This March, the Event Planning and Food and Beverage classes of the Service Excellence for Business program went on a Field Trip to TIFF Bell Lightbox. Meeting organizers of TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, visiting the core of the famous restaurant Luma, and discovering the event space Malaparte, it was an incredible learning experience!

Are you an Art lover? Film? Food? Events? TIFF Bell Lightbox is the main place to go. Most students, like me, had never been inside this cultural centre. We were pretty surprised by the immensity and beauty of the place. It occupies an entire city block in the heart of Toronto’s media and entertainment district. This dynamic center offers visitors a presentation that includes new releases, live film events, and an interactive gallery.

Jason Kim, General Manager of Malaparte – Oliver and Bonacini, lead the visit. Young and professional, we were impressed by his rise to General Manager. His experience in Malaparte, Event Space, made him the perfect guide for this field trip. Jason was our main connector to other team members all along. We first met Adrienne Giroux, Senior Manager, Hospitality and Event Sales of TIFF. This businesswoman is full of knowledge. She explained the story of the building: “Seven years ago TIFF Bell Lightbox was created, we are really proud of what we accomplished today, we welcomed small cocktails receptions or bigger events. The largest number of guests is 2,000 people.

After being aware of the importance of TIFF, one of the largest film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually, we were interested to know how to be a part of it. Robyn Richardson, Senior Coordinator, Volunteer and Intern Resources of TIFF gave us some helpful information to be a volunteer: “You need strong customer service skills to interact with international guests. You can help in different positions, from managing line-ups, tearing tickets to administration support. I honestly think there is something for everyone.” We regarded each other with the same idea in mind: our dreams can come true.

Thanks to the SEB program we acquired a lot of skills in customer service, so being a volunteer at the international event is possible. Action! Click here to subscribe now to the TIFF Volunteer Alerts. 

Hirings tips revealed! 

We continued the visit with a walk-through of Luma restaurant, adjacent to the TIFF Lounge. A delicious smell came from the kitchen where we had the opportunity to pop our heads in. Chef Jacky Lo was guilty of this appealing food. How did he make it so good? Passion. “Front of house or Back of house, you have to love food, to be passionate about what you are doing. Having a good behaviour is also primary. Skills you can teach, attitude you can not,” he confessed. In every job enthusiasm is important.

Morgan Cardozo and Luis Cabrera, Event Specialists at Malaparte – Oliver and Bonacini embodied this feeling. “It is really fun, we love watching the creation of the event that we prepared, seeing our clients share this wow moment. This is why we do what we do, to make people happy.” They said.

These professionals shared some advice to be a good event planner. Internships may launch a career, the same as volunteering. It helps you to have opportunities. According to them, the most useful skills that you need to reach success are organization and communication. Now that we know what employers are looking for, we just have to work on it and apply it ourselves. Good luck everyone!

Character of the day: Jason Kim, General Manager of Malaparte – Oliver and Bonacini – Winner of the Ontario Hostelry Institute Top 30 under 30.

Information of the day: The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 7 to 17, 2017.

Website to visit: TIFF / Malaparte / Luma

Written by Marine Gas, student blogger for the ILAC International College.