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Autumn Voyage

The Setting

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Few things are quite as Canadian as the changing colors of autumn. Rich-hued maple leaves heralding the fall season are distinctive emblems, central to our national identity both at home and abroad. For our client, a marketing company hosting a delegation of 180 VIP guests from Hong Kong as part of a global business event, this motif was the perfect choice for an evening cruise event. And Bright Ideas rose to the challenge with the Autumn Voyage – the vibrant colors of falling leaves and West Coast forests creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere aboard a luxury charter yacht.

Upon arrival at the dock, each guest was photographed before a customized fall backdrop with a Canadian theme. At the entrance way on the ship, an arch of brightly colored maple leaves created the sensation of walking underneath a forest canopy of beautiful trees. Dramatic lighting strengthened the illusion, with the pillars of the archway dressed in leaves and lit with yellow, orange, and red spotlights. The cool sounds of a jazz ensemble helped enhance the sophisticated ambience as they boarded the ship.

Once aboard, two decks of stunning décor awaited the guests. On the first deck, burnt orange linens, with gold, rust, and copper accents adorned low tables for those wishing to sit and socialize. Artful vase centerpieces were filled with smooth river rocks, fallen leaves, and colorful lichens. Topped by delicate arrays of dried branches and maple leaves, they conveyed the impression of a walk in a West Coast forest.

Taller tables provided guests with a standing option. These were covered in chocolate brown satin and accompanied by centerpieces of seasonal foliage or small lamps, both variations surrounded by maple leaves in the deep, rich shades of the changing season. Linen napkins in orange and brown strengthened the autumn color scheme, while our jazz ensemble continued to add a stylish soundtrack to the evening.

Entertainment

In keeping with the nautical aspects of our event, a professional actor played the role of Captain George Vancouver, a man considered one of the greatest explorers of his age. His historic costume added another visual element to the evening. Acting as M.C. throughout the evening, our namesake mariner introduced speeches and presented the international guests with a brief history of the city that bears his name.

Theme Decor

On the second deck – both a sumptuous buffet and a feast for the eyes, with distinctive First Nations masks showcasing the refined aesthetic of the aboriginal peoples who have made Canada’s West Coast their home for millennia. Surrounded by cedar boughs, rain forest ferns, and other flora typical of our region, this level of the ship also featured beautiful miniature maple trees continuing the forest theme.

Unique centerpieces made from wrought iron ‘trees’ were hung with glass vases containing sparkling lights submerged in gel, a maple leaf acting as a filter for the lighting, adding a golden hue to the illumination.

The centerpiece themes found on the first deck were repeated here, with tasteful variations. Small vases with flowers and maple leaf branches, along with small brown lanterns with LED votive candles inside cast a twinkling light around the room, contributing to the magical ambience. Another icon of the season, bright orange pumpkins, were place around the room adding to the warm, natural feel.

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Autumn Art

Beside the buffet area a trio of contemporary artworks mounted on ‘tree’ style easels provided a modern contrast to the traditional designs of the native masks. Each painting was accompanied by an artist’s statement, so that guests could fully appreciate the emotions and themes the artist hoped to convey with their work. Flanking the paintings, illuminated maple trees framed an area for speeches, creating another focal point within the room.

A final piece of traditional art, a scaled-down eagle totem pole, completed the room décor on this deck. And while the décor inside the ship was in itself a beautiful sight to enjoy, the Vancouver skyline beckoned in the distance, its modern skyscrapers and ancient mountains the perfect finishing touch on this elegant cruise. No doubt the guests will long remember their memorable evening, nonetheless, they were delighted to discover, upon returning to the dock, a copy of the picture taken when they boarded awaited them – a thoughtful souvenir of a fabulous night.

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Summary

The Autumn Voyage was a stunning example of creativity and color. The rich colors of fall leaves and complementary linens, the art of past and present, and the tasteful lighting enhancing the room with splashes of red, yellow, and orange illumination all combined to deliver a truly Canadian feel to this event. It was the perfect way to welcome an international guest list to our beautiful city beside the sea.

For a free quote or to speak with one of our event specialists call our office at 604.303.7707

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