On Sunday, September 17th, our prairie provinces teamed up for the annual Plane Pull event. Hosted by the United Way and UPS, the annual event takes place in Calgary to raise funds to fight poverty, help kids thrive, and build strong communities in the Calgary area. Our Alberta team was so enthusiastic about participating that we ended up registering 2 teams of 15 participants. The Govan Brown WingNuts and the Govan Brown Chug Tuggers. The main event: pulling a 190,000 lb Airbus A300 across the tarmac. We are proud to announce that the GB WingNuts placed 3rd out of 52 teams! The team spirit was incredible with a mixture of personnel and some family members from our Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg offices, featuring special guest Sarah Paul who flew down to participate! Both teams raised a combined $3,219 for the United Way. This was the first Plane Pull event for Govan Brown, but definitely not the last as we plan on registering for this event every year. Team Captains Matt Arnold and Ian Campbel should be very proud of their efforts in organizing the event, and on behalf of Govan Brown, we would like to congratulate you all for all your fundraising efforts and pulling together to help make this event, a successful one.
The greatest show on planet earth happened on Thursday, August 24th, at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto. Govan Brown made cor-porate history by hosting an event, unlike any other. Cureapalooza was borne from the idea to raise money for charity but with a completely different attitude. We tinkered with a few concept names, boobaroo, boobstock, boobapalooza, forsheaga ... but eventually, we agreed upon Cureapalooza, mainly because we were able to alternate the different charity organizations we wanted to be in receipt of our efforts. This year, we partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation/Canadian Cancer Society and donated $50,000 towards their causes and we really couldn’t have done it without the help of our staff who made this event happen by organizing the event, and buying and selling tickets. This year, we had local Toronto bands the Arkells headline, with the Birds of Bellwoods as the opening act. Cureapalooza was officially trademarked by Govan Brown as we anticipate this event being a yearly initiative. Over 650 concert goers were treated to a live and intimate performance by the Juno award winning band and the Birds of Bellwoods have already asked if they could participate in next year’s event! All of the feedback we received from fans, the venue and clients/trades were all positive even noting that this was the best Arkells concert they had been to. Kudos to the Internal Marketing Committee (Spencer Bowers, Tyler Brown, Mackenzie & Katrina Herd, Sarah Paul, Rose Rencius, Ryan Thomson, and Sophia Yilmaz) for putting on such a great show and Mackenzie Herd for organizing the event (Mack celebrated his birthday on the same day and was serenaded with a happy birthday song from the Arkells). And to Joe Kirk who takes chances and dreams big.
On Thursday, August 10th, our CMiC SuperUsers joined the Toronto crew on their annual baseball game outing. And they brought some much needed good luck! Batting against the New York Yankees, Estrada pitched a solid game earning the Jays a 4 - 0 win against the Yanks which sealed a 2 - 1 series win for the Jays. Being able to coordinate our CMiC training with our annual Jays game outing was a win-win situation especially for the folks from our outer offices as they got to experience their first Major League Baseball game. Nicolas Gallant from our Calgary office thought it was ‘a lot of fun’ and ‘cool to see so many GB employees out for some fun’ and Kelly Harrison from our Edmonton operations said ‘it was so great to finally attend an employee event and meet the rest of the GB team. Attending the MLB game with this great bunch of people made for a fantastic experience! My favorite part of the game was when they turned the lights on in the field; this made for an even more exciting atmosphere and I thought to myself, “Wow, I am actually at a Blue Jays game in Toronto. Now I can check that off my bucket list,” and we won 4-0 to top it off! Thank you Govan Brown for hosting this memorable event.’
Here’s a good life hack: Work Smart. Play Hard, and Give Back. And boy do we live by our company mantra. The boys took to the green for their third annual Hackers Tournament on Friday, July 21. This internal golf tournament is played every year to settle the debate of who the strongest golfer on the Govan Brown team is. With roughly 18 participants, this year's contest was one of the most well attended and competitive that we have ever seen. With odds-on favorite Joe Kirk being disqualified for missing three holes, the table was set for an upset. Taking advantage of the SVP's fortunate absence, Ed McGinley was crowned champion under an intense July afternoon sun. Despite earning the win and the hearts of the viewing public and his fellow golfers, Ed's win is being contested by the event organizer and self-appointed "Lord Links" Colin Gray. He could not be reached for comments but in speaking with his publicist, Jason Pereira, we have been informed that "this tournament was simply a qualifying event. The determination of the real champion will come later when the event is played at a Govan Brown Golfers Association-approved course." When pressed for further comment, Jason shrugged his shoulders and cursed at various members of the media for wasting his time. In other news, Michael Didur is appealing a suspension that has recently come down from the GBGA's head office for violating the dress code. The charge being for willfully violating by law 24 C section 10 which states "Players participating in GBGA sanctioned events are required to dress accordingly. Any player dressed like a dad attending a Jack Johnson concert will be suspended for one event and fined."
Govan Brown Calgary hosted our first annual Ranchman’s Rene-gades Bullbustin’ Event on Tuesday July 4th to kick off Stampede 2017. We hosted 20 clients, brokers, and designers including StatOil, Intact Insurance, MEG Energy, Manulife, WestJet, Devon Energy, Shearer Design, Ziedler, Turner & Townsend, Colliers, JLL, and Avison Young. Joe Kirk dawned his best country attire and joined the team to bring a little “east” to the “west”. Every year, the Ranchman’s Renegades Bullbustin hosts an exclusive invitational PBR Canada Professional Bull Riding Event featuring 30 of the top professional bull riding contestants, competing for $10,000 in prize money aboard Canada’s rankest bulls. Ranchman’s Cookhouse converts their parking lot into a bull riding ring, Govan Brown had stellar seats and views of the action. After the event, our group 2 stepped our way over to the giant outdoor dancehall tent to tear up the dance floor to a live country band. YeeHaw!
Govan Brown held its annual family summer BBQ on Thursday, June 8 at our headquarters. 100+ Govan Brown employees and their families were met with a cowboy themed party clad with cowboy hats for everyone. Citizen catering lit up the grill to provide us with all the meats a BBQ can provide with all the trimmings. Guests were treated to Citizen's famous burgers, corn dogs, southered fried chicken, ribs, and grilled flank steak. While some of the adults preferred the Clubhouse rooftop setting overlooking the sundown, the others preferred the entertainment located in our staff parking lot. Despite pony rides, a large inflatable bouncy castle, and line dancing lessons, the mechanical bull stole the show. People including kids lined up to score the longest record without falling off and so far, Mackenzie Herd, bull-rider extraordinaire claimed the #1 spot with 11 seconds of bumps and bruises.
Meanwhile Chris Ruela gathered up cowboys and cowgirls for private line dancing lessons and considering they only had 5 minutes of prep time, they all managed to tackle the Achy Breaky Heart with fancy footwork with great ease; surely all fine contenders for Billy Ray Cyrus' dancing entourage.
While the event was a success and fun was had by all, it will be tough to top this party next year.
As a yearly tradition, Govan Brown participates in the City of Toronto’s Annual Clean Toronto Together program in April where businesses and local schools volunteer to clean the debris from the streets that Winter left behind. So for half an hour or so, volun-teers put on their fancy blue gloves and packed their bags with as garbage as they could find. Since our office is located in a residential area with a playground around the corner, garbage is imminent. And even though we’re only cleaning for half an hour, we still manage to collect quite a few garbage bags full of trash. After all is said and done, we go to Gabby’s around the corner and we feast!
With April comes one of the finest sporting events known to planet earth, Masters Weekend. To honor the infamous Golf contest in Augusta, Georgia, on Friday, April 7th 2017, Govan Brown office employees had the opportunity to participate in the most coveted office sporting event in the GTA, the GB Putting Masters. The field of 17 golfers battled for the office Green Jacket on a course of 5 holes, 90 yards and a Par of 12. It was a close race but for a second consecutive year, an estimator won and for a second consecutive year Tyler Brown came in second. Congratulations to Tom Mason for winning the jacket with a score of 13. We are so proud of his hard work and determination in earning this great honour. Last year's winner, Jonas Valdez, was on hand to gift the jacket to Tom in a fine display of sportsmanship. Unfortunately, Tyler was unable to allow the moment to go by gracefully and was found sulking in the background. It would seem that Tyler is golf’s new Sergio: so close but so far away.
On March 3rd, the Govan Brown Toronto team took the afternoon off to visit Rinx and bond over a myriad of zany sports. After a long and busy winter, the afternoon provided a great escape for our hardworking staff to blow off some steam and take out some aggression… on each other. After visiting the bar area, the staff had the option of participating in three separate events including whirly ball, a mix of bumper cars, lacrosse and basketball; laser tag, pretty self-explanatory; and Balladium, an American gladiator-style target cannon game. With a fresh injection of confidence, our team was prepared to compete to the fullest, even if at times that meant slight subordination. There were no winners or losers, only bruisers on this day. You would be surprised at how little encouragement was needed to release the inner warrior in the most timid Govan Brown employee. With all that aggression spent, our team sat down to a nice pub-style lunch and went home tired, sore and more relaxed.