How the city that never sleeps inspired our design for the NCPC Gala.   

The hardest part about being tasked with a New York City themed gala is narrowing down the inspiration overload that comes with one of the most iconic cities in the world. In our design for the NCPC Gala – themed each year around the location of the trip given away – we wanted to reference quintessential NYC places, details, and ambiance in a way that felt fresh and experiential. With the Imperial Ballroom at Hyatt Regency Calgary as our canvas, we referenced Manhattan, Central Park, Long Island, and Times Square in a careful balance of modern and classic.

NYC’s grand cityscape served as inspiration for larger elements like the stage design, dance floor, and lighting plan. We took full advantage of the venue’s soaring ceilings to create the effect of towering skyscrapers on a New York City street, wrapping the space in projections of a city nightscape. Spandex columns displayed projections of NYC facades, giving the stage design depth and movement, and providing functional purpose when needed by switching to program content.

Detailed tablescapes for the Gala’s 500 guests were heavily inspired by the lusher parts of NYC; most specifically, the city’s iconic Central Park. Moss, greens, and boxwood filled beautiful tabletop risers, each strung with tiny white LED lights to evoke the park lit up at night. Table numbers in the style of New York City street signs extended up from each tiny park. The exterior of the risers featured cityscapes with tiny CNC-cut “windows” that glowed with warm light from within, and glamourous linens were chosen to evoke the lights of the Empire State Building against the night sky.  

The overall impact of the room was sleek and modern, but the lush tablescapes showcased a softer side of NYC, and vintage elements such as newsprint materials and directional signage from the ‘40s referenced the city’s history.

Themed around a city as full of energy, history, and contrasts as New York, the NCPC Gala was an amazing opportunity to play with the juxtaposing elements of one of our favourite places to visit. We’d be so interested to hear what you think of our take on the New York City theme!