Midnight in the Park, WestJet’s inspired holiday experience, is held in the same venue and follows a similar program each year. As designers, our primary objectives were to harness creativity and innovation to set this iteration apart from previous installations, and to maximize a fixed budget to its full potential. With the large guest count, the bulk of our resources needed to be devoted to dinner tables, so we leveraged these as the primary décor focal point through strategic use of lighting and space. Alternating linens of patterned navy paragon and silver taffeta created visual interest across the large sprawl of tables. To break up the vast overhead space, we varied the height of the centerpieces, which featured LED birch trees, and LED candle vases wrapped in translucent winter tree graphics. We collaborated with the lighting supplier and our client to ensure that overhead lighting worked with and not against our illuminated centerpieces, and our lighting partner made the expansive space feel more intimate by washing the walls in birch gobos and snowy texture. Adding to the ambient glow were three massive spandex archways lit with icy event lighting, through which guests entered the room. Modern stylized lounges were arranged with 6’ birch trees, and a 3-dimensional photo booth featured a Midnight in the Park printed fabric background, layers of hand-constructed birch posts, a park bench, and street lights. Logistics were essential in pulling off the event for several reasons – Calgary Telus Convention Centre is one of the city’s few large venues, and during the busy holiday season our event was slotted in between two other large projects. A detailed production schedule coordinated all of the various teams and vendors for setup through the night before and day-of the event, ensuring that everything was perfect at go-time. Strike was scheduled for 1am - 3am; however, our team was actually evacuated during the process. Our COR training and safety management skills came into play as we deftly adjusted to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the ongoing efficiency of our eventual completed strike.
On the surface, Midnight in the Park is a beautiful holiday design incorporating luxury linens, elegant lighting, and styled centerpieces; but it is much more than that. Behind every detail was a strategy for reinvention and budget maximization. Careful use of lighting and space leveraged the 141 tables into a jaw-dropping décor highlight, while maximizing the décor budget. Our collaboration with lighting and graphic design ensured cohesive messaging of the design concept. Feedback showed that guests were blown away by the transformation from the previous year, and our clients expressed sincere appreciation for our invested involvement in all design-related decisions, from the development through to strike.
Photography: Leblond Studio