrance sat above the subway and had limited load capacities. The engineering team was assembled to solve the weight disbursement question.

The mature trees delivered required a crane to place and install. The entrance could not be blocked for any extended periods of time, as this was the only access point for moving in all suppliers to furnish the event. The archway again could not be attached to the building at any point.  Scheduling, timing and safety were crucial to the delivery of this magnificent focal point. Security as well, was a major concern to be addressed for this event which is attended by many celebrities. Marion worked with CTV security department and the facility manager in the planning and implementation of a security plan and system of accreditation. Marion has established solid working relationships with CTV, the building management team, union labour and the city of Toronto in the production of this event. Marion brings this high profile level of experience and professionalism in the development and implementation of event production and design.


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