A few months ago we were contacted to help out with a fundraiser for the children’s hospital. There are a few charities we like to help out each year and The Children’s Hospital just so happens to be one of them. The scope of the job started out pretty normal, just a few arches and columns. But as we got more involved with the event and the budget increased for what we could offer, we were able to be more creative. So on top of all the arches and columns, we added balloon garlands, a bubble ceiling, a balloon wall, a bubble bottle sculpture, bubble blower and more. If you haven’t been able to guess, the theme was ‘Bubbles and Butterflies’ so we focused mainly on the bubble side of things which works great… As balloons can look an awful lot like bubbles!

After a couple months of planning, coordinating colours and arranging locations for the balloons, it comes down to the week of the event and we have nothing built.  That’s because for the decor to look its absolute best we have to build all the balloon decor within 3 days of the event.  To some, it might make you panic, because what would happen if something needed to be changed or didn’t work? Well… It happened!

We started building at our home to prep the best we can for the next few days that we’ll be spending at the Telus Spark. We laid the balloons out around the house so that the balloons didn’t get tangled while being transported to the venue.

Now as we are about to load into the venue on day 1 we received an e-mail asking if we could add a few extra balloons. Turns out a few extra was actually a few hundred! After a few conversations we decided on adding 60 balloon flower pots with 5 flowers in each, that is 300 flowers in total! So we called in for some help and great help is what we received! One of our balloon twisters, Stretch, was available to help us for the 3 day install, as we needed the extra help because to build 60 flower pots with 5 flowers in each is about 16 hours of twisting that we had to do on top of the amount of balloons we already had to build.

So we rushed to work, Stretch was twisting away at flower heads, Sarah was working on balloon columns and garlands, while I was working on the balloon wall, the bubble ceiling and the sculpture.

As day 3 approached we couldn’t spare a second, not even for a bathroom break! We sat down to calculate the number of balloons left to build, which wasn’t so bad except we had the additional load of all the 60 bouquets of flowers. To build 60 bouquets of flowers in a flower pot, we needed 15 balloons for each sculpture, 2 balloons per flower, 4 for the flower pot and one filled with water to weight them down so the sculpture stays upright. After finishing all the decor we were about 4 hours out to the start of the event, so every second counts! We timed how fast I could twist a whole flower pot and it came down to 4 minutes and to build 60 of them start to finish would take 4 hours. So now the panic started to settle in because we still had to do touchups on all the decor and install everything from the build room to the main hall and we only had between 4:00 – 5:30 PM. We couldn’t install any earlier at the Telus Spark because they are open to the public during the day.

So we had Sarah pump up the flower pot balloons to the correct size saving me 30 seconds per flower pot which would amount to the exact time I needed to save! This meant I was unable to stop twisting flower pot to flower pot, so I found myself running around directing our crew where to install everything in the hall while not losing a second on twisting. 30 minutes to event start we had all hands on deck, almost everyone in the venue started placing flowers on tables, arranging the bouquets and all of a sudden it was like a flash. We completed everything, perfectly on time everything was in its place at exactly 5:30 PM which gave us a breather and get changed ready to enjoy an incredible event, and maybe snap a few pictures while we were at it.

So the event turned out to be a huge success! Everyone did an amazing job raising money for charity.
This next bit if you scan over this blog and just check out the pictures, you might think that no one had any regards to the flowers below. These flowers in fact were a perfect touch to add to tie everything together and it did the job exactly as planned. They were to be used as an icebreaker game. How to play, each table gets 5 balloon flowers in a flower pot consisting of 5 different colours. The goal of the game is to collect 5 identical coloured flowers in your flower pot. In order to do this you must trade with the tables around you and the only way to trade with others is to spark a conversation with them and introduce yourself and what you do. After you make friends with one new person you were allowed to trade with them. The game was very exciting for the guests, got a lot of people creating conversations and making new acquaintances. So in the process of the trading game things got a little hectic and some flowers were found abandoned around the room.

Whatever… It only took 15 hours to build them :P

So the event finished and our work was ready to start again, the clean up. This part doesn’t take anywhere close to as long as the set up! Especially when you can do it in a fun way, plus lots of people helped, I mean hey, who doesn’t like to pop balloons and those who didn’t took them home. We had loads of fun doing it!

Made a few fun videos as well!

Well, after inflating over 5000 balloons, building all the decor, playing some games, watching The Canadian Tenors play live for us and raising money for The Children’s Hospital, we tore everything down. We all had a great time, thank you so much to the organizers for bringing us out to help with the event and we look forward to the next one!

Tristan Court