With four distinct event spaces and conveniently located in the heart of downtown Hamilton, the Gallery’s renowned permanent collection, state-of-the-art facilities and variety of outstanding exhibitions make the AGH an unparalleled backdrop for any special event.
President Gregory Fast was kind enough to share some insight from behind the scenes at Special Event Rentals, about the Art Gallery of Hamilton as a venue and landmark.
1. How did you get involved with the AGH?
Special Event Rentals and the AGH have had a wonderful relationship for over 20 years. During these last two decades, we’ve grown together through evolving event trends, sharing ideas and opportunities.
2. As a venue, what is unique about the way that the AGH can host weddings and events?
The Art Gallery of Hamilton is such an iconic landmark in the heart of Hamilton. It offers patrons, clients, and brides and grooms a carte blanche opportunity to create something magical. We have seen everything from stylish, minimalist events that embrace the white walls and clean atmosphere, to over the top event production where the facility is unrecognizable.
The support from the AGH events team makes all the difference – they really love seeing these designs and unique ideas come to life. The magic of events is that celebrations are just one moment in time, with venues being uniquely transformed for one day. The AGH allows guests to quite literally walk into works of live art that will make a lasting impression.
3. Over the past two years, how did you see the wedding and events industry pivot due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The effects of the global pandemic were so devastating to see for many businesses, especially the hospitality and events industry. The silver lining is that it forced everyone to get creative. We had to think outside the box to come up with new ideas and ways to celebrate, safely. This wasn’t always easy but we are so proud of how we used our resources and time to pivot in new directions.
Intimate celebrations were all the rage, but with that, we found clients were investing more into their guest experiences and elevating the overall designs to create something even more special than they had originally planned. Many tented outdoor celebrations took place which also included a beautiful white tent in the AGH Sculpture Garden. Clients also considered new ways of putting on dinner service. We had wonderful collaborations with event planners, caterers and clients to bring all these new ideas to life. Even though it was a hard time for everyone, we actually had a lot of fun with these projects and learned so much.
4. As our preferred partner for rentals, the AGH Tent in our Sculpture Garden was an essential tool to carry on our weddings during the summer months of the pandemic. What were some of the most creative ways you had to pivot as an events supplier?
After the first couple months of the pandemic, it started to really set in that the wedding and events scene had taken a big pull back. We immediately started brainstorming; what were our strengths, what products were ideal for the current market, how our staffing teams would operate, and started getting to work.
In June of 2020 we hosted a drive-through wedding event where guests could experience beautifully designed events from the comfort of their vehicles. We teamed up with amazing vendors and made the news for our innovation showcasing safe outdoor spaces. We continued our messaging that SER provides quality, stylish products that are sanitized and ready to safely use at any event. This opened a lot of doors for us and showed people that you could still create a wonderful event or wedding, even if plans looked a little differently than they originally thought. It was all about supporting a pivot in thinking, and working with government restrictions to develop a unique celebration.
5. From an artist perspective, it’s very cool to see that Special Event Rentals partners with local artists for tableware commissions. How did that come about?
We really wanted to bring something unique “to the table”. We’ve always recognized the importance of local makers, artists and designers and wanted to find a way to incorporate their creations in events. Celebrated watercolour artist, Niki Kingsmill, was a perfect pairing with Special Event Rentals. We worked with Niki and her family on their wedding many years ago and continued a strong relationship ever since. Niki’s artwork embodies so many things we desire in the world of event design; it is playful, whimsical and carries a special charm. Niki’s fabulous watercolour tableware, Garden Party, can be mixed and matched and used at a wide range of event types; it really becomes a conversation piece for guests.
6. What’s in store for Special Event Rentals in 2022?
2022 has to be one the most exciting years for weddings and events. It is projected to be the biggest year for weddings since 1984.
We are over the moon that clients are back to a little bit of normalcy and able to see their wedding plans through. Special Event Rentals is really here to support beautiful occasions and bring these momentous celebrations to life. We have invested heavily in new product offerings, we have a fresh design studio in Burlington, our in-house teams have never been stronger, and we are so eager to continue collaborating with clients to bring their vision to fruition!
Thank you, Special Event Rentals, for being such a generous supporter and sponsor of the Art Gallery of Hamilton and our community!
All images and video courtesy of Special Event Rentals.
Planning a Wedding or Event? For more information on AGH Wedding and Event Services, please contact us or you can call us at (905) 527-6610 ext. 234