Overview

At the close of each year, Shaw’s annual Celebrate event brings employees together in both Calgary and Vancouver to celebrate the year that was, and look ahead to another trip around the sun. In 2019, we collaborated with Shaw’s internal team and worked in step with AV, lighting, and scenic partners to build an experience that went above and beyond any previous Celebrate event. We tapped into the mindset of urban planners and architects to conceive of and build Celebrate City, a futuristic metropolis that offered the thrill and excitement of exploring a vibrant and thriving city.

As visitors took their first steps into Celebrate City, they were welcomed by concierge bars, stationed below a black light sign affixed to a 20-foot wall that was constructed out of custom CNC-cut metal panels. As guests reached the far side of the entrance feature, the grand scope of the city was revealed. Large scenic constructions and city signage used a mixture of AV screens and reflective inks to create a glowing, soaring skyline and vibrant cityscape out of shape, shadow, and light. Celebrate City’s two foodie districts, two social districts, and central entertainment district were carefully blueprinted to strategically manage traffic flow as visitors explored the city via zig-zagging sidewalks.

Exiting the entrance feature, guests could branch off to one of the two parallel food districts, or follow the central highway to the entertainment district. The highway led visitors through two lounge groupings towards the central mega bar. Between the bars stood a captivating infinity tunnel constructed out of truss arch. The interior of the tunnel was lined with mirrors for an infinite reflection of lights and images, creating a mesmerizing experience and irresistible selfie opportunity. Through the tunnel was a piano bar where guests could use neon markers to write song requests directly onto the performers’ white tuxedos. Beyond the piano bar, guests found a nightclub and two parallel neon bowling halls, as well as pool tables, ping pong tables, perch points, and additional bars.

The food districts used three elevations of tiered seating to build out a café patio experience at ground level, and offer restaurant seating on raised risers. Above each seating area and throughout Celebrate City, glowing signage soared at varying heights, a mixture of AV screens and light-reflective canvases.

Impact

Celebrate City happened over three nights in two provinces, 1,000 km apart, in under 2 weeks. We secured identical products for each city, arranged shipping, worked and reworked site plans, and engaged with local suppliers to ensure an equally remarkable experience during each of the three event nights. Leading up to the execution, we worked more closely than ever with our client and with the core vendor partners on concept, blueprints, site plans, materials, and construction for this complex and innovative event, reworking and pivoting as needed.

Layers, height, lighting, colour, and engaging activations were used to bring a completely custom and totally visionary cityscape to life, creating a bustling, futuristic environment for guests to explore and enjoy together. Shaw employees found themselves tourists in Celebrate City and enjoyed a chance to unwind, socialize, and celebrate. They left feeling excited for the year to come and proud to be part of Shaw.

Thank you to these partners for bringing their expertise to this event:
Video: ProShow Audiovisual
Audio: FM Systems
Scenic and Production Management: Production Canada
Lighting Design: Keylite Design
Floral Design: FaBLOOMosity
Entertainment Partner: PM GIGS
Calgary Stampede
Vancouver Convention Centre