Edmonton Wedding Venue: The Enjoy CentreBlush's Venue of the Year 2015

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on August 17, 2015

Blush's Venue of the Year 2015: The Enjoy Centre

Imagine walking through a room lined with trees, with the sun streaming down, and the scent of fresh garden blooms in the air. Imagine not worrying about the weather, because—at the first drop of rain—glass panels automatically close to save your big day.

The Enjoy Centre in St. Albert is the only venue of its kind in Canada, boasts Event Manager Laura Gadowsky. “We provide a true feeling of an outdoor wedding with none of the risk,” she says.

Their largest space, the Moonflower Room, is the crown jewel of event spaces. This 15,000 square foot room features 35 foot high glass ceilings, polished concrete floors, and moveable potted trees. The space can seat 500 guests for a ceremony and up to 600 for a reception. A mezzanine overlooks the room—every photographer’s dream for spectacular aerial shots—and can be used for smaller ceremonies, cocktail hours and even a kids’ area.

The high glass ceiling is truly the highlight; the panels are fitted with retractable shade cloth to adjust the amount of natural light. The uppermost panels open completely to allow air flow and are controlled by a weather station to automatically adjust to changing conditions.

If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, the Park Room seats up to 120 for a dinner reception. Three huge west-facing windows provide gorgeous views of the centre’s garden terraces and are equipped with shade cloth and blackout blinds. All the lights are on dimmer switches—from the funky yellow chandeliers to the backlights in the alcoves—to create the perfect ambience for your wedding. Gadowsky loves this room because it combines a fun modern aesthetic with the warmth of a traditional space.

While couples can choose from their selection of vendors, the Enjoy Centre offers the convenience of a one-stop shop: photos in and around the Centre plus the nearby Lois Hole Provincial Park just across the street, flowers from the Floral Studio at Hole’s, cake from Wild Earth Bakery, spa services from Wellness Within, and catering from the Glasshouse Bistro.

Chef Julia Kundera creates tailor-made menus with fresh, local ingredients—in late summer, with many of the vegetables come from Hole’s own garden. Couples can even rent the Glasshouse Bistro for sit down dinners up to 140 or stand-up receptions up to 250; enjoy cocktails with breathtaking views of Big Lake on the patio, dinner in the main restaurant, and dancing in the café area. The Bistro is also the perfect location for your rehearsal dinner or bridal shower.

Regardless which beautiful room you choose, the dedicated staff will do almost anything to fulfill your vision—from accommodating fire dancers to handling a horse in the parking lot. They also offer flexible set-up times and use of the Executive Boardroom for a bridal suite.

The Enjoy Centre is truly a breath of fresh air for those looking for an alternative to a cavernous banquet hall. Enjoy the light, enjoy the views, enjoy your day.

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The Francis Winspear Centre for Music; A Perfect Venue For Your Love SongBlush's Venue of the Year 2013

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 31, 2013

This year, Blush Magazine has selected the Winspear as its Venue of the Year because not only is it the perfect venue for the arts enthusiast, but it is also one of city’s most unique spaces, located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. For the past sixteen years, Edmonton has been home to The Francis Winspear Centre for Music, a world class concert hall and home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The centre, best known as simply the Winspear, represents a lasting legacy to the life and work of Dr. Francis G. Winspear. It hosts a variety of events, including concerts and private events, such as wedding ceremonies and receptions.

The Winspear has spaces to accommodate ceremonies of as few as 50 to as many as 250 guests and can host traditional dinner and dance receptions for as many as 300, with cocktail receptions being a popular choice for clients of the venue. While the two of the spaces are private, the Main Lobby, Dress Circle Lobby, and Upper Circle Lobby are open to the rest of the space. They allow beautiful natural light to shine through the floor to ceiling windows that open to the venue’s main entrance and main floor lobby area. Also available are the Landmark Group Founders’ Room and Studio spaces, which offer completely private, enclosed rooms and have private entrances.

When reserving the venue for a ceremony, clients are provided with use of the room(s) reserved and additional available spaces for photos. Guests are invited to reserve their ceremony up to a year in advance, as available dates fill quickly. Should you wish to host a reception at the Winspear, dedicated staff are available to ensure that your event is flawless. All sound technicians and bar services are provided directly by the venue. Catering can be provided exclusively by one of the Winspear’s preferred caterers. Proud to be an environmentally friendly venue, the Winspear maintains a policy discouraging the use of disposable catering items. Helpful staff can offer a list of various musicians who can assist you in adding to the romantic atmosphere of your event.  Ceremony and reception venues can be booked separately, or as one; however, should you already have your venues chosen, the Winspear is still happy to be your location of choice for your wedding photos. This can be reserved up to five months in advance, permitted there are no other events taking place.

While the Winspear is recognized for its great acoustics by concert-goers and music aficionados, it can also become the perfect setting for a wedding, for any couple seeking one of Edmonton’s most admired venues. With five beautifully unique spaces, the Winspear is bound to have a suitable option for the discerning bride and groom.

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Matrix Hotel Brings Service, Selection & Sheer Sophistication to EdmontonBlush's Wedding Venue of the Year 2012

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 31, 2012

The Matrix Hotel, situated in downtown Edmonton, is Blush’s pick for venue of the year for more than a few reasons. Ranked as one of the “Top 25 Trendiest” hotels in the country, the creative architecture lends itself to a slew of different types of events. “We love weddings here! A lot of the weddings we book are on referrals. Generally the events are booked one year in advance and during that time we develop quite a warm relationship,” explains Nancy Holan. The Matrix chefs, led by Executive Chef Emmanuel David, “have trained around the world. We can accommodate vegan, vegetarian, special diets. We had a bride and groom who ordered vegetarian but opted for a different main course for their guests,” added Nancy.

What about the venue itself? A slew of options are available, whether the couple is searching for an engagement destination to wedding reception and rehearsal dinner, the possibilities are endless. “We do approximately 30 weddings yearly and our maximum capacity is 220 in the south-facing Quartz ballroom; the east-facing Amber ballroom seats 120. Smaller parties find the Prism room suitable as it seats 80. Plated dinners are more popular, it’s a touch more formal than buffets.”

The clients of the Matrix Hotel are generally affluent with a trendier take on weddings; this isn’t surprising if you have seen their décor.  Modernity and warmth go hand in hand throughout the hotel, giving you ample space to get your best bridal photo op. The banquet space is flanked by windows so a daytime event is possible and the audio-visual details are immaculate: “drop down screens in the ballroom mean you don’t have to compromise on décor to incorporate special moments in video and sound and this is included in the event of course”.

Lux surroundings and attention to detail and quality: what more can a couple ask for?

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AGA is Simply the BestBlush's Wedding Venue of the Year 2011

Posted by Blush Magazine Posted on July 31, 2011

From its prime location in the heart of the arts and culture district in downtown Edmonton, to the catering par excellence, the Art Gallery of Alberta is Blush’s pick for best venue of the year.

Staging your wedding, engagement or rehearsal events in Edmonton just got a whole lot more elegant.  Not only is it connected via underground tunnel to some of Edmonton’s biggest names ensuring your guests ease of movement, it is also a singular architectural achievement that needs next to no adornment for the brides who like to keep it simple.  For those who like the extra oomph, the space itself transforms beautifully.  Zinc Catering are the exclusive contract caterers for AGA and also the brainchild behind the AGA’s gastronomically delightful dining experience. Zinc catering’s Elisa De Fazio took Blush on a tour of the gallery so we could get a better idea of who’s holding their weddings there and why.

A chat with Executive Chef David Omar gave us a glimpse of what is easily one of the most creatively derived menu selections in fine dining available in Western Canada.  Blush loves Chef David’s vision, incorporating both locally sourced and fresh ingredients in his signature creations, all developed by integrating the couple’s preferences.  “I think that what we do with our couple’s choices in mind really stands out, especially when you see that even colour is taken into consideration,” says Chef David illustrating his point by explaining some of his more innovative uses of texture and colour to play into the couple’s theme.

The space is a multitiered visual extravaganza that seats 200 for plated dinners and 300 comfortably for standing receptions.  Renowned architect Randall Stout is known for “creating environments that capture the unique composition of their natural surroundings, while transforming light, shadow, form, and materials into dynamic architecture. His projects are known for vibrant forms, state of the art technology, and environmental sustainability.” Going chic and green this year is easy when choosing the AGA as your venue, especially since 90 percent of the steel used is derived from recycled materials.  The exterior usage of patinated zinc panels and the curving stainless steel inspired by Aurora Borealis at a staggering height of 102 ft makes the dramatic art factor high for this venue.

“The space itself is magnificently engineered both for acoustics and for lighting with the best technical options available,” explained Elisa. The Light Column, made of acrylic panels and lit from within, is unmatched in an Edmonton venue for both ingenuity and the fact that it can be custom lit to suit the couple’s preferred colour.  From the mezzanine to the stunning staircase leading up to several areas that can be sectioned off or booked as a whole, the AGA has an appropriate space for events ranging from engagement dinners to gift opening luncheons.  If the surreal structure and their gourmet approach to cuisine isn’t breathtaking enough, the fact is you are staging your event at an art gallery showcasing some of the biggest talents to ever grace Alberta should be the tipping point.  What does an art loving couple give as wedding favors?  Passes to the gallery, of course.

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