These event-savvy Toronto business owners add creativity and authenticity to any group gathering, whether you’re looking for a venue, planning support, workshops or catering.
Events by Dionne
Dionne Bishop, founder and CEO of Events by Dionne, curates personalized, results-driven experiences that showcase her creativity and attention to detail.
The inspiration: After years of providing behind-the-scenes support for others, Bishop says she was inspired to branch out on her own, knowing she could put her own unique stamp on how events are planned and produced for various audiences.
"Audiences are different, event goals are different, and seasons change. I’ve shown up differently depending on the room I’m in my entire career, so navigating change and delivering engaging ideas for mixed audiences is naturally a part of the services I provide."
– Dionne Bishop, Founder and CEO of Events by Dionne
The experience: Bishop is an expert at creating experiences that help attendees show up as their authentic selves. “The energy, or as I call it, ‘the vibe,’ is missing for them when events are planned or designed with the status quo first and then a layer of unique elements gets added after."
She considers the audience’s true selves to set the foundation for what will keep attendees engaged: “Audiences are different, event goals are different, and seasons change. I’ve shown up differently depending on the room I’m in my entire career, so navigating change and delivering engaging ideas for mixed audiences is naturally a part of the services I provide.”
Drawing on their roots to bring a bold fusion of Cajun and Caribbean flavours to their east-end restaurant, co-owners and sisters, Reneé and Donna Charles and Nicole Charles-Page opened SugarKane, a full-service restaurant and catering service.
The inspiration: The sisters found inspiration from their Grenadian and Trinidadian parents who loved to cook for friends and family. “Almost every weekend our parents cooked big Caribbean dishes like stewed chicken, rice and peas, macaroni pie, king fish…etc. There was always food ready when family or friends stopped by.”
The venue: This vibrant space is the perfect backdrop for intimate group gatherings — local art is showcased on the walls and a neon SugarKane sign hangs above the stage that hosts DJs and live performances. With a capacity of 50 for seated dinners, full buyouts are available. They also offer off-site catering services.
The vibe: “When you visit SugarKane, we’ve infused beautiful art from people of colour, lively music from people of colour and we definitely give you the feeling that you have stepped out of Toronto, and into a cozy joint somewhere in the Caribbean,” says Nicole.
Mary's Brigadeiro Handcrafted Chocolate
Welcome to Toronto’s first chocolate-crafting business, dedicated exclusively to the Brigadeiro, a traditional Brazilian chocolate confectionery.
The inspiration: Mary Oliveira’s top priority as soon as she emigrated to Canada from Brazil in 2015 was starting her company. She was delighted by the opportunity to share something inspired by her country back in Brazil, creating “more moments of happiness and joy, and innovating in a new culture that breathes new ideas.” Now, she often collaborates with projects around Toronto, bringing exciting custom creations to life.
Oliveira’s hand-rolled sweets are made from scratch, using only Fair Trade chocolate, pure cocoa, dry fruits, nuts and chocolate sprinkles.
The goods: Oliveira’s hand-rolled sweets are made from scratch, using only Fair Trade chocolate, pure cocoa, dry fruits, nuts and chocolate sprinkles. “The product itself is something that people have never heard of or tried before, making the Brigadeiro such a unique experience.”
Getting the goods: Mary's Brigadeiro Handcrafted Chocolate caters event dessert tables, creates unique sweet gifts for teams and can deliver delectable room drops to conference attendees. Workshops are available, too, that will have groups rolling their own sweet creations.
Fresh Paint Studio + Café
Offering virtual and in-person workshops, Fresh Paint Studio + Café is a creative space, café, lounge and retail boutique.
The inspiration: Visual artist, poet and owner, Roxane Tracey, says her aspirations have never been to fight for a seat at the table, but instead to build her own, and taking a leap of faith was the only way to build a community-based creative space where people could reconnect with the joy of creating art.
The vibe: “The world needs to create more time and space for people to come together to focus on nurturing creativity and imagination, and I felt that Fresh Paint Studio + Cafe was one of the spaces that could contribute to building this vision,” says Tracey.
Get creative: Fresh Paint Studio helps corporate groups tap into their creative and collaborative sides with customized team-building activities, including private painting lessons, that infuse events and off-site meetings with energy and enthusiasm. freshpaintstudio.ca