Caledon Citizen
Export date: Sun Nov 28 18:06:39 2021 / +0000 GMT

Caledon Home and Lifestyle Show was first major consumer event run during the pandemic 

By Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter 

After being rescheduled several times for more than a year, Show Director Liz Shaughnessy finally got the green light to go ahead with the Caledon Home and Lifestyle Show this past weekend. 

She only had a handful of weeks to prepare and finalize it, but by all accounts, it was a success. 

The three-day event had all kinds of home experts from renovators to landscapers to designers and everything in-between and many local businesses were part of it. The show also helped promote and raise funds for Caledon Meals on Wheels. 

What made the show so unique was the fact that at this point in time it's the only consumer event of its kind to take place in Ontario, and though it was originally set for April of 2020, Shaughnessy thought it made the show a special one for those involved and in attendance. 

“I want to hone in on the quality of the show exhibitors and the inspirational booths many of them produced at the event,” she said. “People were awed when they walked in and would see the quality of it and the displays. That's really important and it's not seen often enough at regional community shows. There were some absolutely outstanding showcase exhibitors at the inaugural event. It was a great opportunity for new retailers in Caledon to be on display.”  

With the show taking place in Caledon at the Albion Bolton Community Centre, there were plenty of local businesses showcasing at the event and Shaughnessy thought they were some of the best she's seen in her two decades in the business. 

“There were so many good booths, but I want to highlight some of the best ones,” she said. “Three-time renovator of the year Probuilt Design + Build based in Bolton did an incredible job and the Renovator of the Year award is a prestigious award and nobody but them has won it three times. The booth itself was award-winning with the quality, expertise, and edginess—that one stands alone as a quality educational booth. We had some interesting boutique exhibitors at the show who went above and beyond; Surfaces Design Studio in Bolton did an absolute showroom expedition.  

“One of the biggest takes from me was from a company that had never done a show before with Di's Design and Decor Gallery in Bolton. It was an absolute feast of design and accessories for virtually every room in the home, it was a showstopper display. Peel Hardware and Supply portrayed a message that they're more than just a hardware store, it was an oasis for DIY people, gardeners, home maintenance people—every component of their display invited you to visit their store. Revitalization of Bolton's downtown core has been a focus of the Town of Caledon and I was delighted that we had Bake Shoppe and Jus Jus—two new entries to downtown Bolton—at the show. There were some gems of speciality realtors too: Jesse Tree Fine Foods (from Bolton) did a prototype of what it's like to walk into their store and for those who haven't been, it's like taking a trip to Italy.  

“Another realtor that might be the greatest hidden gem is Caledon Mountain Wildlife. Owner Brett Lagerquist did an amazing job of presenting more than bird seed,” she said. “People in the area recognized he was one of the first people to step up with the LDD moth issue and he continues to deliver. Sherwin Williams, the new paint store in Bolton, did an incredible job and delivered not just paint, but information, expertise, and problem solving for visitors—they're new, but they did an amazing job.” 

Due to the pandemic limiting home shows this year, Shaughnessy and her team wanted to reach a more widespread audience and with that, she believes it will bring new consumers to the Caledon based businesses that were part of the showcase.  

“One of the upsides to the show was that we did an extensive outreach campaign beyond Caledon for visitors and that campaign delivered,” she said. “We had visitors coming from Vaughan to Alliston to Orangeville to Georgetown, and everywhere in between. These are new customers to Caledon based businesses and the plus is that we were able to extend the marketing for our exhibitors beyond the borders of Caledon.” 

Events as big as this one don't happen, especially during a pandemic, without community leaders stepping up and Shaughnessy says that community leader was Caledon's Anthony Caputo who was there to do what needed to be done leading up to the show. 

“Something that really resonates with me was the lead sponsor of the show, the Caputo Group,” she said. “They stepped up in a big way for the show by placing community first. I quote Anthony Caputo when I asked him why he wanted to do this, he said, ‘Liz, realtors don't just sell houses, they sell communities.' And Anthony and his team delivered time after time on that concept for the show.” 

Without support from the Town, it would have been even tougher to run the event with the circumstances and Shaughnessy is thankful that her and her team were able to lean on the Town staff throughout the last two months. 

“The show owes a special thanks to the Town of Caledon staff, who, from the very beginning went beyond the call of duty on behalf of the Home and Lifestyle Show,” she said. “Their energy, problem solving skills, and capabilities were so important to the delivery of this show, especially given the fact that we were running under COVID-19 safety protocols. Their initiative was second to none from the beginning of the shows mandate six weeks ago to the finish of the show on closing day. Every one of the Town's staff deserves a platinum award.” 

Post date: 2021-09-16 13:38:55
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