Rebecca Chan Reveals the Private Party for Rupi Kaur at Berkeley Bicycle Club event venue Toronto
What were your first thoughts when you started planning the private party for Rupi Kaur? What considerations do you make when planning a party for an accomplished author and illustrator?
My first thoughts – Oh. My. God! Beyond the initial shock, I wanted the party to honour Rupi as a person, first and foremost. Her work is one aspect of her, but this party was for her closest family and friends. We didn’t want the party to be just about her work (no one wants to think about work after hours!), but about her spirit and the things she loved.
What do you appreciate most about the poetry that Rupi Kaur creates and did you have these images in mind when creating such a stunning party?
Rupi’s poetry is deep, yet very easy to understand. It has a spiritual aspect to it, and feels fresh at the same time. I definitely wanted to embody these characteristics into the spirit of the party.
The event design had many textured layers that tied together in an exquisite outcome. What is your process for building these design layers?
First, we decided on the colours. Rupi loves emerald and yellows, and she wanted a vibrant pop of fuschia in the mix. We started off with this colour palette and built from there. From the basics of table linen and napkins, I layered in floral with shades of pink, a textured amber-coloured water goblet and, to top it of, the wow-factor balloon spill for a whimsical touch. I always like to have something that is a wow factor at a party, to mix things up.
As a designer and event planner you also teach classes and workshops, produce videos and make television appearances. How do all these facets of your business interact together inform each-other and inspire you?
I started planning events because it was something I loved to do and did well, and weddings fell into my lap when all my friends started getting married years ago. It was a natural fit. When the first television segment approached me, I took the opportunity to design for a different audience and found I enjoyed it, so I continue to do them. I am always receiving requests for mentorship and teaching, and so incorporating a teaching aspect to my repertoire is something I am considering for the new year. Ultimately, I do what I enjoy, and go where the wind takes me.
How was the setting of the Berkeley Bicycle Club a good choice for this intimate private party?
The Berkeley Bicycle Club was a venue I was considering for another event, and when Rupi approached me about her party, I knew it was the perfect fit for what she wanted. It was the right size for her group, had enough space for the different elements of the program, and had the historic charm and character that she loved. The team at Berkeley was also so accommodating and flexible with all our requests. It was the perfect fit!
Was part of the success of having such a joyous and beautiful design outcome choosing creative partners whose work you knew would come succinctly together?
Absolutely! I didn’t have a lot of time to put together this event (about 2 weeks!). When time is of the essence AND you have an amazing client you want to wow, you need vendors you can count on. They need to be the best in the city, work with your budget, and deliver exactly what you’re envisioning for the client.
How did you merge elegant touches with fun fanciful whimsy to make such a beautiful experience for the guests?
I love a mix of elegance and whimsy. With weddings, couples are sometimes afraid to use colour or do something out of the ordinary, because they are thinking about this as a once in a lifetime event that they can’t go back on. Private social parties, on the other hand, are perfect for doing something fun and unique, because they aren’t worried about it being in photos forever, or if it will please everyone. Rupi also was envisioning the dinner to be an elegant occasion with some fun touches, so it helps when the client is on board too.
What would be the three top things you feel made this event such a stunning success?
A trusting client with great taste, amazing vendors who understand the vision, and a venue that set the tone! All are recipes for success.