Published on January 18, 2018
If you had to describe the 105th Grey Cup Festival week in one word it would be “Canadian.” From the beginning to the snowy end, it was a week of national pride and the Shaw Centre was proud to be an integral part of it all. Partnering with the CFL and OSEG, Shaw Centre hosted a variety of celebrations and events, including five press conferences, four public events, and three galas during a five-day period.
The week kicked off with the Head Coaches Press Conference on Tuesday, November 22nd. Dave Dickenson of the Calgary Stampeders’ and Marc Trestman of the Toronto Argonauts sat across from one another in the Centre’s Gatineau Salon, separated by the covetable Grey Cup acting as both a literal and figurative divide. The coaches then tackled questions head on from the media on topics ranging from team confidence to their own personal accomplishments and challenges. This same room also acted as a media hub for both teams who hosted individual media days over the next couple days.
The signature event, the CFL Awards and Rev-Up Party, took place Thursday evening on the third level of Shaw Centre. The evening started off with food and drink in the Parliament Foyer, providing guests with a picturesque view of the city and its Parliament Buildings. Once award time came, guests made their way into Canada Hall where they were welcomed by TSN’s James Duthie and spent the next few hours celebrating the CFL’s top talent.
Every good party should be followed by a savoury brunch, as was the case when Shaw Centre hosted the CFLAA Legends Luncheon the morning of Friday, November 24th. The sold-out event was a unique opportunity for fans to mix and mingle with CFL coaches and alumni, while paying tribute to CFL legends and its history.
Saturday was all about the ladies. Gridiron Gals was a full day event hosted in Shaw Centre’s Canada Hall space where CFL players and coaches were available to teach the basics of the game to women of all ages. It wasn’t all training and drills though; there were also “lighter” options including wine, appetizers, and a nail and brow bar.
Then came the big day. Sunday, November 26th was the 105th Grey Cup and Shaw Centre hosted its final festival event, the Commissioner’s Tailgate Brunch. Randy Ambrosie addressed 500 guests in the Trillium ballroom of the Shaw Centre before the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argonauts faced off at TD Place. Key members of the Ottawa community attended, including Mayor Jim Watson, as well as the guest of honour: the one and only, Grey Cup.
Shaw Centre’s 192,000 square foot space and 400+ staff saw over 10,000 attendees during this momentous event. In the end, one inspired team delivered an extraordinary experience that brought together an entire nation, a community, and our city: Ottawa.