All children – in Toronto, in Canada, and around the world – deserve health and happiness. The Oceana Ball, a volunteer-based initiative, shines as a celebration of children’s health and as a sign of hope to children everywhere, while simultaneously elevating the status of leadership and philanthropy. This past October, PALETTERA was thrilled and honoured to be a part of Oceana, a multi-platform initiative in support of the Herbie Fund at the Hospital for Sick Children. The Herbie Fund was established in 1979 by Canadian philanthropists Paul & Gina Godfrey.
At PALETTERA, one of our core values has always been to passionately create art that helps people tell their stories, which in turn, make meaningful connections that strengthen our community. It’s one small way we hope to make the world a better place. And so when Oceana founder Brittney Kuczynski and co-chair Jackie Gideon asked us to design the stationery for this incredible and worthwhile project, our hearts leapt at the opportunity to contribute to a cause so well-aligned with our mission.
As a volunteer-based initiative that supports and celebrates children’s health, Oceana’s programs are designed to provide hope to children, and to instill leadership and philanthropy in its supporters.
Alongside Oceana ball, the lavish gala fundraiser, Oceana magazine is a national, charity-based periodical that focuses on high-end Canadian fashion, art, leadership, and philanthropy. Its pages display thirteen pieces of original art created by twenty-six of Canada’s leading fashion designers and photographers. This is set against the stunning backdrop of our national geography, while the magazine also profiles influential and iconic Canadians and philanthropists. This powerful combination of platforms not only reaches some of Canada’s most generous supporters of children’s health, but also connects hundreds of youth and future supporters, to inspire them to become philanthropists as well.
UNFORGETTABLE PARTIES BEGIN WITH A PALETTERA INVITATION.
The theme of Oceana 2012 was “Canadian Renaissance.” PALETTERA was charged to come up with a design that would showcase “Canadian Renaissance” to inspire a crowd of very discerning guests at the gala fundraiser. It also needed to elevate the already gorgeous venue, Liberty Grand. It would set the stage and provide art direction for the spectacular ball that everyone was looking forward to.
To do this, we turned to our Canadian heritage and referenced the aboriginal art of our forefathers. The intricacies of aboriginal artists’ work in art forms such as woodcarving and printmaking are just incredibly inspiring. We were particularly interested in the significance of the totem pole, which also tell stories honouring heritage. At the highest level of the totem pole is either the eagle or the raven clan. For an elevated event like Oceana, it seemed only fitting that our design should also be centred around a soaring bird, or the elevated stature of the highest clan.
We created an original illustration of a beautiful, glorious bird, echoing the aboriginal folk art aesthetic and paying tribute to our past. The bird in the illustration is clothed in an ornate gown which captures some of the beauty and fashion of the event. We hand pressed this intricate design in rose gold onto a luxurious, cream coloured paper medallion, then affixed it to a black grosgrain ribbon. For each VIP guest, we created a black and gold, boxed suite. When the guest opened up her invitation, she was greeted by this gorgeous symbol of Canadian Renaissance; the grosgrain ribbon holding her exclusive VIP tickets in place.
We were thrilled when Oceana loved the design as much as we did. The image of the bird was used in floor to ceiling banners that flanked both sides of the stage at the Oceana ball. It was spectacular to see how our design, whose details worked so well as a small art piece in the form of a letterpress paper medallion, which could be intimately appreciated for its handcraftsmanship, could also work equally well and with huge impact when blown up hundreds of times its original size! To tie in further the invitation to the event itself, we again, pressed the same warm, rose gold bird onto paper medallions, which were placed at each guests’ place setting at the long, banquet-style tables.
Among this and the notable guests in the room – some of Canada’s most esteemed artists and leaders in philanthropy – the feeling of warmth, philanthropy, elegance, and heritage was tangible. It was a most wonderful and humbling experience to be a part of Oceana.
As for the design itself, we’re happy that it struck the right chord for this amazing and worthwhile event. It was an incredible night to remember, and we’re looking forward to contributing to such an important cause for many years to come.
Enjoy some highlights of the evening with some of our industry colleagues and friends here!
Photography: Life Images, Joee Wong Photography & Best of Toronto