Many, many businesses today stage events. Promotion events, fundraisers, product and service launches... you get the picture. Charities stage events all the time. New businesses build events around their official openings. Schools, organizations, community groups, retirement homes... the 'event' is turning into an industry all on its own.

So Georgian College decided to add an Event Management Program to its overwhelming calendar of possible courses. Qualifying students have either a college diploma or a university degree before being accepted into this eight month course. This is its first year and 22 students signed on last September.

Hiring industry experts who are events managers themselves, the teachers of this program have taken students to events across the city. They've found interesting placements for them to volunteer on. Students have made some terrific industry connections.

So, it's logical that the final exam for this program will be an event. Since seven students have gone elsewhere the 15 remaining students are breaking into two teams and come up with stunning events that will utilize their skills. Victoria Anderson is one of those students. She explains that the two-semester program has covered everything from logistics to audio/visual to community resources to how to figure out the number of tables a room will hold. Students have learned critical path production schedules, needs assessments, and they've learned how to use software that lets them create floor plans 3-dimensionally.

And so, here are the two groups' events, open to the public and guaranteed to be fun!

Relive Your Love is group one's event, slated for March 22 at the Mady Theatre. Themed around a romantic evening to celebrate the beginning of love, Victoria says the group is planning red carpets, photos, reception with catered bar, and entertainment from a four-piece band playing music themes to the movie, The Way We Were (Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford). There will be a silent auction hopefully geared to romantic themes for this couples event.

Admission price is $35. The team is looking for sponsorships for their event since they have no budget for this project. They need raffle items to be donated, plus sponsorships of the venue (508), movie ($175), the food $1500), wine ($250), beer ($250). Interested? You can reach Victoria at 705 817-4542 or vickyeh42@hotmail.com or Lauren Hill at 705 790-9169.  Funds raised to go Gilda's Club and Georgian's Scholarship Program.

Group Two's event is called Mocktail Madness on April 12 from 7 to 10 pm. It's a friendly mocktail competition among five downtown dining establishments and all competition and food is occurring at the Army Navy Air Force hall on George St.  A live band, flair bartending show, mocktails and food round out the evening. Those attending vote on their favourite mocktail. Recipients of funds raised are MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and the Georgian Scholarship Program.

Organizing students Charlotte Moos or Reba Clark say participating businesses include the Queen's, Manhattans, with hopefully three others. This group too is looking for sponsoring for various needs for their event:  venue $325, decor $350, entertainment $500, printing $150, rentals $250, audio/visual $200. Tickets, at $25 each, will be available from Charlotte Moos (705 794-1773) or Reba Clark (705 817-1158).

What a great way to wrap up the year, give to the community, and demonstrate what you've learned!

Thanks, Victoria. Thanks Charlotte and Reba. And thanks, sponsors for making it happen.

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