Programs & Events Committee Update
As Presented at the OGLCC's 2012 AGM
2012 saw the establishment of a partnership with Out on Bay Street, which provided an avenue for increasing the OGLCC's visibility amongst the student and young professional population. This partnership also resulted in greatly increased attendance at our signature networking series. As the year went on, our regular networking events usually saw attendance of 30-45 people.
In 2012, however, it was our major events which proved particularly popular. The Annual Back to Business BBQ was held in August, in partnership with Out on Bay Street. This brought attendance to over 70 people. It was a great event, with Donnarama (popular local drag queen) entertaining, and great weather and atmosphere at Hair of the Dog.
Our holiday event was again held at Fire on the East Side, and while our location inside the complex was moved, it was a very well-received event, with approximately 60 guests. This also resulted in a sizable donation for ACT's Joy Drive.
Finally, our regular networking events have increasingly been held outside of the downtown core, notably at locations on both the east and west side. Given that the LGBT community is increasingly spreading out throughout the GTA, this is an important development.
A special mention goes to Caroline O'Toole, who led the Programs subcommittee for most of the past year. She did a tremendous job increasing our profile and attendance, and building partnerships with non-traditional venues throughout the city.
We have moved to a location-specific structure to the board, so there is essentially a Programs Committee for GTA, and Regions (particularly Ottawa, led by Denis).
Elevator pitches will be introduced at our networking events, where our members will be given the opportunity to present a short speech about their business. This has been suggested many times by our members, and we are excited to roll it out.
We are also excited that our May 21 event will be held in conjunction with the Inside Out Gay/Lesbian Film Festival. Chris Matthews, one of our new board members, will be leading our committee in working with the film festival leadership.
We have confirmed our continuation of the "Women's First" portion of each networking event, to be held from 5:30-6:30 for women only (formerly to 6:00). As such, we will be extending the end of the networking events to 8:30. We are also looking to continue to promote events outside of the downtown core, and utilizing more non-bar/nightclub venues. We are continuing our partnerships with both Toronto Region Board of Trade and Out on Bay Street, as well as WorldPride (which is swinging into high gear now) and the Pan Am Games.
Finally, we are beginning to work on a Fundraiser/Awards Gala for the fall. Stay tuned for details on the event, and who we will be celebrating.