The Challenge | Reinventing the Wheel
COVID-19 has presented many challenges for the event industry, and Canada Day in 2020 was no exception. Brandlive has been producing Canada Day at Canada Place for many years and while in the past, this yearly celebration involved a robust street festival in downtown Vancouver with a mainstage, dozens of exhibitors, sponsor activations, and approximately one million attendees, this year was very different. Due to COVID-19, we had to rethink the whole celebration while still paying tribute to our country’s national holiday. Working closely with the Ministry of Heritage, Brandlive was asked to produce a segment in the national Canada Day Celebration broadcast. As pioneers in this new COVID event space, our team not only had to create engaging content that celebrated our country’s history, but also had to navigate the safety restrictions that come along with an international pandemic.
The Strategy | Safety First
In order to engage the public in a new virtual setting, and generate excitement about our country’s history, we created a digital campaign focusing on Canadian culture that included a booklet with 150 facts about Canadian history as well as parallel social media posts on the same topics. By creating this sharable, evergreen content, our clients were able to reach a wider audience. For the virtual broadcast component, we enlisted the talents of one of Canada’s most celebrated artists, Sarah McLachlan to play a one-song set at one of Vancouver’s most iconic locations at sunset making for a moment of music that evoked those “Oh Canada” Patriotic feelings. From a logistics perspective, because our team was filming during a pandemic, we had to ensure that our production team was safe, so we developed a COVID-19 Safety plan that combined the directions of the BC Health Ministry, Work Safe BC, Canada Place, Vancouver Convention Centre, as well as Brandlive’s internal WorkSafe policy.
The Impact | Oh Canada
The broadcast was a huge success and Vancouver’s contribution was particularly impactful giving virtual attendees from around the country a glimpse into our iconic west coast flair. It showcased Canadian musicians from around the country while educating people about their national history and highlighting Indigenous culture. It gave Canadians a safe and accessible way to come together as one and celebrate our country when traditional methods of “gathering” weren’t possible.