Friday, October 23, 2015

Anvil Centre Celebrates One Year

The fabulous Mellomanic Band closed the night (the Quayside Singers opened it)
Vali shared stories including the missing kitchen, the 500,000 gallon flood and more 
I don't often write about venues, leaving that to others such as Padraic Gilligan and other well traveled #eventprofs. I have some favorites though, and the Anvil Centre is one of them. This boutique conference centre is in the heart of the Lower Mainland right at the New Westminster Skytrain stop, and includes a beautiful theatre (above), a ballroom and meeting space, shared community space full of learning, art, dance and music, a museum that groups can utilize and a very cool new media digital gallery! These last are open to anyone to visit - check them out if you are in the neighbourhood. 

I have been on multiple hardhat tours, celebrated at the industry opening night one year ago, and this week was honoured to be the MC for the First Anniversary celebration.  This was so fun for me because I really like the team, led by Vali Marling with Sales and Marketing led by the lovely and smart Heidi Hughes who I have known through all the evolutions of our careers, including teaching the same class (and others) at BCIT.  Diane and Colin who are key to the operations I have also worked with in other roles for demanding events in other venues, and even had Colin - keen to understand the meeting planner - take the event management class at BCIT several years ago. There is history here and I know how diligent this team is in ensuring excellent guest experiences.

Then there was the food.  At first, an antipasto platter... a good start. But then, the house-made tuna sushi cones, pulled pork sliders, duck confit on toast, and a delicious spoon of crispy potatoes with a mini poached quail egg and bacon that was rather spectacular began the evening, and to close the night, cake (of course) and gorgeous desserts created on site that day. 

The speeches, short and poignant and funny.  The music, first from Q5 the Quayside Singers, their acapella sound acoustically perfect in this theatre and then the Mellomanic Band fronted by Anvil Centre staff Josh with one of the most versatile bands (they kept changing instrumental places!) with a vocal range that not only astounded the audience, keeping them in the room even as we approached the end of the evening - and they soon had the group up dancing, an unexpected and rather perfect ending to the evening.
I could not resist - Diane all dressed up! I might be in trouble for sharing this but seriously... she is so funny!
Chief Constable Dave Jones spoke of the revitalization of the area, and the delish lemon squares
Hello dessert - thank you for coming!
Need a place to host your event (10 up to 450 ideal) that is easy to get to from across the Lower Mainland, has great food and even greater staff... check them out!

Thanks for including me - I had a blast!

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